Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
9/19/22 12:27 a.m.

Last night I competed in the yearly night autocross event on Amelia Island with the Buccaneer SCCA. Anyone in FL or GA that likes to autocross, this club runs good events and this is a really fun one.

I don't drive my miata, since I don't want to be driving it three hours home on a Saturday night after we finish at midnight. It was my intention to drive my civic, but it's on a lift with a broken sway bar mount.

I won with the Lancer Ralliart wagon in the same event last year, but there was only one other car in H Street in 2021. This year, I was back in the wagon, up against an EP3 Civic SI and two codrivers in a Kia Forte 5. Another driver lost her key and didn't compete, and the 60 year old Spitfire wasn't going to be a contender.

We do 3 runs before dark, take a pizza break, then go back for three more runs. Scoring is done by the combination of the fastest run from each of the two heats.

The civic was on a new set of Falken RT 660s, and was 250 pounds lighter and much smaller.
 

The lancer was on a set of Firehawk Indy 500s. Check out the crayon markings on the front sidewall. I had marked the tires to check for rollover. This was at 43 psi, when I decided to stop increasing the pressure since it was obvious that I wasn't going to eliminate the rollover.

 

 

I also had to deal with the usual issues with this car: truck-like steering, power steering boost dropping out with fast transitions, tall gears with an open differential, and an automatic transmission that has a mind of it's own.

I managed to get a good handle on second place with my last daylight run.

 

 

The nighttime run was helped by the lightbar I built this week, and I was able to lock up second place. Can't wait for next year!

 

 

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
9/19/22 8:11 a.m.

My region (Central New York) used to run a night event at the go-kart track we autocrossed on. They would run a typical 8am-5pm autocross during the day, break for dinner and then come back and run an event on the same course but at night. The first year I competed with them was the last year that they did it, and I skipped the night portion for some reason. They did away with it after that year due to low attendance for the night portions, a shift away from that venue, and people just not wanting to be picking up at midnight anymore after spending the entire day there.

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
9/19/22 8:18 a.m.

In reply to NickD :

I can't imagine trying to do two full events in one day like that. No wonder they weren't well attended. 
 

The central Florida clubs (Martin Sports Car Club and CFR-SCCA) run their events straight through without breaking, we often finish by two or three at the latest. 

AMiataCalledSteve
AMiataCalledSteve Reader
9/19/22 8:48 a.m.

My local club (HSCC) runs a night series on Tuesdays throughout the season, and it wildly more popular than their day events. Actually, until yesterday, the only AutoX events I had ever attended were night events. I like them a lot - it's not as hot, I don't have to take a day from my weekend, and there's just something special about driving in the dusk in the mountains :)

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
9/19/22 8:56 a.m.

In reply to AMiataCalledSteve :

That sounds great. My wife's from Waynesville, west of Asheville on the Tennessee border. The mountain roads are fun.
 

It's so hot here that the south Florida clubs take a few months off in the summer. I wonder if they would consider nighttime events. I'm going to bring it up with my local clubs leadership, too. 

aw614
aw614 Reader
9/19/22 9:16 a.m.

FAST did one once at night at Brooksville, it as fun, and would do it again. I did have a spin out lol. Need to look for my old videos of my runs...

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
9/19/22 11:33 a.m.
aw614 said:

FAST did one once at night at Brooksville, it as fun, and would do it again. I did have a spin out lol. Need to look for my old videos of my runs...

Ah yes. FAST. I'm still in mourning for the club going inactive. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/19/22 11:43 a.m.

Cool, glad you went. I did several night autocrosses with Buccaneer Region way back in the day, and happy to see them doing again. Martin's night event last fall was fun, and I hope to make this year's. 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
9/19/22 3:59 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

This was my second with Buccaneer. I missed the Martin one, had to work. Hope to get another chance. If I choose to drive my miata, I'll have to find another way to mount the light bar. There's no steel for the magnets to hold to. The hood is aluminium, the hard top is fiberglass.

I have some Seasucker mounts for my canoe, I guess that'll be the answer for the answer.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/19/22 4:32 p.m.

I didn't add any lights for the night event, just turned on my H4 Hellas. (As usual, total minimal prep here.)

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/19/22 4:48 p.m.

Oh, if you do run Martin's fall night event, bring a sweatshirt. That was the biggest thing that many forgot. Once the sun set, it got chilly–lotta people walking around with their arms inside their shirts. 

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
9/19/22 8:27 p.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

Good point, since one of the best things is that it was right on the edge of being chilly when working course this weekend.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/20/22 10:19 a.m.

So now we just patiently wait for registration to open....

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