View Full Version : Abarth to FTD

11-07-2013, 11:27 AM
Had an interesting local autocross this last Sunday. Forecast called for something like 20*F and rain/snow mix, and while that would mean I would make great power in my normal ride (a Formula 500 FM car), and the thought of Donohue'ing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Donohue#The_alleged_Can-Am_Killer) the entire course sounded tempting - I thought better of putting a "freeze cycle" into my Hoosiers.

Thus - took the Abarth out for a spin. My car is bone stock - right down to the OE Pirelli tires. Only mods I made from the showroom floor were to take out the drivers side floor mat and mock up some numbers using blue masking tape.

The result? FTD, top PAX and pro class win :)

The event was a little different than normal. Had a pretty small turnout due to the weather (ended up being about 30* and dry) of 28 entrants, and many of the mod cars stayed home. Many of the drivers who did come, all brought their "winter rats", which made the field full of fwd commuter cars - although we did still have a couple mod cars who showed up with cans of starting fluid and made runs. Either way - the combination of a low grip surface (due to temps) and mostly stock cars gave me the golden opportunity to claim FTD from "lowly" GS.

Link to results:
PAX: http://www.cny-scca.com/results.php?cmd=view&type=solo&year=2013&date=2013_11_03&pax=true
Class: http://www.cny-scca.com/results.php?cmd=view&type=solo&year=2013&date=2013_11_03

Robert Nixon
11-07-2013, 11:42 AM
Wow, that is pretty mind boggling! Congrats!

Why did you choose that category instead of just GS?

What tire pressures were you running?

11-07-2013, 11:45 AM
Cool! What kind of course did they put together? Looks short?

11-07-2013, 11:58 AM
Why did you choose that category instead of just GS?

Locally we run a "pro" class (denoted by adding an "X" prefix to your class), which is basically the opposite of a "novice" class you'll find in almost every region. It's purely optional to join in, and it's a way for people who want more inter-class competition to do so by combining all the top drivers into one pax-based class.

What tire pressures were you running?

I have to admit, while I've autocrossed FWD cars a few times before, this was the just the second time I've done it with it being "my" car (and not just from stealing someone else's car for fun runs or instructional purposes). As such, I really had no idea what to run for pressures other than checking some basic guidelines online. I found someone who suggested 45/40 f/r, so that's what I set them to the night before (in the 60*F garage). At the event they had dropped to about 41/38 due to the temperature drop, but it was too cold to mess with a compressor, so I just left them as-is. Turns out it worked pretty well - car handled nicely with good turn in, yet not too loose under braking. I have no idea if more/less pressure would've given more overall grip, but I was pretty happy with the balance.

11-07-2013, 12:06 PM
Cool! What kind of course did they put together? Looks short?

It was a pretty small lot - about 90% of the course you even repeated for a second lap, but I was pretty happy with how it drove. It was basically launch -> pair of offset gates -> medium speed sweeper -> three cone slalom -> tight 180 -> (repeat gates/sweeper/three cone slalom) -> high-speed lane change -> high-speed sweeper -> finish

Top speeds were around 60mph (I just buzzed the rev limiter in second for a split second before braking for the final sweeper), with the tight 180 being maybe 30mph. The rest of the course was pretty steady-state 40-45mph.

11-07-2013, 12:35 PM
Nice work!

I too, have a stock Abarth, impressive performance and capability, right out of the box.

11-08-2013, 08:51 AM
Hah! I've got to make it over your way one of these days (I'm in Rachacha). Too much stuff going on this year to get to a lot of events but maybe next year...

I took FTD many years ago in my '75 Fiat X1/9 with all of 61.5 hp on 145-13 tires. Of course, it was in the 30s and pouring like a bitch so no one could put power down. Not having any in the first place helped...

11-08-2013, 09:49 AM
Hah! I've got to make it over your way one of these days (I'm in Rachacha).

And likewise & vise versa from me. Definitely need to get the FM out to RIT this next summer and get some practice driving around cones. Kart track experience is worthless at nationals...

11-15-2013, 05:45 PM
Wow! That's wicked cool!