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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Autocrossed my MS3 for the first time over the weekend. It had been almost two years since I last autocrossed regularly. Back then, I was driving a '99 Miata in C-Stock. Quite a change going from a 2300lb RWD car with 138bhp to a 3100lb FWD car with 263bhp. While I was nothing short of rusty, I got a kick out of driving the MS3 aggressively, even if was only in a parking lot full of orange cones. I ran the car in STU because of the wider wheels I'm using; 17x8" Kosei K1-TS with 235/45-17 Kumho Ecsta MX tires. I also drove with the DSC and traction control completely off.

Pros:
-The power. Even though boost in 1st and 2nd gear are electronically limited, there was still adequate power on tap.
-The brakes. They stop the car like nobody's business.
-The chassis. Very civilized even through all the transitions.

Con:
-Turbo lag (or the perception of it): Coming out of those slow corners, it seemed like an eternity between the time I put my right foot down, and the time boost kicks in. By the time the car gets moving, I already have to brake for the next corner. Probably more to do with my driving than the car itself.
-Perceived Brake lag: It feels like there's a delayed reaction between the time I stomp on the brake pedal and time the car begins to slow down. It's unsettling.
-Torque steer, but that is a given with high-powered FWD cars.
-Engine mounts: These cars really need stiffer engine mounts if they are to be tossed around an autocross course or a road course. On my final run, the car popped out of gear ruining my chance for a better time.

All in all, I'm looking forward to improving the nut behind the steering wheel, and that Cons list may get shorter.
 

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I was working on track at corner #1 during your runs, and the other people I was working with commented on how fast your car accelerated going down the long wavy straight section.  I didn't see your times, but it seemed to me that you were pretty fast throughout most of the course. 

I'm driving the 2005 Mazda 3s hatch #401 (rally white with red numbers).  
 

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coo....another ms3 in the autox....did you see another true red mazdaspeed3 there? i didnt make this last weekend cuz im outta town....im gonna be there this weekend for a little bit.....u guys gonna be there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
[quote author=udontknowajck link=topic=71775.msg1264486#msg1264486 date=1173770453]
coo....another ms3 in the autox....did you see another true red mazdaspeed3 there? i didnt make this last weekend cuz im outta town....im gonna be there this weekend for a little bit.....u guys gonna be there?
[/quote]

No... I didn't see the Rowneys there, though I left the event early. Worked setup in the morning, ran in the first run group, and went home right after that. I should be at Golden Gate Fields this weekend, barring any unforseen circumstances.
 

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I am having a time trying to figure out the classes, but b/c of work, my brain fights with me on anything related to accronyms.

I am wanting to get involved with solo in my region, but am trying to figure out what class the MS3 will run in. I have the CAI, which I know will put me in a modified class, but plan on removing and going to stock to learn as a novice. Stock rims and rubber. I also thought i saw something mentioned about body changes. I would hate to be moved to a different class because I have no door moldings. Either way, if you could answer that for me, that would be great. If not back to the rule books.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
[quote author=Chipotle link=topic=71775.msg1265026#msg1265026 date=1173805514]
I am having a time trying to figure out the classes, but b/c of work, my brain fights with me on anything related to accronyms.

I am wanting to get involved with solo in my region, but am trying to figure out what class the MS3 will run in. I have the CAI, which I know will put me in a modified class, but plan on removing and going to stock to learn as a novice. Stock rims and rubber. I also thought i saw something mentioned about body changes. I would hate to be moved to a different class because I have no door moldings. Either way, if you could answer that for me, that would be great. If not back to the rule books.
[/quote]

Here's what I found in the rulebook regarding bodywork in Stock class.

"13.2 BODYWORK
A. Accessories, gauges, indicators, lights and other appearance,
comfort and convenience modifications which have no effect on
performance and/or handling and do not materially reduce the
weight of the car are permitted. This does not allow driver’s seat
substitutions, or the removal of “tow hooks”, a.k.a. “tie-down
loops”. Delayed shutdown devices such as the “Turbo Timer”,
which perform no function while the car is in motion, are permitted.
This does permit the installation of an additional mirror (e.g.
a “Wink”), but does not allow the removal of the original mirror.
“Grounding kits” specifically designed to support sound systems
are permitted but may serve no other purpose."

