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Thread: Atlanta Region fun times

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    Atlanta Region fun times

    I figured I'd start a thread here, amongst friendly enablers, to chart the Angry Toaster's amateur motorsports journey. I bought the car, a 2013 500 Abarth (no options except for wheels, found it in Alabama), last May to replace a frustrating Porsche 944 project, and with the specific intention of racing something that wasn't a Miata or BRZ (even though I love both of them). The main goal was SCCA autocross, but I plan on doing some track days and maybe a couple of rallycross events as well.



    i ran a few events last season (as a novice and in GS) to shake down the car, and ended up adding a K&N filter (because why not?) and a bigger rear bar from 500 Madness (because super twitchy under braking... also it's red). The Toaster held its own against some fast cars and talented drivers, but it took a minute to adjust to running a FWD car so any issues that I had were mostly self-induced.

    At Road Atlanta:


    Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who has the highest center of gravity of them all?


    Shake-down at Atlanta Dragway, with some pretty stiff competition:
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    Last edited by scooby; 03-15-2017 at 12:53 AM.

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    So the first points event of 2017 was in February at Lanier Raceplex, right across the street from Road Atlanta. The weather was great and the field was 130 drivers strong, but the 500 Abarth had been reclassed to HS and there was only one other driver there, in a Mazda 3. I had expected angry hordes of FiSTs and Mini Coopers, but none were to be found. There was another Abarth, running in STX... don't know if he's on here or not though.

    So I went out and lagged behind the Mazda 3 for three runs, and on the fourth run I was able to pull it together and squeak past him by a few tenths of a second. I was still running the 500-treadwear Nexen tires that came with the car when I bought it so that wasn't doing me any favors. I was a little bummed out by the lack of competition in HS, but it was still great fun. My raw time got me 104th out of 130 and PAX put me 65th, right smack in the middle of the field. My only objective at the moment is to not be last, so I'm very happy.


    Here's the Toaster flanked by FiSTs (one running Pro, I think, and one in STX, both very quick). Also if you look closely you can spot a very clean Shelby Cobra replica and a painfully cool race-prepped X1/9 that runs Time Attack.

    Better shot:


    Also this Alfa GTV came out to play:
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    Last edited by scooby; 03-15-2017 at 02:08 AM.

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    Fiat500USA (03-15-2017), Grabo (03-27-2017), WillFiat (03-27-2017)

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    So late last year I figured that if I wanted to actually be competitive, I'd need a dedicated set of race wheels and tires (I know Street Class is limited to nothing below 200 treadwear, but saying "race tires" makes me feel cool).

    Or at least that's what I told my wife. Street Class rules allow a wheel diameter change of 1" up or down, offset change of up to 7mm, and no change in width. Since the Abarth has two different factory wheel options, that gives a range of 15x6.5 all the way to 18x7, if you're so inclined.

    The Rota RB is a relatively inexpensive, relatively lightweight (and much hated-on) Panasport-style replica, so I ordered a custom set from 18Racing.com. It took a few months and they missed out on my first event, but I finally got a 16x7 wheel in 4x98 with a slightly lower offset from stock. Some discounted Hankook RS-3s in 205/45-16 that Tire Rack found hiding in a warehouse finished off the setup, and I was ready for the next event.



    And then winter returned to Georgia at the beginning of March. The morning of Points #2 started off with rain and temperatures that were just above freezing. Not ideal for a set of brand-new sticky-ish tires. I initially expected lots of understeer but ended up spending the majority of my time chasing the ass-end under decel and braking. Unlike previous events, I found my best times by leaving the ESC half on.





    So out of 94 entries I ended up 67th, with a PAX of 41. The track was dried out by the third heat so those cars were running significantly faster times than those of us in the morning heats, but all those cars were significantly faster than me anyway. All-in-all still not bad, but here's the crummy part: no one else showed up in HS. The other Abarth was there again (in STX) and I was a tenth of a second behind him, so that at least told me I was on the right track. I left a lot of time on the table though, and I plan on fixing that at the next event.

