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 Old 05-18-2011, 06:56 PM   #1
 
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Default Mr_Bill's STX (former DSP) AutoX Build - 2008 MS3

SCCA Solo II Racing
SCCA - Central Carolinas Region (Home Region)
SCCA - South Carolina Region
SCCA - Atlanta Region
Clemson Sports Car Club
Highlands Sports Car Club


2010 SCCA - Central Carolinas Region DSP Champion
2011 SCCA - Central Carolinas Region DSP Champion



pstx_71_K44A3234 by Sir Turd Ferguson, on Flickr
Updated Photo as of March 2013



Current Sponsors...



Current Engine Modifications
COBB Accessport
Mazdaspeed CAI w/ AEM Filter + Injen Pre-Filter
COBB Turbo Inlet
SURE Motorsports Recirculation Hose
StreetUnit Boost Tubes
Denso Iridium ITV22 Spark Plugs
COBB Short Throw Shifter
StreetUnit Aluminum Shifter Spacers
TRZ Dog-Bone Rear Engine Mount
cp-e Side Engine Mounts (Trans + Passenger)
Protege Garage Shifter Weight
cp-e Downpipe
Mazdaspeed CBE
Matt Damon Oil Catch Can

Current Suspension/Brake Modifications
K-Mac Camber Plates
AWR Strut Housing
Koni 8611-1256 Strut Inserts
Koni 8040 Revalved Rear Shocks
Hotchkis Rear Sway Bar (full stiff)
Custom Rear Spring Perch
800 lb. Hyperco Springs (Front & Rear)
SPC Rear Camber Arms
Stock OE Rotors
EBC YellowStuff Brake Pads


Current Wheel & Tire Set-Up
Street: 225/40R18 Michelin PE2's on 18x7.5" Enkei T-Fork Wheels
Race: 245/40R18 BFGoodrich Rival's on 18x8.5" TR Motorsport C2 Wheels

Older Photos


First SCCA AutoX in 2009


Late 2009 at a South Carolina Region event

A little history on the car...

It was bought used w/ 10k in January 2009. Car was already modified with COBB SRI and a resonator delete. I decided to go with the Speed3 since I needed something that would work as a daily driver, but also be a good weekend racer. The Mazdaspeed 3 fit the bill...and I could fit race tires and equipment in the hatch to travel around.

Since the car had a different intake it was already qualified in the D-Street Prepared class. I began racing it in mid-2009 with around 10 events completed before the end of the year. I managed to win the novice class at my first event, and it has been running in DSP from there on out. The car was not very competitive to begin with (not surprisingly), so the first mods were the COBB RSB, TRZ RMM, and TurboSmart BPV. Next I decided to upgrade the shifter with the COBB STS and spacers, while a few mods here or there (COBB TurboInlet, SU Boost Tubes) were added throughout the year. One of the biggest issues with this car was the stock suspension, and the fact that the car would pop out of 2nd gear during hard braking in events ran on rough pavement.

During the offseason I installed the BC Racing Coil-Overs with SPC Rear Camber Arms. The flexibility with front camber and lower ride height really helped with the handling. After adding the COBB AP for a tune some hp was added. I was also able to fix the 2nd gear issue with the ProtegeGarage shifter weight, and my most recent purchase was the PowerGrid front end-links to help remove pre-load on the front sway bar.

This year the car has been much more competitive, and in June I switched out the old BFG R1's for the Hoosier A6 tires. This made the car stupid fast and led me to believe this car can be nationally competitive with the right mods and driver.

The goal is to have this car run competitively some day at the Solo Nationals. The good news, a crap ton of horsepower and a fun car to work with. The bad news, front wheel drive. There aren't too many people to try to run this car nationally in DSP, so that makes it all the more interesting. I will be updating this thread with pics/results from events as I continue my journey, and also add info on modifications to the car. Hopefully this will lead to some productive discussion if anyone else is looking to do the same with their MS3.

I have put a lot of thought into what the future mods will be for this car. Below is my ideal timeline for preparing the car for national competition in late 2011 with the goal of Nationals some day in the future. Feel free to leave any comments/ideas...

Fall 2010 (finish suspension/drivetrain)
StreetUnit Side Engine Mounts
TopSpeed LCA Bushing Kit
Stiffer Springs for BC Coil-Overs
COBB Shifter Knob (gotta do something for looks every now and then?)


Winter 2010/2011 (more horsepower)
SU/ETS Top Mount Intercooler
COBB Downpipe
Mazdaspeed Cat-Back Exhaust
PTP Fuel Pump Internals
Mazdaspeed CAI
One-Step Colder Spark Plugs (necessary ???)
Pro Tune


Long-Term Improvements
Upgrade Suspension (Mazdaspeed Coil-Overs?)
Upgrade LSD


Event Results starting w/ 2010...

CCR Points #2 - Knights Stadium - Charlotte, NC

DSP: 2 / 2
PAX: 32 / 91

During the off-season I installed the BC coil-overs with adjustable camber plates. My first time out with the car was at Points #2 for the CCR region @ Knights stadium...and it poured rain. I ended up running with my street tires (BFG Supersport A/S) and just trying to keep dry.



Clemson Sports Car AutoX - Anderson, SC
March 27, 2010


The following weekend I ran a local event with the Clemson Sports Car Club (my alma mater) which uses a NASA classification system since there is normally a lower turn out for these events. With the addition of the BC coil-overs and COBB AccessPort, my car was moved up to "B" class with the STI's and 911's. I was finally able to drive in the dry with the new coil-overs and see how much better they helped with the handling of the car...



CSCC Event #1 - Anderson County Fairgrounds - Anderson, SC

Class B: 1 / 6
Raw: 7 / 64






South Carolina / Central Carolinas Points #3 - Michelin Proving Grounds - Laurens, SC
May 1, 2010


After a month off, I was back at it in early May with the South Carolina / Central Carolina Points #3 event at the Michelin Proving Grounds in Laurens, SC. There was another Mazdaspeed 3 in my class at this event, but with the cooler temperatures (lower 70's) my BFG R1's just weren't able to keep up with the Hoosier A6 tires and I was around a second slower...

CCR / SCR Points #3 - Michelin Laurens Proving Grounds - Laurens, SC

DSP: 3 / 8
PAX: 61 / 193


Central Carolinas AutoX #4 - Carolina Motorsports Park - Kershaw, SC
May 31, 2010


Over Memorial Day Weekend the CCR Points #4 event took place at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC. Basically they took half of the road course and turned it into a pretty high speed AutoX site. When I arrived it rained in the morning so I left my new street tires (Michelin PE2) on for my 2nd run group. But then throughout the morning everything dried out and I changed back to the BFG R1's right in time. The 2nd run group I was in was the only one that got to run in the dry, and the 3rd & 4th run groups were not able to run at all after severe t-storms took over the area. I was able to top the same Mazdaspeed 3 that was the previous event and pull out the class win, even if the points wouldn't count towards the year-end championship...

CCR Points #4 - Carolina Motorsports Park - Kershaw, SC

DSP: 1 / 5
PAX: 19 / 83




Central Carolinas / South Carolina Region Black Lake Shootout - Michelin Proving Grounds - Laurens, SCJune 26-27, 2010

Last weekend was the annual Central Carolina - South Carolina battle back at the Michelin Proving Grounds. To prep for this event I purchased some brand new 255/35R18 Hoosier A6 tires mounted on TR Motorsport 18x8.5" C2 wheels. I knew this would be an upgrade compared to the 245/40R18 BFG R1 on stock wheel set-up I was previously running, but I had no idea just how much this would help...

Some of the faster DSP guys in the southeast would be at this event along with the Mazdaspeed 3 I had battled with a few times earlier. The course was a fast set-up that resulted in around 60 second run times with national style obstacles. Around 200 cars made it out over the weekend and there were a lot of fast cars. The new tires were a huge addition...I was now 2-3 seconds faster than cars I was around 1 sec. behind at the last Michelin LPG event. The increase in lateral grip helped, but the biggest difference was finally being able to put all that straight-line horsepower down to the asphalt. I'm looking forward to tuning the suspension more and more around this huge increase in grip.

