WDCR SCCA SOLO TEST & TUNE DAY
Simply stated, these are wonderful events. They do not record times that count towards the season standings, they do not organize heats by classes with specific run times. No, these are for the autocross addict and those who want to be better autocross addicts. They are stripped down events that allow a driver to dial in both their skills, adjust the set up of the car, and run an insane amount of passes. Starting at 7:30 in the morning, and running to 4:30 in the afternoon with just one break for lunch cars are running a course the rest of the day. You have to pull shift(s) volunteering out on the course to make sure cones stay up. Normally you sign up for four work assignments throughout the day of 30 minutes each. A quick check doing simple math reveal that after deducting one hour for lunch, 30 minutes for making general announcements and drivers signing waivers, the two hours for volunteer responsibilities you’re left with up to 5 1/2 hours to make passes. Extrapolate that a little further, the normal course takes most cars between 50-70 seconds to navigate, take the average of 60 seconds, plus another 180 seconds to pass through the grid to get back to the starting line, and the number of potential passes available to you rises to 82.5. Wow! At any of the Championship events you get between 3-4, but at these events you could possibly get up to 82.5. This is of course a potential number, and not wholly attainable given the wear on the tire in warm weather, refueling needs, weather that reduces pass speeds or halts proceedings for a spell or even the desire of any driver to drive the same course 80+ times. The potential is there for you to get a LOT of passes, and feel better about your skill, and the setup of your car when it’s all over.
My experience was event better for two important reasons; changing weather conditions, and personalized instruction. First, let’s discuss the changing weather conditions at FedEx Field. My first hour or so of passes were completed either under partial sun or partial cloudy conditions whereas the second half of the day involved rain, and more rain. Both conditions I needed help with, handling my car in the dry and wet.
The second great thing about the event was that I had signed up for instruction, and then fortunate enough that everyone else that signed up either didn’t show or were instructed by another SCCA member. Man o man, I had the luck to have one instructor for the better part of the day to observe me from the course, observe me in car while driving, and finally the instructor made some passes driving my car to show me what potential improvements could be made in terms of timing and navigating a course.
All in all it was a great time at FedEx Field, and I can’t wait to apply what I learned before I forget!