2009 Solo Nationals wrap-up - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 Old 09-16-2009, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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2009 Solo Nationals wrap-up

All in all a pretty good year. I won about everything I could have, despite some serious competition, some way to close moments thanks to drying conditions and various other things that happen in life.

I managed to come home with my 6th National Championship. 3rd in F-stock in the Shelby, and 3 in ESP in f-bodies. I won my .070, which is my second closest finish (won my .029 in 2002 and .090 in 2004). When it rains, then dries, and you run before you competition--you feel like everyone is taking pot-shots at you, and I'm sure I had 5 years cut off my life that day. The good news is had I not won, a Strano Performance setup car would have!!!!

Here are my two best runs from Nationals. East course was my 1st run and dry. West course was my 3rd run (the driest) and if you are paying attention you'll notice the front end slid away on me once.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uNkt_q_vlQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N0qfKF0DV0

I also came home with year-end championships for ProSolo. Both F-stock class champion, and as the Overall Champion for the series, something I've never managed to do (the overall). And what is widely regarded as the hardest thing to do in autocross since it takes not just speed, but speed without mistakes, and speed all year long.

Here are my two fastest run from each course on Sunday that locked up the class championship. Sorry, don't have the Challenge runs that locked up the Overall.....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eRk_TMZR7k

Some photos of the event:
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...&id=1277166766

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...1945&id=432236

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pi...1945&id=432236


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post #2 of 20 Old 09-16-2009, 04:56 PM
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Congrats, Sam! I know Casey had to be disappointed that he didn't catch you, but .070 is an amazingly close difference, especially considering the changing conditions. Winning so many times in F-Stock and ESP is an amazing accomplishment and puts you up there with the likes of John Ames and other great Mustang/Camaro drivers.

It's interesting to see Soup Daddy back in a Mustang. When I came to A&M in '92 and met Weiss while working at Texas World Speedway, he was already spanking people in a fox body. When people confuse me for Weiss, I tell them, "No, I'm the crazy Casey, he's the fast Casey. I still drive a fox body."

Again, congrats!

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post #3 of 20 Old 09-16-2009, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Ironically, that .029 I won by in 2002, was over Casey in Mark Madarash's car.... *gulp*.

I was fully expecting him to run me down given Doug got a re-run which put Casey's last run even later. In fact I think Doug ran after I made my last run. I know his re-run was for a mis-place pylon and he was due it. Sometimes that's how the cookie crumbles!

Win or lose, when Casey is around I know I have to work for it. He's a hell of a driver, as are most of the other guys hanging around at the top of the class.

And thank you.

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post #4 of 20 Old 09-16-2009, 11:49 PM
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IDK, you may have shot yourself in the foot. I mean, what are you going to do next year for an encore?

Very nice season.

Congratulations,

Rob
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post #5 of 20 Old 09-17-2009, 09:27 AM
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Fantastic, Sam. Congrats!

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ESP Build Thread: corral.net/forums/showthread.php?t=916068
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post #6 of 20 Old 09-17-2009, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
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IDK, you may have shot yourself in the foot. I mean, what are you going to do next year for an encore?

Very nice season.

Congratulations,
Thank you guys...

The "what next" thought has come up already. A friend of mine told me that the only way I can impress anyone now is to just suck.

Not sure about next year, I'll worry about that later--I have options (including the Mustang). Hope you guys enjoy the video's.

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post #7 of 20 Old 09-17-2009, 12:17 PM
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Maybe it's time to go road racing.

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post #8 of 20 Old 09-17-2009, 01:09 PM
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I'd like to see him document a nationally competitive ESP build-up on a s197 in a thread here.

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post #9 of 20 Old 09-17-2009, 01:49 PM
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Any one of those titles would be a great year in anyone's books.
Great job Sam!!

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post #10 of 20 Old 09-17-2009, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe it's time to go road racing.
While I could afford it, I won't do it. I don't have the time to keep up with a track car. I don't like being taken out by someone else's mistake. And I prefer the thought process of autox vs. driving on a track (I have done both).

The only intriguing thing about actual road-racing to me is the racing part, the competition. I can do that now without damage to cars, and really I find autox to be a more pure handling/driving exercise. Who has the most power and money does not matter so much, and it's about putting the car on the limit, right now.... Basically 3 standing start balls-out qualifying laps, and I do get the shakes after a good run.


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post #11 of 20 Old 09-17-2009, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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I'd like to see him document a nationally competitive ESP build-up on a s197 in a thread here.
On the radar as a possibility. But it has to make business sense for me, and frankly there is a odd lack of support on that front around here.