CCR / SCR Black Lake Battle - Michelin Laurens Proving Grounds - Laurens, SC

Day 1:
DSP: 1 / 7
PAX: 37 / 153

Day 2:
DSP: 1 / 5
PAX: 26 / 153


Highland Sports Car Club Bele Chere AutoX - Asheville, NC
Event Date - July 26, 2010


This past weekend I competed in an event organized by the Highlands Sports Car Club out of Asheville, NC to coincide with the Bele Chere Festival. This AutoX has been going on for 20+ years and is currently the only event to be ran on a public road (5-lane highway in downtown). Since Asheville is only 1.5 hours away from the house I decided to make the trip up and check everything out. The whole event was a blast, and he only downside was that the course was WAY tight and slow after a car almost ran into a building beside the road 2 years ago.

There were some fast Miata's there, and I probably hit more cones in this one event (8) than I have all year combined. Second run was clean, but I tried to really hustle the car on the last two runs to break into the 39-second range and I probably ended up driving over my head.

Highland Sports Car Club Bele Chere AutoX

DSP Finish: 1 / 1
PAX Finish: 12 / 73

Next event will be the South Carolina Region Points #5 race (August 7th) at Florence Civic Center in Florence, SC.








South Carolina Region AutoX #5 - Florence, SC
Event Date - August 7, 2010


Last weekend was the 5th event of the South Carolina AutoX Championship Series at the Florence Civic Center in Florence, SC. This would be a good chance to see how the new front sway bar endlinks (purchased through PowerGrid end links) would enhance the steering feel as any pre-load on the front sway bar would now be removed. Also, this would be my first race after replacing the thermostat that burnt up at the Bele Chere AutoX on a more-than-hot summer day...

The well-designed course resulted in a 45-second run on newly sealed asphalt which provided more than expected grip...the good news is that I won my class and placed decently in PAX...the bad news is I was only able to complete 2 of 6 runs due to spilling coolant...lots of coolant. I figured out that the cause was due to air in the lines after replacing the thermostat, but there was nothing I could really do to keep running. The downside is this was a good opportunity to see how I stack up against Jon Krolewicz's national-competitive DSP Subaru Impreza...at the end of the day I was 1/2 second behind but it would have been interesting to see how close I could get.

South Carolina Points #5
DSP Finish: 1st / 3
PAX Finish: 18th / 79

Points Update:
Central Carolinas Region: 1st / 14 (home region...running full schedule)
South Carolina Region: 3rd / 10 (running partial schedule)

My next event will probably be over labor day weekend when the Central Carolinas Region hosts it's 24 hour event in Charlotte, NC. I may also go compete with the Highlands Sports Car Club out of Asheville, NC in a night event on September 1st to shake the car down beforehand and make sure all coolant stays where it belongs.



Highland Sports Car Club Night Event #6 - Fletcher, NC
September 1, 2010


Last week I made the trip up to Asheville, NC (around a 1.25 hr drive from Simpsonville, SC) to run in one of the Highlands Sports Car Club Wednesday night events. They use the Western North Carolina Agricultral Center to host the event, and since they same lot is used for each night series event (8 throughout the year) the same course is set up. This is a nice feature as you can see if the car/driver mods are improving the car's performance. I also wanted to run this event as a shakedown to see if the coolant issues have been fixed since I used the Mazda repair manual's method for removing air from the system.

This course was faster than the Bele Chere event in Asheville, as it had a quick 2nd half of the course where I could use my horsepower advantage. Four runs were made throughout the night, and I was able to improve my times by more than a second (42.483 on first run, 41.344 on last) with only one cone contact. No coolant problems occurred, so it was nice to be able to focus on the driving. Only changes I made during the evening were to tire pressures as I was able to drop a few psi all around since this was a lower speed course. Overall the evening was a success; I was able to land a Top 10 finish and the car stayed in one piece. If any pics from the event pop up I'll be sure to add them here...

Highlands Sports Car Club Night #6 Event
DSP: 1 / 1
PAX: 8 / 73

With the solo nationals going on right now, I'll have some downtime before the fall AutoX season kicks into high gear. Before my next event (Atlanta on October 3rd) I plan on ordering/installing the following to complete my "Stage 1" suspension and drivetrain plans...

SU Side Engine Mounts
Topspeed LCA Bushings
Stiffer Springs


South Carolina Region Points #7 - BMW Plant in Greer, SC

On October 17 the South Carolina region hosted a points event at the BMW Plant in Greer, SC. This event coincided with the Eurofest car show taking place over the weekend. The plant is just a few minutes down the road so it was nice to finally have a short drive to an AutoX.

It had been a while since my last SCCA event, but the 255 Hoosier A6's still felt like cheating. It was nice having 7 cars to compete against in DSP (another MS3, two guys in a BMW 325is, a Chevy Cobalt and two drivers in a Spec Miata) and I had a nice lead going into the last run before one of the BMW 325i guys passed me up. After my third run I went into "let's try some stupid stuff out and see if it works" mode instead of trying to shave a few more tenths...in the end it came back to bite me in the ass. Oh well, lesson learned, and it was a fun day nonetheless.

South Carolina Region Points #7
DSP: 2 / 7
PAX: 19 / 153


Over Halloween weekend I made the short trip to Clemson (my alum) to take part in a Clemson Sports Car Club AutoX. It's always fun to go back and hang out with some college students for a day, plus this was their first event back on campus in a few years since the angry parking admin. guy who kicked them out was no longer with the University. The lot was small but you gotta start somewhere. I even found this video on YouTube that one of the spectators took of a run, complete with child commentary...


Clemson Sports Car Club Fall AutoX #2
Class (B): 1 / 1 (CSCC uses NASA classing for AutoX)
Overall: 4 / 49


Central Carolina Points #9 - Carowinds (Charlotte, NC)

Now that Carowinds theme park in Charlotte is closed for the season, the Central Carolinas region is able to hold their fall events on a huge parking lot beside the new Intimidator roller coaster. A few weeks ago I ran in the November event (Points #9 ) with the region on what ended up as a ~110 second course. This was by far the longest course I have ever driven on and looking ahead was a priority, but it was a blast.

Since the course was so long we would only be allowed 3 timed runs. My competition was a 2002 Lexus IS300 with 295mm wide tires that has competed in some National Tour events.

After our first run I was around 1 sec. faster than the Lexus so I knew it would be a close competition. Run number two felt faster but ended up around the same time due to a passenger, but after getting out of the car I noticed a good bit of damage to my RR tire from the roughness of the course. The Lexus picked up some good time and was now around 1.5 seconds ahead of me. Making another run would be sketchy, so I had to pack it up and try to fix it up for the next event (which happens to be in the same lot in December).







Central Carolinas Region Points #9 - Carowinds
DSP: 2 / 2
PAX: 39 / 127

It was a disappointing PAX finish as I felt the larger course would be more friendly to the power of the MS3. Good news is I'll get to try again in a few weeks. Until then I will be having a body shop perform a good fender roll (as opposed to my half-ass homemade one) and install the TopSpeed front LCA bushings I ordered a while back. I will also be raising the ride height of the car and installing stiffer rear springs (up to 330 lb/in from 240 lb/in) to help prevent this problem in the future.



Central Caroilna Points #1 0 - Carowinds

A few weeks ago I received the car back from the shop (DDMWorks in Piedmont, SC...they do great work and I plan to take my car back to them this winter) after having some work done to repair the rear fenders. They also tried to install the TopSpeed front LCA bushings that have been in my garage for a few months, but it was no luck removing the OE bushings. From doing some research it appears that you have to cut the OE bushings out instead being able to push them out. Since it was kind of sketchy they decided to hold off but I plan to finally get these installed during the offseason...worse come to worse I can always buy new OE bushings if they don't work out.

Once I got the car back to the house I installed the 170-6KG rear springs I ordered through BC Racing North America. Just from driving the car around the street you could feel that the back wanted to rotate much easier. With everything ready to go I headed back to Carowinds for the last points race for the Central Carolinas Region.

The course lay-out was awesome and really suited the higher HP cars (something you don't see with very many AutoX courses). A lot of faster cars also showed up to get some last runs in before winter set in. The weather was cold but it turned out to be a nice sunny day. During my first run I could really feel the difference in the corner rotation and the back-end of the car even tried to step out a few times...first time i have really had to counter steer this car on a regular basis.

