So the 2016 ProSolo series is nearing its end, with the final two events of the year being held within 6 hours of the house, I entered both. The Wilmington event turned out to be another disappointing one for me, not because of the location or people, but simply due to my lack of ability to drive this car lately.

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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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Today was the first event in the San Francisco Region’s slush series. I decided to head out and try to dust some of the rust off, and last night decided to build a camera mount for the car. After seeing the GoPro HD Hero2 launch video, I decided it was time to try to start getting more interesting video.

Earlier this week I attempted to do something interesting with video on my bicycle for www.bicycletips.com but the video turned out pretty bad.

For the 350z I wanted to try to get the camera up and behind the car. Not just on top of the car, but a couple feet back and above the car. So I got the building, really I didn’t build much, just assembled some parts that I had, and that I picked up from the local Ace Hardware store here in Half Moon Bay.

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Here are the photos from the American Autocross Series Round 8 from 7/3/2011. The car is of course our 2004 Nissan 350z in half prep for B Street Prepared. Unfortunately I don’t have times, but let’s see if I can recall the order of the runs.
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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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So here we are, one day after the tour and I have all 6 of my runs squared away on video. Now to get them blogged about, in order of course. Car Class: BSP Suspension Configuration Front: TrueChoice Coiliovers(bump 1 full turn, rebound 6 clicks) 650lb Springs Rear: Koni Sports (rebound 2.5 clicks) 500lb Springs on Adjustable Perchs Hotchkis Sway Bars: Front Full Stiff (Front hole of 3) Rear Medium Stiffness (Middle hole of 3) Read the full blog post for all the videos
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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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The night before an autocross, and I’m stoked for tomorrow, even if it rains (as forecasted). I got a replacement GoPro HD camera today in the mail.

For those of you who don’t know, I had a problem with my GoPro camera, which I use a LOT! I use it for autocross videos, and time lapse videos of working on the car. A few weeks ago I was working on the car doing a standard time lapse, but the camera freaked out. I came to find out that there was a bug in the camera software that would show up with time lapse mode after 10k (I think) photos were taken. It was a known bug though, and there was a firmware update for the camera to fix the bug.

So I applied the firmware update, but something during the process failed and the camera ended up “bricking” which basically means it wouldn’t work. You couldn’t power it on, you couldn’t use it, nothing, it was as useful as a brick. Since I got the camera for xmas it was still under warranty so I contacted GoPro about getting it fixed, while it took a bit of back and forth via email with their customer service reps, they provided me with an RMA number to send it in.

This was a couple of weeks ago, right before a 2 day autocross and right before we were heading out of town for vacation, so I didn’t get the camera mailed out until Tuesday of this week. On Thursday I got an email from them saying that they had a replacement camera ready to mail out, but I hadn’t included a return address. I replied with our address, and then on Friday I got an email saying it would go out. It is nice that we live about 15 miles from their headquarters because the camera showed up today via USPS.

I’m not positive that the firmware fix has been applied to this camera yet, but I’m going to leave it as is for now. I want to use it at the autocross tomorrow, so I don’t want to run the risk of bricking it again!

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How was today?


Hard to see but there is snow on them thar hills #autocrossBeyond that? Very cold and very wet. I went to Great America today for the SFRSCCA Divisional Autocross. I got there around 7am and put the Kumho tires on the car, big mistake! I was sort of drying out, the sky was almost clear, but the drive down there was rainy, and there was snow! You can’t see it very well in this picture, but yes, there was snow in the “hills” around the Bay Area.

So I installed the wheels/tires and walked the course a few times. The driver’s meeting got delayed, then the start of the event got delayed. Then the rain started back up Sad smile

Let me tell you this, Kumho V710s don’t work well when it is <40 degrees and raining. My first run I went out and it felt horrible, I turned a 66.*, I wasn’t too thrilled about that. Here’s a video of that run.

But I was too lazy to go get my street tires (freshly mounted the previous night mind you). Big mistake, I went out on my second run and decided I would take things slower, expecting to actually go around the course faster. I slowed down and ran a 69.*. That broke this camel’s back, I ran off to get my street wheels, drill, and jack so that I could swap to the Falken Azenis RT-615s.

Thankfully Grant (in a Nismo 370z) followed me over and helped me bring 2 of the tires back to my grid spot. I don’t think I would have gotten them changed in time had he not helped! Thanks for the help Grant!

The Falkens were MUCH better, not perfect, but way better than the V710s in the rain. I managed to run a 60.*, a big improvement over the first two runs, though I just wish I had put them on before my second run, or even to begin with!

Here’s a video of the third run

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