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post #12 of 20 Old 09-17-2009, 10:00 PM
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I'd like to see him document a nationally competitive ESP build-up on a s197 in a thread here.
Me too. I gave up looking for a SN95 Cobra early this year in favor of a S197 ESP project, but I couldn't pass up the '96 I stumbled upon in April. I honestly believe a well prepared S197 could challenge the f-bodies for the title. I look at it this way. The S197's have proven they can run with (ok, in some cases dominate) the f-bodies in FS. Power wise, 315-325rwhp, seems very obtainable with legal bolt ons, which should be in the ballpark of the class leaders. Now if I had S197 sitting around, I would be very curious how it would stack up against, oh let's say my multi-national ESP Z-28, but I don't have either. Then there's that encore question.... Hmmmm

Rob
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post #13 of 20 Old 09-18-2009, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
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Haven't ruled it out.... In fact I'm still contemplating it. And since I do happen to have a multi-time ESP winning F-body I guess I'd find out in short order.

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post #14 of 20 Old 09-19-2009, 11:43 AM
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Impressive. I have to ask, does the car tend toward understeer?
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post #15 of 20 Old 09-21-2009, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Um.. no. If you watch all the video's I've posted this year you will see it's very well balanced. Can push just as easily as oversteer if a mistake it made--but even then it's very mundane and easily driven (which is a big factor I put into my setups).

You can get other opinions, Dave Whitworth drove a car that's basically cloned (or was, not sure if it is now). Dave, you out there?

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post #16 of 20 Old 09-21-2009, 09:41 PM
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It just looked like a lot of steering input for a given amount of rotation, that's all
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post #17 of 20 Old 09-22-2009, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I got through rear tires much faster than fronts... The S197 has a big wheel, and slow steering. Again, there are others on this board that have my setup on the cars. Hopefully they chime in. Mike Wood just posted his car for sale, I know he's hanging around..... FWIW, his is the car SportsCar Magazine used to test a few months ago, and the understeer was nowhere in the description of the car.

And remember, the West course video... it wasn't dry out. And I had one moment on the East course, where I got into some crap (dirt/clag) and it did push, but that was all my fault because of the line I chose.

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post #18 of 20 Old 09-22-2009, 10:45 PM
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It doesn't look understeery to me at all. In fact, I would tend to think that a pushy car wouldn't respond well to big inputs.

Congrats on the season. I always try to watch the pony car classes, but I managed to completely miss FS this year.

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post #19 of 20 Old 09-23-2009, 12:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Strano View Post
Well, I got through rear tires much faster than fronts... The S197 has a big wheel, and slow steering. Again, there are others on this board that have my setup on the cars. Hopefully they chime in. Mike Wood just posted his car for sale, I know he's hanging around..... FWIW, his is the car SportsCar Magazine used to test a few months ago, and the understeer was nowhere in the description of the car.

And remember, the West course video... it wasn't dry out. And I had one moment on the East course, where I got into some crap (dirt/clag) and it did push, but that was all my fault because of the line I chose.
First off, congrats Sam on another stellar year. Backing it up, once again

As far as the cars, as we have them set up (per Strano), push isn't an issue unless you overdrive the car into that state on corner entry. We are able to run the fairly stout front bar on the middle setting without any concerns of off corner/on throttle push...which helps with inside rear tire hook with the Traction(un)Lok diff. I think the camber we are able to get up front and the stiff rear bar really help the situation and the car rotates just fine. Any imbalance we encounter due to surface grip/texture, there's enough adjustment in the Konis and tire pressures to deal with, without even messing with the fsb usually...and, the car is really easy to place on the throttle, breaking loose really progressively. Pretty user friendly, I'd say.

The only time we've fought the car, at all, was the SportsCar mag test, when the car was loose and we couldn't get it to really hook up. But, that test was done on BF Goodrich g-Force R1's, which really acted differently than the normal Hoosier we run. Heck, I went almost as fast in the 335i as I did in the Mustang...the only bright spot was at least I beat Isley in both cars

But, like Sam said, big wheel/slow steering and (I'd add) big 295 tire on an 8.5" rim all add up to really having to crank in big inputs to make things happen.

Last edited by tigerdrvr; 09-23-2009 at 12:35 AM.
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post #20 of 20 Old 09-30-2009, 09:07 PM
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You can get other opinions, Dave Whitworth drove a car that's basically cloned (or was, not sure if it is now). Dave, you out there?
Yes, I am back in the real world. We left Lincoln on the 12th and had to be in Wisconsin for the Runoffs on the 17th and I just got back from there Monday, so I have been remiss in congratulating Sam here. I kept meaning to start a thread and just never got the time.

So congrats Sam. Conditions were challenging on Wednesday but you really didn't let that bother you (or let it show) The suspense on the last few runs was something else.

Kyle's car is cloned, no reason to change anything except the drivers (and cone avoidance in my case). It doesn't push unless you blow out a corner, but as noted, the steering is slow and it takes some steering input to get it to turn. It seems that on slicker surfaces, the car can tend towards being too loose, and if you are on old tires, it can be undriveably loose.

Congrats again Sam!

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