About halfway through the first run the car topped out in 2nd gear for a few seconds. For the rest of the course the car started acting up and would not rev over ~3000 rpm in any gear. After limping home with a pretty pathetic run, I figured it was worth a shot to re-upload my customized ECU map with the COBB Accessport. It didn't take long into the 2nd run to realize this was not the problem. Since electrical was out of the picture, my next guess was mechanical. As soon as I opened the hood I was looking directly at a blown off boost tube to the TMIC. After a few choices words and an easy fix and I was good to go for the last two runs of the day...

Central Carolinas Region Points #1 0 - Carowinds
DSP: 1 / 1
PAX: 17 / 107

After the previous bad experience at Carowinds, there were a lot of positives to take away from this event...
- Finished 1st in DSP for the 2010 CCR Points
- First Top 10 in Raw time at an SCCA event (9 / 107)
- Finished 0.6 seconds behind a DSP Subaru Impreza that consistently places middle-of-the-pack at Nationals (on a ~65 sec. course)
- Highest finishing driver who hasn't competed in National Tour / ProSolo events



Clemson Sports Car Club Charity AutoX - Clemson, SC

Before packing it in for the year I made one more trip over to Clemson for the last Clemson Sports Car Club AutoX of the year. This event occurred right after Fall semester finals so it was a good chance for the students to burn off some stress by smashing a gas pedal and killing some cones. It also was a fund raiser for the local Toys-for-Tots program as instead of paying money for the entry fee unwrapped toys/gifts were accepted instead. This event also gave me a good excuse to get out of Christmas shopping for Saturday.

The club was able to get a slightly bigger lot on campus for this event, but it was still pretty small compared to some SCCA events. It actually works out pretty well though as I look at these events more of a "test and tune" than a full out competition. Two laps around a pretty simple course with a slalom, constant radius corner and offset gates can really tell you how changes affect the cars handling. Plus with 5 runs I was able to try a variety of tire pressure and damping settings. Just to make sure none of these changes were driver related, I waited until after my 2nd run (total of 4 laps around the course) to begin adjustments.


Clemson Sports Car Club AutoX #4 - Clemson, SC
Class B: 2 / 4
Raw: 9 / 47

Through tinkering with the car my fastest set-up was the last...
Air Pressures: F 43 R 44 psi
Shock Settings: F 30 R 30 (settings range from 0-30 with 30 being the stiffest)
Rear Sway Bar: Stiffest Setting (140% stiffer than stock)

Only down side to my last run was the slalom cone that I nicked, leaving me with a time of 41.775 as opposed to the 40.791 I could have had. It also put me 0.5 seconds behind first in "Class B" that was won by a Mitsubishi EVO from the Atlanta Region of SCCA. Oh well, gives me a little more motivation to keep working on the car during the winter


Off-Season Plans

Well the off-season has been a fairly hectic one while I have been chasing down parts trying to squeeze some more HP out of the MS3 for the 2011 AutoX season. Figuring out my 2011 schedule has also been a job between firming up my other schedules with ALMS and ChumpCar/Lemons, but the picture is looking much clearer now...

As for the car mods, parts have been showing up slowly but surely. To finish off the suspension I plan on doing the following this weekend...

- Replace 7KG front springs with 8KG
- Install cp-e side engine mounts
- Repaint Brake Calipers
- Adjust ride heights / corner weights

For the horsepower upgrades I'm planning on adding the following parts in the next few months...

- ETS TMIC (on order, should arrive in 1-2 weeks)
- COBB Downpipe (on order, should arrive ???)
- Mazdaspeed Cat-Back exhaust (in hand)
- cp-e Fuel Pump (waiting to receive Downpipe before placing order)
- Mazdaspeed CAI (in hand)
- Denso ITV22 plugs (in hand)

Once all these parts arrive I plan on taking the car to DDMWorks in Piedmont, SC to have the exhaust and fuel pump installed along with getting a good pro tune. While on the dyno I want to do a comparison with the CAI vs. SRI to see if there is a noticeable difference between the two. The goal is to have everything set-up and ready to go when the National Tour comes calling in May at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

As for my schedule, I still plan on running in DSP with the Central Carolinas region and making select events with other local regions when I can. Right now here are the events I plan on running through the National Tour in Atlanta...

Feb 19 CCR #1 Z-MAX Dragway, Charlotte
Mar 6 CCR #2 Knights Stadium, Charlotte
April 3 Atlanta # 2 Turner Field, Atlanta
May 1 HSCC Day # 2 Asheville, NC
May 6-8 Atlanta NT Atlanta Motor Speedway
May 30 CCR # 4 Carolina Motorsports Park, Kershaw

Originally I had the intent to run the March Dixie National Tour event in Moultrie, GA but there is just no way I will have the upgrades finished in time. Between the ALMS Sebring and Long Beach races and ChumpCar Charlotte Motor Speedway races I'll miss some fun AutoX events (two-day Black Lake shootout for one) but it is what it is. With this schedule I'll still get in one event a month and get to try out my first National Tour event. I plan on ordering new Hoosier 255/35R18 tires in time for the event as well. Odds are I will get my ass handed to me, but at least I will be able to gauge how much work is left to go.



Central Carolina Points #1 - ZMAX Dragway (Charlotte, NC)

Last weekend was perfect weather for some AutoX and it was nice to pull the car out of the garage and see how some of the new gadgets worked. For this event I was able to install the cp-e Side Engine Mounts, Mazdaspeed CAI and ETS TMIC on a custom COBB AP tune. I'm still waiting for the COBB Downpipe (should be sent this/next week) before ordering the cp-e Fuel Pump to finish everything up. Once everything is installed and tuned by DDMWorks in Piedmont, SC I hope to really feel the power benefits, because right now it's pretty obvious I am in need of a good tune to take advantage of the new TMIC.

The course layout at Z-Max was awesome and included both high and low speed sections. There were a few decreasing radius turns where I could really feel the pushpig of the FWD MS3 come out, and it's leading me to question whether the new 8KG front springs are the right answer. I plan on playing around with the 7 & 8 KG springs at the next few events to figure out the best balance. Below is some footage from my best run using a Video VBOX borrowed from work...


Central Carolinas AutoX #1 - ZMax Dragway
DSP - 1/3
PAX - 30/160

Overall I was fairly disappointed with the result as I felt the MS3 power should take more advantage of the course. I felt pretty rusty with the driving and ended up around 1.8 seconds behind a DSP-National level Subrau...these are the cars I need to start competing with to make the step up even though I plan on running the Atlanta National Tour either way. A few things I plan on trying out over the next few events include...

1. More Positive Caster
if you look in the 2nd pic below you can really see the amount of roll-over I'm getting on the LF tire even with 43 psi. This was really felt as the car pushed in slower corners on exit. I'm led to believe this is due to a lack of positive caster (currently I am set to the mfg. spec of +3*). The problem is figuring out how to add more caster with the BC coil-over camber plates.
2. Engine Tune
I feel like I have the ingredients for some more power, now I just need to put everything together and tune for optimum performance. This will be solved in late March / early April.



My next event will be in a few weeks on the March 5/6 weekend. On March 5th there will be a Clemson Sports Car Club event I may use to try out the 7KG springs again. On March 6th CCR holds it's 2nd points event of the year which I will attend for sure.


CCR / SCR Black Lake Shootout - Michelin Proving Grounds

On Day 1 I started with the 8KG front springs and Hooser A6 tires. These were my first set of the A6's that debuted at this same event last year, so they were starting to see the end of their life. My friend Mike, who will be co-driving with me at Atlanta, drove the car first in Group 2 and turned some respectable times, but the morning rain was still drying up and times were getting faster throughout the group. For Group 3 it was both myself and Mike's wife driving the car, and what little bit of life the Hoosier's had was gone by the end of the group. Each run I made felt more and more painful was the amount of understeer went up...it was like you could just feel the tire die in the middle of a slow corner. Since the times kept falling off I ended up behind both drivers of a Nissan 240sx that competes in some National Tour events as well. This same car used to blow my doors off until I made the switch to the Hoosier A6 tire last year where I won my class vs. the 240sx.



