AutoCross Before Covid19

Covid-19 really threw a wrench into everyone’s plans. It was no different here in Southern Ontario, Canada. The 2020 season began with a substantial lock down that pretty much halted life in almost every aspect. The season did get off to a late start mid summer when society began to slowly reopen. We elected to sit out the season for fear of Covid-19, tight rush schedule, and lack of comradery. Social distance was the priority. Without the social aspect it just didn’t seem the same.

In 2019 we competed with this 2019 Mustang 5.0. It was only because the car we intended to run broke down. It spun a lower main bearing just weeks before the season opener. We scrambled to replace the engine. With no luck and a tight budget we parked it. This gave us a chance to do more required work to to our regular ride.[more to come on this parked car] We managed to latch onto this 2019 Mustang. What a fantastic car. I really don’t have too much to complain about with this car. It is mainly stock with a resonator delete. The sound out on the course had no problem commanding everyone’s attention. It is a low optioned PP1 with a 6 speed tranny. Big Brembo’s on the front. The Michelin’s are definitely a plus and hooked well at the right pressure setting. The cup 4’s also performed well on a wet track and even in cool weather once warmed up. The car has gobs of power and was a complete blast to let it all hang out on an open course.

It wasn’t very often I did a run alone. Most times it was someone wanting to just feel what it was like to be in touch with 460 horsepower. To see the reactions on their faces was priceless. To some it was sheer panic. To others it was exhilaration. Sometimes it worked out well. Sometimes not. I always wanted to give the full experience to the rider. This was the case in the photo above. We came screaming out of a long sweeper sliding sideways. Way out of shape and position. Managed to get the car corrected completing the next gate. Lost tons of time. The grin on my face made it all worth it. We made a clean pass. The run counted. Whenever I see the photo of this moment, the big grin returns to my face. Tip: turn off all the controls for maximum smiles!!!

We finished the 2019 season respectfully in our class. Our target car was a Caymen. With a lot of rear steering we where closing the gap. The long and wide wheel base of the Mustang worked well on the local road courses. It was a learning curve on the autocross. The end of most runs always had a hick up. We struggled with clean fast finishes in the exits to finish the course. Difficult to rear steer through tight bus stops and odd lefts to rights. Difficult exits to maintain once the momentum was up. Advantages here favoured the smaller cars, like the road hugging Caymen. I’m not making excuses. I have very limited self control when the power is in my hands. Slow and easy favoured the exits with the Mustang. This concept hurt our times but not as much as killing a cone. I was never one to let off, and never did catch the Caymen’s times. Incidentally the Cayman won the series.

2021 is here. It’s already not looking promising. We are in another lockdown hampering any social events. With the Covid-19 numbers on the rise, shortages of vaccines, it doesn’t look good for 2021. Could be another late start. May not happen at all. Our spirits are up as work towards a new car for the next season. Whenever that may be.

Published by gerrythibeault

Fabrication, Restoration, Blogger, Amateur Driver

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