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Old 03-28-2011, 01:32 AM   #51
His Dudeness, El Duderino
Duder's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Torrance, CA

So, this time last month I had my first autocrossing experience in the 242. I've done several track days at Willow Springs & Buttonwillow, and raced in LeMons at Thunderhill and Sears Point, but up until this point I'd never done autox before. It's something I'd always wanted to try and some guys at work were putting together a "challenge" (friendly competition) at a low-key SpeedVentures event at AutoClub / California Speedway in Fon-tucky. Turnout from my co-workers was really good; there were about a dozen of us there.

The 242 was not the oldest car competing. That honor went to a '69 Triumph GT6+, but the Volvo had a lot of admiring fans surprisingly! I think people had a good time watching me cope with the extreme body roll.

My notes from that day:

SpeedVentures Autocross 2/27/11, Auto Club Speedway infield parking lot, Fontana.
  • Did about 25-30 runs on the course
  • Fastest drivers were around 35-36 sec
  • I was able to go from ~48 sec initially down to 43.4 by the end of the day - about on par with Aguilar’s Triumph GT6+
  • Massive amounts of body roll but car handled fairly neutrally. Inside tire spin on moderate to heavy cornering with any throttle application.
  • Needs an LSD, even now with making only ~100hp at the crank!
  • De-powered steering was fine in terms of effort, probably due to large OE steering wheel.
  • Understeered into final 2 corners which required heavy braking.
  • Brakes felt adequate for these speeds but will need to be upgraded as the car gets faster. Going into final tightest turns, sequence was: hard braking, understeer, back on throttle, inside tire spin at corner exit, slight oversteer, wait for acceleration... hooks up, understeer again.
  • Tire pressures were around 38psi hot. These are not extremely grippy tires. Need more contact patch to use them to their fullest.
  • Tires: Hankook Ventus V4ES H105, 205/55R16 94V XL. Treadwear: 420, Traction: A, Temperature: A, "ultra high performance all season tire" (they were cheeeap)

The most fun aspects of driving the Volvo were the extreme body roll and the ability to steer with the throttle, since the inside wheelspin caused by the open diff led to slight and controllable oversteer.

On to the choice pics...

There was quite the variety of cars in our group of co-workers.

photo by Kyle Snyder

photo by Kyle Snyder

Some of our motley crew of engi-nerds. Those handsome devils.

photo by Kyle Snyder

On track, with my friend Kyle riding shotgun. He said he had more fun in my car than in either of the two S2000s, because of the hilariously excessive amounts of roll.

photo by

photo by

Closeups of the beast

photo by

photo by

End of the day.

My awesome t-bricks approved GoPro mount, featuring everyone's favorite adjustable fasteners:

I might upload one of the vids, but for some reason the quality is super low. The GoPro is non-HD and it didn't like the extreme contrast of a dark interior and low sunlight angle.

And finally, drumroll please. The list of quickest times from our group:

36.197: Jim (early S2000 on wide "street" tires - Hankook RS3)
38.205: Vince (2004 STI)
38.2: Scott (Porsche Boxster S)
38.802: Khiem (late S2000)
39.327 Andrew (S195 Saleen Mustang)
39.4: Kyle (late S2000)
39.4: Willi (NA Miata)
40.1: Jon (?)
40.623: Damon (350Z)
43.241: Scott (Triumph GT6+)
43.49: Chris (Volvo 242)
45.0: Damon's wife (Smart car)

Fun was had by all. Hey, at least I wasn't slower than a girl in a Smart!!!
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