Day 2 ended up being perfect weather, and the spring change we made to the car really improved corner rotation. Even with the old BFG R1 tires I was able to cut down my deficit to the 240sx (~2 seconds behind on the first day to ~1 second behind for the second). All drivers agreed this would be the ideal set-up for Atlanta, and we also got plenty of fun-runs in for some extra seat time. Overall I still managed to finish 3/8 for both days combined for DSP, but the biggest thing was just using this as a test session for Atlanta...

CCR / SCR Black Lake Shootout - Michelin Proving Grounds

Day 1:
DSP: 3/6
PAX: 43/129

Day 2
DSP: 4/8
PAX: 85/200
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Last edited by Mr_Bill; 04-09-2014 at 04:09 PM. Reason: MSF Database - Automerged Doublepost
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 Old 05-19-2011, 10:35 AM   #2
 
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Longest thread post ever?
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 Old 05-20-2011, 06:36 PM   #3
 
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Whats your suspension settings? I must have missed that.
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 Old 05-20-2011, 08:50 PM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by driver311 View Post
Whats your suspension settings? I must have missed that.
BC Coil-Overs
7KG front spring / 6 KG rear spring rate
Compression set to "stiffest" setting when running (30 on a 0-30 scale)
Front toe = 0" Rear toe = slightly toe in
Front camber = ~-2.5 Rear camber = -1
Stock FSB
COBB RSB on stiffest setting (may look at Hotchkis RSB later this summer since it has a stiffer setting available)
Powergrid adjustable front end-links
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 Old 05-21-2011, 05:16 PM   #5
 
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What are the mods that would push u into SMF?? that's what class people are telling ke I'm gonna be in but it seems like you have very similar mods and are running in DSP. See my sig I'm confused how I'm gonna have to run SMF and your still in DSP

Thanks man good to see someone putting a lot into autocrossing this car that's sure as heck why I bought mine
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 Old 05-21-2011, 06:36 PM   #6
 
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Rules are pretty specific for scca and if a certain modification is not mentioned in the rulebook, then it's not allowed. If it doesn't say you can't take remove your mazda emblem on the hatch, then you can't.

I don't think meth is allowed even in SMF, might throw you in prepared or modified. Not sure about injector seals.

Other minor things like how much cutting did you do for the FMIC and even oil conversion kits. Don't be discouraged though. At a local level, most people are cool and won't mind minor things. If you start beating everyone pretty bad and have a carbon fiber everything or something really significant, then they might protest you.

Full set of 2011 rules are here.
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 Old 05-21-2011, 09:06 PM   #7
 
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Originally Posted by AdrenalineRush View Post
What are the mods that would push u into SMF?? that's what class people are telling ke I'm gonna be in but it seems like you have very similar mods and are running in DSP. See my sig I'm confused how I'm gonna have to run SMF and your still in DSP

Thanks man good to see someone putting a lot into autocrossing this car that's sure as heck why I bought mine

Like Saitech said the meth kit and oil conversion kits will probably bump you into SM-F. I'm not too sure on the SMF rules but even something as simple as changing out the dash out (for the dashpods) could change your class per SCCA rules.

My car was already in DSP when I bought it (due to intake and RSB) so I just ran with it for DSP. If you aren't trying to compete on a national level then I wouldn't worry too much about switching out of SM-F. If you do eventually want to run and win National SCCA events then you will probably want to look at changing your car to DSP or DS specs as I have not seen any Mazdaspeed 3's running in SM-F (and the winning cars in SM-F are usually faster than DSP and DS winning cars from what I've seen).



After the Michelin Proving Grounds AutoX I looked at some data that was logged with my COBB Accessport to look at how my engine tune was performing. From reading around I knew that running a manual boost control with the AP was questionable, and after digging through the data that's pretty much correct. Since the COBB AP tune was assuming the stock wastegate would be doing all the work (and not the manual boost control) I was seeing spikes around the 22 psi range during a typical run. Once the MBC was replaced I did some street driving for a few days and ended up switching from a Stage 1 + MSCAI2 93oct tune to a Stage 2 + MSCAI2 93oct tune to utilize the potential of the new exhaust and upgraded TMIC. With the new tune I was seeing boost spikes at 18 psi and getting good fuel trims, so I left it at that for Atlanta.



Setup for the NT event was...

New 255/35R18 Hoosier A6 tires on 18x8.5 TR Motorsport C2 wheels
BC Coil-Overs (shocks on stiffest compression setting possible)
7KG Front Springs / 6KG Rear Springs
0" Front Toe
Stage 2 + MSCAI2 93octane Engine Tune w/ COBB AP

SCCA National Tour - Atlanta Motor Speedway

For this event I had my friend Mike (a test driver who gets paid to AutoX for a living) as a co-driver along with his wife Amy running the car in DSPL. I made the trip down on Friday to get the car inspected and registered with the event running on Saturday / Sunday. There ended up being a total of six drivers in DSP for the weekend...



There were 2 drivers from Western PA in a 1993 BMW 325is (one driver finished 11/25 at the 2010 Nationals)



Another BMW (2000 BMW 328ci) with one driver from the Alabama Region



and joining the FWD club was one driver with a 1996 Nissan 200SX Se-R (finished 10th/32 at 2007 Nationals)

With a couple fast cars that have finished in the middle of the pack at Nationals, I was guessing the car would be around 1-2 seconds behind each day, but surprisingly Mike (a really good driver) was able to compete right up there with them while myself (and average driver) was around 0.5-0.7 seconds behind per day. The car handled awesome and probably was the fastest it has been since I started AutoX'ing with it. Set-up wise the car was left alone and no pressures / shocks / etc were changed on either day.

On Day 1 I ended up shaving time on each run to end up with a 40.6 fastest time, while Mike had a 39.7 that would have been good enough for 1st place but ended up clipping a cone. On his last run he made a conservative 40.3 while the BMW 325is drivers ended up with 39.8 and 40.0 respectively. Below are videos from my fastest run along with Mike's 39.7+1...



For Day 2 I had nothing to lose and went too aggressive on my first two runs of 39.9 and 39.5 while flattening a total of 4 cones (making up for my total of 0 from Day 1). My final run was clean and ended up as a 39.7 (video below...)


As for Mike his first run was clean (39.3) to temporarily move him up to 2nd place, while his second run was faster (39.0) but dirty. By the time of his last run we realized that a 38.9 or better was needed to finish in 2nd place and get one of those free Hoosier A6 tires. At the beginning he had issues getting the car from 1st-2nd gear and ended up losing some time, but still ended up with a 39.1 clean. After looking at the data we realized that he ended up losing around 0.4 seconds from that bad shift, but at least it's encouraging to know that we're on pace with some of the better DSP cars around. See photos and results below...

Atlanta National Tour - Atlanta Motor Speedway
Day 1:
Bill - 5/6 DSP
Mike - 4/6 DSP

Day 2:
Bill - 5/6 DSP
Mike - 2/6 DSP

Total:
Bill - 5/6 DSP
100 / 251 PAX
Mike - 4/6 DSP
71 / 251 PAX









Overall I would consider the whole National Tour experience a success since the car finsihed in one piece and proved that it can be competitive. The other drivers in DSP were really laid back and easy to get along with, and it was really fun running times within tenths of each other and having good competition. I found a few things out about the car that need to be improved (wider front tires, taller 2nd gear) and can go back to the drawing board to figure out the future path for this car.

Next Event:
CCR Points # 4 @ Carolina Motorsports Park - May 30th
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 Old 05-21-2011, 09:39 PM   #8
 
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Your car was STU when you bought it, you're allowed to do intake and RSB in STU.
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 Old 05-21-2011, 10:50 PM   #9
 
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Awesome thanks man yea the meth can be taken out that's no biggie at all I just don't know if I can compete in SMF and win so I'd rather start on a lower class but I guess whatever they put me in I'll do my best. Things like injector seals I wouldn't even mention cause there's no way obviously theyd ever see it. I need to figure out what class im gonna be in then thanks guys any more insight is helpful
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 Old 05-22-2011, 11:04 AM   #10
 
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Originally Posted by tigermack View Post
Your car was STU when you bought it, you're allowed to do intake and RSB in STU.
Wasn't going to ruin my street tires and already had a set of slicks ready to go for the first event, so I was in DSP.
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 Old 06-02-2011, 07:51 AM   #11
 
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Default CMP Results

Central Carolina Points #4 - Carolina Motorsports Park


On Memorial Day Monday the Central Carolinas Region held their annual Memorial Monster weekend AutoX at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC. This is one of my favorite events as they use the road course track to set-up an AutoX course, and we typically see speeds of 60+ mph for these events. This was also my first event since the Atlanta National Tour and I was looking forward to driving the car again. No changes were made to the vehicle set-up from the NT event.