The rulebook can be found here:
http://www.scca.org/_FileLibrary/File/2007SoloRules.pdf

MS3's would be eligible (depending on mods, of course) for D-Stock, Street Touring-U, and D-Street Prepared (through a catch-all rule). Not sure what Prepared or Modified class they belong to, but I don't know of anyone who's modded their MS3's that far, yet.
 

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what club did you run with? I want to spy the results if they are posted :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
[quote author=CosmicBlueMS3 link=topic=71775.msg1265896#msg1265896 date=1173833263]
what club did you run with? I want to spy the results if they are posted :p
[/quote]

SCCA, San Francisco Region. Results aren't up yet... But let's just say I was way off pace in STU. I believe I was roughly 4 seconds off the fastest car (WRX STi).
 

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they are not gonna post ur time if u didnt work....they will let it blank...and DNW....it happened to me last time... :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
[quote author=udontknowajck link=topic=71775.msg1265994#msg1265994 date=1173836047]
they are not gonna post ur time if u didnt work....they will let it blank...and DNW....it happened to me last time... :(
[/quote]

Did you work or not? If you did, and it was a mistake, then you better contact the event chair for the event you attended. If you didn't work, then shame on you. They usually frown upon that, and sometimes they won't even let you run again if you do it more than once.

Anyway, the results for this past weekend's event are up, now. Definitely more room for improvement...
 

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damn...the vw r32 kick some ass in round 4 huh....wish i was there....i dont know i'll make it this sunday either....im going to the one in fresno instead.....they have more runs there and much better people also...
 

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[quote author=udontknowajck link=topic=71775.msg1266455#msg1266455 date=1173852298]
damn...the vw r32 kick some ass in round 4 huh....wish i was there....i dont know i'll make it this sunday either....im going to the one in fresno instead.....they have more runs there and much better people also...
[/quote]

Heheh! Thats his PAX time (indexed)... His PAX is 5 seconds faster than the Fastest actual time held by a F125 car.
 

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that r32 was fast and consistent, hard to beat that
prolly was setup really well also, its hard to beat A stock when you are in D stock :p
 

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thats why they have pax time isnt it??
 

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A prepped HS car should have been within 1.5 seconds (actual) of that DS R32's time to be near his PAX time.

It looks like AS, GS and... HS are pretty weak in that region... no offence.
 

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Sora, I'm not sure how you can make blanket statements about track times without actually having seen the track, surface conditions at the time of the runs, etc. It is very unlikely a 3s would achieve a 48 second time on that course, it doesn't have the acceleration on the long straightaways, plain and simple. A 49-50 second time is probably doable. That R32's time is wicked fast, note that it is almost as fast as the FFR cobra in OSP driven by someone who has placed 1st and 2nd at nationals events in OSP. The 1st place drivers in G-stock and A-stock are also what I would consider serious autocrossers. I think the R32's fast time is the oddity, rather than the rest of the classes being exceptionally slow.
 

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Like I said, no offence.

I wasn’t calling you or any Mazda 3's out. It just looks like you don’t have any National level contenders in those classes. There's room for improvement, that’s all.

Also my previous observation was based on all 4 events in your region this year, not just the last one. If you think that those heavily off-balance times are course (design) related then you've got to say something to your course designer(s).

That cobra driver hasn’t PAX'd above 21st this year, and I have to admit that AS isn’t horrible but they haven't done great either. I don’t think the R32's time was an oddity... the rest of his class was close behind and his overall PAX time wasn’t a leap ahead of every other class... just a few.
 

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Well I already know I'm not nationally competitive! :lol:

1.) The car setup is not maxed out for stock
2.) I'm carrying a 50lb. hidden hitch
3.) I often have a passenger during my runs (as was the case last weekend)
4.) Still learning technique

The point is, we are supposed to help each other become more competitive through collective experience with this platform. I just get frustrated sometimes because this forum seems to be awash in technical misinformation, baseless opinions, and other noise. If you want to see what I'm talking about, just go over to the suspension forum and read the post about the guy who thinks his car is broken because the rear suspension has negative camber, and read the responses. Also, how many people in the wheel forum will tell you that you can't mount 225/45/17 on the stock rims? Or claim that a particular tire is no good based on the fact that it wears out too fast?

I realize that this auto-x and track forum is more "informed", so lets help each other out so we can all get faster. One of the biggest pieces of the puzzle missing (to me at least) is tire pressure and alignment. These should be important knobs to turn in the stock class. I understand we are probably all running different tires so this may be irrelevant, but the more datapoints we can collect, the better.
 
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