SCCA Race 6 - Wait, I got 3rd?!

According to the online results, I got 3rd?! I swear I hit a cone on my last lap and got a +1 (2-second penalty), but I guess it wasn’t factored into the final tally. On paper, I’ve gotten my first podium, but I don’t want to celebrate until I get a definitive 1st place. In any case, it’s Honda domination in the top 3!

SCCA Race 6 results

Racing is better with friends

Between the MR2 guys with Euler, Mike, and Josh (aka Spyderman), Matteo in his NB Miata, Paul, Christian, Bryce, and a handful more, racing amongst friends was a blast. A new face, Dustin, is planning to bring his Aristo to the next race and I can’t wait to see that thing rip.

When I first came out to the races, it was intimidating because I didn’t know anyone–but I wanted to goddamn race cars.

SCCA Race 6 results

Everyone had cool and fast cars, and I was hella nervous to put my foot down on the track with the Civic.

What if I flip over? What if I spin out? What if I money shift?

The intrusive thoughts race through your mind in a flurry because it’s something that you’ve never done before. The car that you’ve bought or built could suffer damage if you don’t drive carefully. It’s all on you. The pressure is on and everything looks complicated now. You thought you knew how to drive, but you don’t.

These are the same thoughts that I had with each lap that I’ve done and while the thoughts never faded away, my confidence overshadowed that fear. You start to think of strategies instead of worries and the longer you stick with it, the more opportunities you get to improve. And that’s the most exciting part!

After the first couple of laps and race days, you get into the groove. I made friends with those that have similar cars and eventually with more people who wanted to talk about their cars and their stories. After each race, you start to get more and more familiar with the flow of the paddock and the people in it. This is a sport, after all, and we all have the same goal in mind–go fast and don’t get hurt. When you get back to the paddock, there’s always the “shoulda, coulda, woulda” but we’re all still having a good time. People like to see good performance and it’s always exciting to see what someone else can bring or do on the track.

You can’t hide your shit-driving skills, you have to show up and be there. Your mistakes are presented front-and-center as the only driver on the track. But amidst all the competition, people want to see you improve and they want to see you get better and push harder because we’re all chasing the same silly goal. Racing is something we can do, a problem we want to solve, and at the end of the day, we’ve got some sick cars to drive back on the way home.

Learning a new skill is a marathon

Rookie walk

Beyond the days of grade school and college, how many people are really pushing themselves to do something? Learn a new skill. Read a new book. Improve their habits. Change their diet. How many people do you know are actively doing that?

People should take pride in trying new things and you should embrace that whether you’re good or bad at it. Naturally, maybe you fucking suck. And that’s all right. In time, you can certainly improve on skills; but, if you find that you’re hitting failure after failure, switch up the strategy or approach. Whether you are good at something or not, I don’t think your performance should deter you from doing things you want to do. With enough time, money, and a bit of luck, you’ll get there.

This is me gassing myself every time I’m doing terribly at a new hobby, hehe

Is the cabby racing???

Cabby with the top down

We’re rolling in with the cab on SCCA Hawaii race #7!

I distinctly remember saying “I’m just going to restore it to running condition and keep it that way.” Well, 1 year later, and here we are preparing it for SCCA, haha! How am I going to prepare the cab for racing? But with enough persuasion and YOLO thoughts, I figure I might as well race this shitbox while I have it around. Nothing’s forever and nothing’s guaranteed. With that, we have to update some components to be at least decently competitive.

  1. Improve front suspension
  2. Add an oil catch can
  3. Inspect tires

1. Improving the front suspension

Front suspension

I need a tighter front end so that I don’t go wishy-washy into a turn. Currently, the front left can rub on particular bumps and turns so I want to avoid that. This will become more important on off-camber/on-camber turns where the car might dip down just enough. This means I will be doing the following:

  • Install the upper strut brace
  • Install (attempting to…) the front sway bar, the headers will need some persuasion to give some clearance
  • Increase height on front coilovers

2. Install an oil catch can

My car will be a part of the Prepared and Modified categories, and the 2023 SCCA Rules, it calls for the installation of an oil catch can. In our case, as a low-powered, naturally aspirated car, oil blowby won’t be a big issue but we have to conform to the rules. I ordered the cheapest one that will work for me, lol. Installing a catch can is the rule because it would prevent any accidental spills from an engine puking oil out of its atmospheric vent, this was probably made for forced induction engines where blowby and crankcase pressure is higher, therefore increasing the chance of oil drips on the track.

3. Inspect tires

Yeah… the tire sidewalls aren’t the greatest. I’m just going to hope and see if they let me race LOL.

Refuse to give up

Whether you’re racing or not, everyone should be pushing towards something we can be proud of. If I can find myself saying “damn, I did that? Shiii,” I’ll keep doing that. It’s hard to figure out what you really want to do and sometimes you get bored or tired of your newest habit or idea because it’s hard to get started. The only thing that will get you through the dip in any skill is to refuse to give up.

The cabby wouldn’t be here as my first project car if I refused to give up, be honest with yourself and commit!