My first run ended up being my fastest of the day (video below), which is both good and bad. I have focused a lot lately on being fast out of the gate instead of taking 2-3 runs to get up to speed, but on the downside is I wasn't able to improve my driving or vehicle set-up during the event. My second run was a tick faster but included a cone. After my second run I dropped the front tire pressure -2 psi and the change seemed to have a negative effect on my times. I felt faster, but the times don't lie. Luckily my first run was still good enough (by ~0.3 seconds) for 1st place in DSP over a Lexus IS300 running 295 wide slicks. This same vehicle beat me at a Carowinds event last year by close to 2 seconds. Now that I have improved my first run times there needs to be some better research/notes on my ideal tire pressures...


Central Carolinas Points #4 Results
DSP: 1/4
PAX: 29/124

Looking at the schedule I'm going to run with the Highlands Sports Car Club out of Asheville this Sunday (June 5th) for their 2nd Daytime event of the year. I'm hoping for 5-6 runs that will give me the chance to play around with tire pressures, with the plan to start at my normal 42F/46R cold and monitor the hot pressures for a few runs, followed by a few runs of bleeding down to various pressures. I'll share my notes after this weekend.
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 Old 06-02-2011, 09:16 AM   #12
 
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That was a great course despite it being narrow.
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 Old 06-02-2011, 03:33 PM   #13
 
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Is that a road course... with cones?
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 Old 06-02-2011, 06:55 PM   #14
 
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Originally Posted by tigermack View Post
Is that a road course... with cones?
Yep...every year the CCR-SCCA region holds two days of road races over Memorial Day weekend and an AutoX on the Monday afterwards. The AutoX only uses half of the road course, but it's fun getting to some higher speeds although it can get pretty slick when you're driving in the "off-line" from the road race with all the marbles. The A6's are now coated in rubber pick-up.
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 Old 06-09-2011, 08:47 AM   #15
 
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Default Highlands Sports Car Club - Day #2 AutoX

Highlands Sports Car Club Day #2 - Blue Ridge Community College

Last weekend I made the short trip to Flat Rock, NC for one of the HSCC events. The Highlands Sports Car Club is based out of Asheville, NC and I made a few of their events last year (1 night series and the Bele Chere downtown Asheville event). After the CMP event I wanted to play around with tire pressures since the grip level seemed down for a new set of Hoosier A6's. Unfortunately there were so few cars in my run group that I didn't even have time to make adjustments in-between runs; by the time I made it back to grid from my previous run it was time to get back in line. The tire grip level did seem much better after all of the pick-up from CMP was removed, so I think a lot of the sliding was due to tire pick-up / running in the marbles from the two days of track events at CMP.

Tire pressures were set to 42F/46R cold and ended up hot at...
LF = 48 RF = 47.1 LR = 49.2 RR = 48.4
Thinking back I should have bled the fronts down for my last few runs, but I didn't want to hold up the show.

The course was really short (under 30 sec.) so I couldn't use much of the HP advantage, but it was still a fun event and I made it home in time for a Sunday afternoon NASCAR nap. Car rotation felt pretty good considering there were some really tight/slow corners. I was able to log some data (but didn't have time to get the video set-up) from the GPS and COBB AP.

HSCC Day #2 Results:
Pro: 3/10 (DSP: 1/4)
Pax: 3/65

My best run ended up being ~0.5 sec from the ideal run (best segments from each run together) but I did manage to improve with each of the six runs. Some data from the COBB AP...

No Knock
STFT's = -0.16 at full throttle
LTFT's = 7.64 at full throttle
Fuel Pressure stabilizes around 1700 - 1800 psi at full throttle
Boost Peaks at 14 psi

Pretty happy with the current ECU map. I want to tinker with the LTFT's a little bit and try to up the Boost peak to 16 psi if possible. Not sure when my next event is (could be in early July depending on my American Le Mans schedule), but I plan on making a few suspension adjustments this summer and will keep this thread updated.
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 Old 07-13-2011, 09:04 PM   #16
 
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Highlands Sports Car Club Day #3 - Blue Ridge Community College

Last weekend I ran another daytime AutoX event with the Highlands Sports Car Club of Asheville, NC. This event would give me a chance to try out the new Hotchkis rear sway bar and see how it compared against the COBB RSB. Plus this event had 8 times runs (4 in the morning, 4 in the afternoon) so there were plenty of runs to try out some set-up changes.

On Friday night before the event I installed the new Hotchkis RSB. The piece looks similar to the COBB bar with the exception of thicker flanges on the ends, but it felt almost twice as heavy as the COBB RSB. The Hotchkis bar is advertised as 140% stiffer than stock while the COBB bar is advertised as being 90% stiffer on the stiffest setting for the bar. After driving with both set-ups and feeling how much heavier the Hotchkis bar is I would have to agree with these statements. On my first run I could immediately feel a difference in corner rotation and being able to get on the gas earlier. The Hotchkis bar also showed up time-wise as I made up time on a BMW M3 (only 0.1 seconds raw behind vs. 0.3 seconds behind at Day Event #2 ) and a well-prepped ST Honda Civic (0.5 seconds ahead vs. 0.1 seconds ahead at Day Event #2 ) with both events being ran on a similar 30-seconds course.

HSCC Day #3 Results:
Pro: 3/8 (DSP: 1/1)
PAX: 3/64


With the amount of timed runs I also had a chance to try a few set-up changes during the event. Below are my listed times along with any adjustments that I made in-between...

Morning Session: Cold Pressues = 42F/46R
Run 1 = 27.383 + 1
Run 2 = 26.740
Run 3 = 26.681 + 1
Hot Pressures = 47F/47R...dropped Front Pressures down to 43psi
Run 4 = 27.285 + 2
Note: dropping the front pressures really hurt the car with more understeer. Front tires visibly rolled over more with this drop.

Afternoon Session: Cold Pressures = 43F/50R
Run 5 = 26.565 + 1
Run 6 = 28.783 (driver error)
Drop Front Shock Compression Stiffness from 30 (out of 30) to 25
Run 7 = 26.660 + 2
Drop Front Shock Compression Stiffness from 25 to 20
Run 8 = 26.780
Note: Bumping up rear pressure did help with corner rotation. Car tends to push more towards understeer as the front tires heat up. Shock adjustment may have helped just a little bit...not as much help as rear pressure bump provided.


As far as the engine tune is concerned I ran with the same COBB AP map (Stage 2 93oct + MSCAI2 + TMIC) with adjusted fuel trims in an attept to "zero" out my LTFT's. The car seemed to run a bit smoother with the better fuel trims, but I am still seeing the "P2187" error code sometimes and I cannot get my boost up above 14 psi. This doesn't seem to affect the butt dyno too much, but nonetheless I'll need to search thorugh the car to see if the problem comes from a boost leak or bad O2 sensor.


Below is my upcoming schedule regarding events and any car adjustments I have planned...
July 17 CCR Points # 6 Carolina Motorsports Park (Kershaw, SC)
Install Mazda3 Front Sway Bar
August 6 SCR Points # 6 Florence, SC
Possible Pro Engine Tune ???
September 24 SCR Points # 7 Michelin Proving Grounds (Laurens, SC)
October 16 CCR Points # 8 BMW Plant (Greer, SC)
November 5 CCR Points # 9 Carowinds (Charlotte, NC)
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 Old 08-10-2011, 12:23 PM   #17
 
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Central Carolina Points #6 - Carolina Motorsports Park

In the middle of July the Central Carolinas & South Carolina regions of SCCA hosted a Subaru Shootout event at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC. This event included a track day / time trials on the south section of CMP while the north section hosted a 2-day AutoX event. I missed Day 1 of the AutoX due to a wedding in Atlanta, but after making the 4 hour drive overnight to Kershaw (all for ~4 minutes of driving???) I was able to run the car for Day 2. This would also give me a chance to see how the Hotchkis RSB handled in a higher speed setting as this course was seeing cars reach 80+ mph.

