So it has been a while since I’ve had the time to get a blog post up here, so let’s get started.

After the last post, the car was almost ready for the Dixie National tour, held in Cecil Georgia, but there was some final prep to do. I took the car down to Solo Performance to corner weight and align the thing, with good results.

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This weekend I spent some quality time finally working on the 350z before the upcoming autocross season (Dixie Champ Tour is coming up quickly).

In prep for STU I want to see what kind of weight I can get out of the car, I really don’t know if this car (2003 Touring) can come anywhere close to what my first one (2003 Enthusiast, 3075lbs) weighed, or even the second one (2004 enthusiast, 3062). I have yet to get it up on the scales, but I assume going into this that the car is heaver than both of them. The power, heated, leather seats that came with the car, along with the potential extra stereo equipment, and electronics for the VDC mean the car likely weighs a good bit heaver than the previous cars.

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Earlier this week, Dave from SoloPerformance.com and I headed down to Chattanooga to pick up Project350z V3. A 2003 Nissan 350z Touring model, with 145k miles on the clock. The car was purchased from a fellow autocrosser, and is primarily prepped for SCCA’s STU class.

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Pick The WinnersFor the past few weeks we’ve been putting together this years rendition of the Solo National Championships Pick The Winners Contest. The contest unfortunately hasn’t run since 2008, due to a number of things, but for 2011 it is back, bigger and better. This year’s contest is sponsored by Sunoco Fuels and co-sponsored by Off Line Racing Gear, AeroCatch Hood Kits, Driver Element Race Equipment, Fat Cat Motorsports.

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So I finally had it with listening to my Motorola Droid (Google Music and Pandora) for my commute. Why don’t I have a stereo? Well back in February I ripped it all out. Not exactly the best choice, but hey, I was in the hear of the moment thinking I was prepping the car for a fully competitive 2011 season. That has changed, (more on that later).

A couple of weeks ago I told the subwoofer and amplifier for the car, I wasn’t interested in putting all of that weight back in anyways. So tonight after work I put the speakers back in the door (with some cutting and soldering on the OEM wiring due to not having adapters for it.

I managed to get everything back into the front of the car, including the crossovers, and the head unit. I wasn’t able to get the radio working, as it doesn’t seem to see that the Antenna is hooked up, so I’ll have to track that down. I also didn’t get the rear speakers in, simply due to time/darkness, I’ll get those later this week.

So, why am I not building the car fully for 2011? Well honestly, budget. I need to put quite a bit more money into the car, and it’s already the middle of June. Where did time go? So, without the budget to fully prep the car, I’m going to drive something else at the 2011 Solo Nationals.

I’ll be driving Dave Whitworth’s Mustang in EM at Nationals. Dave and I have been friends for 11 years now, he was my first instructor when I started autocrossing, and while I surpassed him in autocross skills long agoDevil, he’s still a friend of mine Open-mouthed smile

 

I'll fly into Lincoln, though I'm not sure when yet, and likely be there all week. I've offered to announce at the ProSolo Finale, though I haven't heard if anyone is interested in taking me up on that offer or not.

I am hoping that for 2012 I can get the 350z sorted out and ready for Nationals. Though, I really don’t like that I now live 26 hours from Nationals. Living in St. Louis and being a 5 hour drive from it (when it was in Topeka) definitely spoiled me!

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El Toro ProSolo Day 1

Chris Hammond

I just don’t have the energy to do a full writeup for the ProSolo today, and to be honest, it won’t happen Sunday, and likely not Monday either Open-mouthed smile

So what happened? Well, I’m sitting in 5th out of 8, 2nd in the Kumho class. I’m still hoping to get up to first in the K Class Smile With the contingency available that would mean a set of tires.

Jodi Fordahl is driving with me as well. She’s doing great, I have a feeling she’ll be faster than me on Sunday.

Random note: This car really needs a diff!  I am going to try to find the OS Giken guys if they are at the Pro tomorrow and talk to them a bit.

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So today I did some testing with UStream and the FM Audio Broadcast at the El Toro ProSolo. I think I managed to come up with a way to broadcast the announce stream out on the internet (audio only) using UStream.

I setup a new “Channel” for the ProSolo on Ustream, we’ll see how it works out tomorrow, but if you want, give it a listen by going to (only active during competition, and if it works)

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/prosolo

This is completely unofficial, and if it goes down it goes down, no promises that it will work!

Between the live audio and http://sololive.scca.com you might be able to feel like you are actually in El Toro being miles away! The event is supposed to start at 9am, we’ll see how things work out.

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I was pretty down today. Going into the first set of runs I had a headache that didn’t seem to want to go away and I wasn’t happy with my performance the day before. I was actually sitting there thinking, why do I do this? I really was thinking, I love seeing friends and talking to everyone, but I was pretty down on the racing part of things.

While I was announcing first heat a number of cars were DNF’ng corner 3, all the MOD cars dnf’d their first run. I thought, what is wrong with these people, why are they dnf’ng up there? Well, on my first run I found out, as I did the same damn thing. I was flying around the top of the course, looking ahead (or so I though) and all of a sudden I realized I wasn’t anywhere close to making it where I needed to be, I slammed on the brakes then decided there was no way I was going to make it so I hit the gas and drove on.

My second run started off okay, but coming in to the end I clipped a cone, I knew it, wasn’t one I should of hit, but did. So I was sitting in 8th or 9th as of that run, where I started the day in 7th.

My 3rd run I wasn’t really happy going into, I was sitting in 3rd place in ZSP (our little Z car competition with 4 drivers). I went out and did as well as I could. I put up the lowest Z time for the day and moved into first in ZSP and 6th in BSP. Had I not had issues yesterday I truly believe I could have taken 5th for the weekend (1 out of trophies) but I still would have been 4 or 5 seconds out of first.

I’ll have videos up in the next couple of days, I have some photos uploading at the moment, when they are all complete they will be found at

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chammond/sets/72157626299376321/

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I’m worn out, so this will likely not be as long as it should be, but here’s a quick summary of the day today.

First heat, they got an extra run/look at the course due to some unforeseen issues with the surface, the course got changed, and the event started over 1hr into the day. Good deal for them, not so much for those who were working. Fortunately I was just walking around talking on the mic.

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