    Oh, and I know I posted this elsewhere, but the one-and-only Randy Pobst came to hang out for a while and borrowed an MX-5 for some laps of his own:
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    Last edited by scooby; 03-15-2017 at 01:49 AM.

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    I think I'm caught up so far. In addition to Points #3 next month I'll also be running Track Night in America (http://www.tracknightinamerica.com) at Atlanta Motorsports Park. After that my wife and I should be having our baby and the Toaster's future hangs in the balance... she watched me have to mostly turn the child seat upside down to get it into the back seat, and she was none too impressed. She was also not impressed that I can't carry her and the child at the same time, and the stroller doesn't really fit without folding the seats down. It's all very mutually exclusive...

    Should the Toaster survive the Great Purge, however, the plans are to max out Street Class with some Konis all around along with some stronger brake pads. Not much to do power-wise since the exhaust is already pretty open. I'd like to take it down to Roebling Road for a track day later this year, as well as road-trip it to Lincoln for SCCA Solo Nationals. It's tough to get weekends off from work (and it's about to get tougher with the new addition) but I may try to go outside of the Atlanta Region for some autocross goodness as well. We shall see... I'll try to keep this thread updated for those who care to follow along.

    Also if you like the action photos, check out Dawgpilot Photography on Facebook, he's got lots of cool shots.
    Last edited by scooby; 03-15-2017 at 01:05 AM.

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    Moderator Robert Nixon's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for the great posts on your Toaster! If you're close to the STX Abarth then you're doing great! Top 50% of PAX for a 2nd year driver is good stuff too!

    The South Carolina Region is running a regular schedule of rallycross this year too, but those events will be way over on the other side of Columbia from Georgia.

    Looking forward to the rest of your events, and good luck with the baby.
    2013 Rosso Abarth with 52K miles, Neu-f rear sway bar, EBC Yellowstuff brake pads, DOT4 brake fluid, K&N air filter, autocross 17 inch Ciao Milano wheels with Bridgestone Potenza RE71R, daily wheels stock 16 inch Dunlop DZ102. 2016+2015: 1st Place TSCC GS class; 2014+2013: 2nd place in SCCA South Carolina Region G Stock.
    My Car blog: http://www.nms-racing.net/

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    Premium Sponsor 500MADNESS.com's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing such an awesome thread! It's always great to see enthusiasts using the Abarth in Competitions at the track!
    Check out www.500MADNESS.com for the largest selection of FIAT 500 Parts and Accessories in stock at the lowest prices. We service, customize and modify! Give us a call at 562-981-6800.

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    Senior Member DaytonAbarth's Avatar
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    Finally at home and logged in here, so I could see your post from GrassrootsMotorsports...
    Neu-F rear torsion bar : KW Variant 1 coil overs : Madness500 Short shift adapter : Eurocompulsion R3T V2 plus Ram Air boot : Unichip : 500Madness Go Pedal : Rally Armor mud flaps : Rear seat delete : HID headlights : various LED & PIAA replacements

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    The local dealer wanted $680 (plus tax) to do the 30k mile service... so I collected the pieces myself for less than $200 (including the cost of the oil extractor) and got the job done this afternoon. Just gotta bleed the brakes and I'll be good to go for Track Night at AMP next week.

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    Senior Member bryanintowson's Avatar
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    Well done! Can you link to where you got the extractor?

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    From Home Depot, just ordered it online and picked it up at the store. Looks like the pice dropped by about $5 too:

    http://m.homedepot.com/p/Maxpower-5-...FVY8gQodsM4O7A

    On a related note, how accurate is the dipstick? My wife's old Scion was completely unreadable, I never knew how much oil was in that stupid thing.

    Anyway, I only pulled out a bit over 3qts but the stick always showed topped off. I assumed all the oil hadn't drained back down into the pan or maybe there was a little left in the filter. I added 3qts back and it showed a little low, so I slowly worked my way back up to 4qts. I'm gonna let it sit for a day and check the level, but are these cars picky about being overfilled?

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