CCR Points #6 Results - CMP
DSP: 1/3
PAX: 18/127

This course was similar to the CCR Points #4 event at CMP, so I had the opportunity to tinker with tire pressures to help with the handling. I started the event with 43F/50R, but the car felt pretty unstable in the higher speed sections during my first run. With the car sliding I managed to take out a few cones with the rear of the car, but after dropping the rear down 2 psi the handling felt much better up until the last run (I was able to get my best time during the 3rd of 4 runs). As the front tires began to come up to temp you could feel the car balance push to understeer as they got hotter and hotter. To combat this I added the 2 psi back in the rear before Run #3 but didn't change anything before Run #4, and looking back this was a bad decision as this last run really felt the car push around. Since going to the Hotchkis RSB it seems like the car rotates better for turn-in and mid-corner, but the added strain on the front tires hurts the car more on corner-exit. I really think going to the softer Mazda 3 FSB will help with this issue.

As for the tire pick-up it wasn't nearly as bad as my last event at CMP since there was no track day the weekend before and the course was cleaner for this event. The rear tires still saw some pick-up while the fronts were hot enough to keep clean.

Next Event: SCR Points #6 @ Florence, SC
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 Old 08-10-2011, 12:58 PM   #18
 
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South Carolina Points #6 - Florence, SC

Just to give me more proof of my unstable addiction to driving my car, I decided to make the 2.5 hour trip to Florence, SC for SCR Event #6 in the 100+ degree heat. The reason I made this trip was to see how the Hotchkis RSB handled in a typical AutoX setting (the HSCC Day #3 event course was too small/slow, while CMP is more like a track event) while getting lots of runs in and competing against other Mazdaspeed 3's. This event included 3 runs in the morning + 3 runs in the afternoon. One cool feature of the SCR events this year is they take the Top 12 cars in PAX at the end of the day and have a "Subaru Shootout" at the end of the event. The Top 12 cars each make one run and the top 6 in PAX move on. The Top 6 then make a run and the Top 3 moves on before the Top 3 determines the "Overall Winner" of the event.

Before this event I had a few failures with the car as I changed/checked just about every hose on the intake without any results for fixing the mysterious boost leak that has plagued me since April. Ever since the April event at the Michelin Proving Grounds (when I experienced issues with the manual boost control that has since been removed) the car has not been able to build over 15psi of boost and I occasionally receive a P2187 error code. I have tried changing AP maps, swapping/checking hoses with no success so far. I don't believe this hurts the car too much for AutoX since there is still plenty of horsepower to go around, but you can feel a difference once the car reaches this 15psi limit. My next steps are to swap back to the stock BPV to see if this is the cause of my leak, and if this fails I will look at installing a new PCV valve. Before this event I also attempted to install the stock Mazda3 FSB but this failed as the exhaust hangers with the cp-e downpipe are a PITA when dropping the front subframe. I'll need to take the car somewhere with a lift to get this bar installed with ease.

Here are a few pics of all the Mazdaspeed 3's at the event...


My car in the paddock


Another DSP 2009 Speed3 GT


SMF 2008 Speed3


South Carolina Points #6 - Florence
DSP: 1/2
PAX: 7/65

During the morning runs I kept clipping a cone through a high speed section where I tried to go flat-out even though you couldn't. Then in the afternoon while other cars were slowing down due to the higher track temps I was able to pick up the pace by adding more rear pressure and trying different lines through the course. My last run picked up a half-second over my best to put me 7th overall and into the Subaru Shootout. My first run in the Shootout was only three-tenths slower than my best, and since everyone else was slowing down this was good enough to be 4th out of 12 and into the 2nd round. For my 2nd round run the front tires just finally gave out as they had been starting to cord all day, and after suffering a few turns of massive understeer I knew that some time had to be made up and hit some cones on the 2nd half of the course.

Overall this event was a success as I can still feel the benefit of the Hotchkis RSB, but there is room for improvement through a softer front bar and fixing this boost leak. I'll also need to look at flipping / getting new tires since the Hoosier's are already looking pretty toast. Due to the short lifespan of the A6, I'll probably look into getting some BFG R1's through work.

Next Event: South Carolina Points #7 @ Michelin Proving Grounds. Sept 24th.
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 Old 08-20-2011, 10:53 PM   #19
 
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Cool progress you have going on here. Im still running similar pressures to you. I run 42-43 front and 45-50 rear. Almost exact same setup as you as far as suspension. I did add the gtspec trunk cage and the car does feel pretty damn good. I have an autocross on the 28th to see the difference there, but on the back roads car feels like it has a bit more rotation but still very nuetral and never did I feel like the rear was gonna come out. Just the right about of rotation/turn it. Still thinking about running those 255/35/18s on my 18x9 wheels. Right now Im 245/35 all the way around and it does feel fucking good. But Im thinking running the 255 in front will give me just that lil more rotation that Im looking for without sacrificing anywhere else and the 255s would prob give me more corner exit grip. I bet our cars feel alot alike, cause the suspension is very similar, I just need to get some rear camber arms. Im still running like 2 degrees of rear camber. LOL
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 Old 10-18-2011, 06:48 PM   #20
 
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Originally Posted by driver311 View Post
Cool progress you have going on here. Im still running similar pressures to you. I run 42-43 front and 45-50 rear. Almost exact same setup as you as far as suspension. I did add the gtspec trunk cage and the car does feel pretty damn good. I have an autocross on the 28th to see the difference there, but on the back roads car feels like it has a bit more rotation but still very nuetral and never did I feel like the rear was gonna come out. Just the right about of rotation/turn it. Still thinking about running those 255/35/18s on my 18x9 wheels. Right now Im 245/35 all the way around and it does feel fucking good. But Im thinking running the 255 in front will give me just that lil more rotation that Im looking for without sacrificing anywhere else and the 255s would prob give me more corner exit grip. I bet our cars feel alot alike, cause the suspension is very similar, I just need to get some rear camber arms. Im still running like 2 degrees of rear camber. LOL
Yeah, seems like we have pretty similar set-ups (minus the bigger turbos for your car). There aren't too many MS3's out there that AutoX on a National level, but from what I can tell this seems like a pretty good path to go with the set-up. In the future I could see installing some more bracing for the car, but I would have to make sure the parts are legal for DSP first. Hope you get the rear camber arms at some point as taking some negative camber out of the rear could also help with corner rotation.
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 Old 10-18-2011, 07:00 PM   #21
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Which bracing are you looking to get? The front and rear tie bars, and strut bar are the only ones that is legal for SP.
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 Old 10-18-2011, 07:35 PM   #22
 
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Sorry it's been a while since the last post, but I have not given up all hope on the MS3...just been traveling a good bit for work lately. Over the last few months I have traveled to the American Le Mans events at Mosport, Road America, Laguna Seca & Road Atlanta working with the Panoz Abruzzi & Level 5 LMP2 cars.

Mosport was a pretty sweet track, but located in the middle of nowhere outside of Toronto. It was cool getting to see the Abruzzi run again. The car is definitely...different (it was the only one you could see over the wall between pit road & the track) and sounded awesome with the Corvette LS7 engine.



After Mosport I started working with the Level 5 cars at Road America. Beautiful track & area with perfect weather during the race weekend.



This would be the team's last race with the Lola chassis before switching over to the HPD ARX-01g chassis for Laguna (1 car) & Road Atlanta (2 cars). The trip to Laguna was my first time on the west coast and it was awesome getting to drive down Hwy 1 south and check out the views. Petit Le Mans was also a good experience with 53 cars on the track and being pitted right beside the factory Audi & Corvette teams. The HPD cars ran really well at both events for being built days before the Laguna Seca race.



During this time I did manage to sneak in a event during the 100+ summer heat in Florence, SC, but other than that the car has been sitting on jack stands waiting to play. I did miss some big events at the Michelin Test Track & the North Carolina State Championships in Charlotte where I think the car could have really ran well on some larger course layouts. One issue that was resolved during this downtime was the boost leak that had been hampering the car since April...which coincidentally was the same time I removed the manual boost controller. Stupidity on my part that I didn't know removing the MBC (which was installed by the car's previous owner) wasn't as simple as just re-plumbing the line it was tied into. After taking the whole intake system apart and finding an unconnected hose running out of the wastegate, I was finally able to put 2&2 together and return everything back to stock.


South Carolina / Central Carolina Points #8 - BMW Plant - Greer, SC

With the car running back at full power (a noticeable difference @ 20psi from 14) and the ALMS season over it was time to finish up the 2011 AutoX season, starting with the 8th points event of the season @ the BMW Plant in Greer, SC. This event is always held on the Sunday following the Eurofest Saturday car show/festival that takes place at the plant. To prep for this event I had the Hoosier A6's flipped to move the worn section of the tire to the inside and allow me to run these at the last few events of the year. There were no other major changes to the car although I swapped out the Mazdaspeed CAI filter for the AEM filter w/ Injen pre-filter and also installed the SURE Motorsports recirculation tube.

The course set-up was pretty short and bumpy for this event since the lot was not as ideal as the one used for last year's event at the plant. Times were in the 27-32 second range and the course had some pretty tight sections at the beginning that did not favor the MS3. The car felt really good, although the extra power made it tough to not spin up the fairly worn tires on corner exit. Starting pressures were 43F/47R and you could feel the car tighten up as the front pressures increased from run-to-run. During my first two runs I clipped some cones, but managed to make a clean 3rd run (which I didn't know was clean until after completing all my runs) for a decent enough time to win my class...






South Carolina / Central Carolina Points #8 - BMW Plant
DSP: 1 / 5
PAX: 25 / 156


The car was not the limiting factor on this day as I could tell the driver was pretty rusty from not running much during the summer. The good news is I'll be able to start working on the driver mod soon as I'll be transitioning to a test driver job at work before the end of the year. I'm looking forward to seeing what a full year of car control training can do for my AutoX times. I was also able to get some good feedback at this event as another driver had issues with his Nationally prepped DSP Subaru Impreza and took me up on the offered co-drive. This was the first time he had driven the MS3 at an AutoX and was impressed with the straight line speed of the car, which is putting down ~150 more HP than his Impreza...if only it was coming from a different axle.

Looking forward I'm working on getting the MZ3 front sway bar installed before my last event of the year in November. I think this will really help the car on corner exit. I also plan to see if I can get those TopSpeed LCA bushings installed that have been laying around in the garage. Sometime this winter I also plan on getting a custom engine tune for the car, as the COBB template maps seem to run pretty rich with my current set-up. The only major winter project involves purchasing a 2nd set of front fenders for the car that are rolled to fit some ~285 wide front tires...hopefully very similar to the same modifications that Saitech made to fit his wider front tires.

Next Event: Central Carolina Points #9 @ Carowinds - November 5th (plan to have video footage from this event)

Originally Posted by justint5387 View Post
Which bracing are you looking to get? The front and rear tie bars, and strut bar are the only ones that is legal for SP.
Not really sure...haven't put too much research into it since it's lower priority on the current mod list. From reading the rules it seemed like the SP rule was no longitudinal bracing while pure lateral bracing was allowed (like you have mentioned above). Have you/do you run any type of chassis bracing for your STU (soon to be STX) build?
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 Old 10-18-2011, 08:18 PM   #23
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I added a rear tie bar, doesn't seem to be much of a difference.
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 Old 11-08-2011, 06:50 PM   #24
 
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Central Carolina Points #9 - Carowinds - Charlotte, NC

The ninth and final points event for the 2011 Central Carolina schedule was held last weekend at the Carowinds lot in Charlotte, NC. The parking lot used there is huge (100+ second courses have been used in the past) but bumpy as hell. Last year this was the event that really led me to increase the rear spring stiffness and roll the rear fenders. The course designer for this event shortened the course to ~55 seconds and did a good job of trying to miss the majority of the rough patches.

No changes occurred since the BMW event a few weeks ago. I have started to read up and begin tuning the car with the COBB AP (major props to @Alibor for his beginner's guide to tuning), but I'm still in the early stages of this process. I'm currently running the COBB OTS Stage 2 +MSCAI2 + TMIC + TIP 93oct map with the fuel trips corrected.

For this event I ran in the first group, and this combined with some tread-less Hoosier A6's made for some pretty slick early runs. The car had a lot of wheel spin on corner exit and straight line, but this was to be expected with the used up tires. Starting pressures were 43F/48R and the car really rotated well for the first 1.5 runs. After this you could feel the understeer becoming more prevalent as the front pressures increased and the tires began to fall off even more. I bumped the rear pressures +2 psi before the 4th run (of 5 total) and this did help during the first half of the run. The bottom line is this car really needs some bigger front tires, and this will be addressed over the winter. All in all I was just happy that the car survived and everything seemed to handle pretty well. I ended up winning DSP (probably my last trophy for a really long time since I'll be getting my ass kicked in Pro class next year). Below are pictures and a video of my best run from the event (sorry for the incorrect scene, didn't have the right laptop to change things around)...





Central Carolina Points #9 - Carowinds
DSP: 1 / 4
PAX: 30 / 109

This week I'll be getting the softer Mazda 3 front sway bar installed, along with (hopefully) the TopSpeed front LCA bushings if the shop can manage to get the stock bushings out. In two weeks the Clemson Sports Car Club will be hosting an on-campus event, so this will give me a chance to evaluate the changes before packing everything up for the season.

As for the winter project plans, a new set of front fenders have already been ordered through Mazdaspeed Motorsports for modification to fit wider front tires. Next season I will begin running a 285/30R18 BFGoodrich R1 tire on the front with the 245/40R18 R1 fitment on the rear of the car. Benefits of swapping to this tire include the improved longevity, increased sidewall stiffness and major adjustment in price (getting the R1's on discount through work vs. paying full price for the Hoosier A6's). Goal is to have this work complete in time for the early 2012 National Tour events that typically take place in Moultrie & Atlanta, GA. More updates on the winter project plans will be up soon...
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 Old 11-20-2011, 05:56 PM   #25
 
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I noticed you have the TR c2's. How do you like them? I want to get a pair for just DD use because I have curb rash on my stockers .
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 Old 11-21-2011, 08:31 AM   #26
 
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Originally Posted by pwned101 View Post
I noticed you have the TR c2's. How do you like them? I want to get a pair for just DD use because I have curb rash on my stockers .

I've been pretty happy with the C2's. They are a few pounds heavier than the more expensive Enkei wheels, but for the price I can't complain. For daily drivers I wouldn't see any issues, although I would think about getting the black rims (if available) over the matted grey.
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 Old 11-24-2011, 12:15 AM   #27
 
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I ended up running those 255s the last two events of the season on the front and man what a difference. 255f 245r both new and gt spec front strut bar and rear trunk cage the car was a whole new machine. I was able to soften up the front with the strut bar and the car was coming out of corners much better. The car rotated sooooo much better than ever before and I took top 10 raw times on event and top 5 the last event. Me and others were blown away at how well the car worked. Im scared to change anything now. LOL But 285/30/18 is in my future for the front and stick with 245/35/18 rear. I gonna use my motegi 18x9s for street use and switch to konig milligram 18x9.5 for front and 18x8.5 for rear. They are the same weight as rpf1 and I already have a full set of 18x8.5 that I currently daily on. So Ill have two extra, oohhhh well.

Now I gotta worry about hiding all that tire. LOL Looks like Ill be froggering it for a while
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 Old 11-24-2011, 01:51 AM   #28
 
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What hardware are you using to make those videos? Is is a GPS laptimer and gopro?
I have a gopro but it would be nice to be able to add speed and track layout to the video.
Thanks.
And nice setup and driving. Good luck in the future as well!
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 Old 11-27-2011, 09:10 AM   #29
 
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Originally Posted by driver311 View Post
I ended up running those 255s the last two events of the season on the front and man what a difference. 255f 245r both new and gt spec front strut bar and rear trunk cage the car was a whole new machine. I was able to soften up the front with the strut bar and the car was coming out of corners much better. The car rotated sooooo much better than ever before and I took top 10 raw times on event and top 5 the last event. Me and others were blown away at how well the car worked. Im scared to change anything now. LOL But 285/30/18 is in my future for the front and stick with 245/35/18 rear. I gonna use my motegi 18x9s for street use and switch to konig milligram 18x9.5 for front and 18x8.5 for rear. They are the same weight as rpf1 and I already have a full set of 18x8.5 that I currently daily on. So Ill have two extra, oohhhh well.

Now I gotta worry about hiding all that tire. LOL Looks like Ill be froggering it for a while

Sounds like the car is coming along pretty good. Even with the 255 fronts I'm still killing the outside of the tire (running ~-2.5 front camber...the most I can get), so I think stepping up to the 285 front tire will be a huge help. I have spare fenders sitting in the garage now and plan on doing some modifying this winter so they can hold all that beef. I'll stick with a 255/245 on the rear since it seems the staggered set-up helps with corner rotation.
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 Old 11-27-2011, 09:18 AM   #30
 
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Originally Posted by mayer View Post
What hardware are you using to make those videos? Is is a GPS laptimer and gopro?
I have a gopro but it would be nice to be able to add speed and track layout to the video.
Thanks.
And nice setup and driving. Good luck in the future as well!

The system I'm using is a Video VBOX (Lite version) which is manufactured by Racelogic. We have these systems where I work, so I'm just occasionally borrowing one on weekends for recording the AutoX videos. The system ties 2 camera feeds into a 10Hz data logger, and the output screen can be customized to show different images/track maps/GPS data. It's a pretty user friendly system that makes good videos, but the downside is the cheapest version costs ~$2500 and there is no way I could afford one on my own.

Currently I'm not sure of anything where you can overlay track maps onto GoPro video footage, but if I see/find anything I'll let you know.
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 Old 12-13-2011, 04:33 PM   #31
 
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the more i read the more i have wanted to do auto-x (i am new to MSF and auto-x)
i just wanted to thank you, @Mr_Bill, for taking what i can guess was a lot of time putting this thread together and sharing all the info you have

it really gives me a good starting point and some good follow up information to go with
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 Old 12-14-2011, 07:20 AM   #32
 
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Originally Posted by 2008MS3H View Post
the more i read the more i have wanted to do auto-x (i am new to MSF and auto-x)
i just wanted to thank you, @Mr_Bill, for taking what i can guess was a lot of time putting this thread together and sharing all the info you have

it really gives me a good starting point and some good follow up information to go with
Glad that the info is helpful...not saying that my path has been the best (and I certainly would change some things if I could do it all over again) but at least it shows what has worked / what hasn't worked well in my experience. Just trying to share info since there are so few MS3's that AutoX on a Divisional/National level, and I really think the car has some potential. Even if I never end up winning anything of relevance, it's been a fun challenge and more enjoyable than just buying a "turnkey" AutoX car that is competitive without any work.
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 Old 12-14-2011, 02:13 PM   #33
 
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i totally agree @Mr_Bill
just thought i would give you a quick shout - i'll let you know if i get to any of the events you will be running next year
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 Old 12-18-2011, 05:17 PM   #34
 
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@Mr_Bill
is this the BPV you have? TurboSmart BPV Kit: MS3, MS6 & CX7
you mentioned the streetunit BPV in your original post
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 Old 12-19-2011, 11:54 AM   #35
 
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Originally Posted by 2008MS3H View Post
@Mr_Bill
is this the BPV you have? TurboSmart BPV Kit: MS3, MS6 & CX7
you mentioned the streetunit BPV in your original post

Yeah that's the one. One of the first mods I added to the car and haven't had any issues. Seemed to help with building boost quicker.
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 Old 12-25-2011, 06:57 AM   #36
 
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Originally Posted by Mr_Bill View Post
Yeah that's the one. One of the first mods I added to the car and haven't had any issues. Seemed to help with building boost quicker.
ok cool thanks - i have been looking around to get one and the turbosmart seems to be well liked - the forge is another one that has had some good reviews
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 Old 01-28-2012, 06:24 PM   #37
 
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Default Winter Project Update

Been a while since I've posted up here so I figured it was time for an update. Winter projects are ongoing and over the past few weekends I have installed the oil catch can kit (from Performance Automotive Development...the same kit from the Grassroots Motorsports project cat) and swapped out the wheel studs (installed APR #070-100-7708 ) for the wider front wheels.



The oil catch can kit install took about 2 hours with some tight fits, and I haven't really had time to see how much crap it collects since the car has been in the garage since the install. Just trying to look out for the life of this engine as I plan on keeping this car for the forseeable future, and hopefully this will help out with the buildup of oil and gas that is common with our platform. The wheel studs were also a pretty easy swap, and were probably a good idea anyways with the amount of tire changing that this car has/will see.

Tires and wheels (285/30ZR18 g-Force R1's on 18x10" Enkei RPF1 wheels) have also showed up for the wider front set-up, and I plan on getting them mounted up tomorrow and start work on the fender swap & roll for fitment. It looks like I'll need about a 15mm spacer to clear the BC front struts, so I'll use the time before the first event of 2012 (Central Carolinas Region @ Z-Max Dragway in Charlotte on Feb 18th) to get everything figured out for this set-up.


New Tires & Wheels Ready to Go...


Spare Fenders (guarded by Al Bundy himself) ready for install along with new 245/40ZR18 g-Force R1's for the rear tires


Hopefully most of this work will be completed over the next week so I can get some driving in to make sure there are no issues with the fitment. I'm hoping to make some more National Tour events this year, but after looking at the schedule it looks like I'll have to wait until Blytheville or Peru for somewhat close events to SC since I'll be in Sebring getting ready for the 12Hr race during the Dixie NT weekend. 2012 Nationals in Lincoln also look doubtful due to conflicts from this year's ALMS schedule.



I'll be running in the "Pro" class at events this year (and probably get my ass kicked), and since I won't really be running for a regional championship this will give me the opportunity to pick and choose events between Atlanta, Central Carolina and South Carolina regions that fit my schedule. I'm really looking forward to getting the car ready and see how the new tire/wheel setup works.
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 Old 01-28-2012, 07:30 PM   #38
 
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Very nice. Feb is really early for a first event. I am probably aiming for April or May.

I haven't seen my car since July. Need to get the car out of storage and start working on it. I am not entirely sure if I will stay in DSP or autox this car at all this season. Disappointing to see scca killed the pax and every other car besides the e46/e36. I didn't get any clear response from the SEB to make things even for the fwd cars. Maybe things will change later for dsp.

Keep us updated on the project!
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 Old 02-01-2012, 12:48 PM   #39
 
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Originally Posted by saitek View Post
Very nice. Feb is really early for a first event. I am probably aiming for April or May.

I haven't seen my car since July. Need to get the car out of storage and start working on it. I am not entirely sure if I will stay in DSP or autox this car at all this season. Disappointing to see scca killed the pax and every other car besides the e46/e36. I didn't get any clear response from the SEB to make things even for the fwd cars. Maybe things will change later for dsp.

Keep us updated on the project!

Hope you are able to get the MS3 out to a few events this year...I know you missed out on Nationals due to work last season. I've come to peace with the fact that this car doesn't stand a chance against the e46/e36 Bimmers...my goal for the project is just to make it to Nationals a few times and the ultimate goal would be just to trophy in DSP. I just enjoy driving this car to it's fastest potential, and it just so happens that DSP is the class that fits my desired level of modifications/speed. Once I get tired of it I'll move on to the next deal, but probably end up keeping my MS3 for street driving / the occasional AutoX.

The spare fenders were bolted on the car last weekend and I'll be going to a friends house this weekend for the rolling/modifications. @saitek, Do you have any tips/pointers from your experience on doing what is necessary to keep the 18x10" Enkei's from rubbing? Thanks.
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 Old 02-05-2012, 07:21 AM   #40
 
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Obviously the major things that will play a role in tire rubbing are overall diameter of tire, offset and spring rate.

My fender liner took a beating over time. The inside plastic piece at 9 oclock got shreaded. The big issue is rubbing on the outside tire in the middle of a turn. Watch out for the plastic liner cutting into the tire. If it's doing that, just do more trimming of the liner. Just don't worry about that liner, it will take a beating by the end of the season.

As for the fender, flare as much as possible if you don't plan on putting a sawzall to it. The more the better. The last thing you want is something cutting into your hoosier when you are 500 miles away from home at an event.
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