Sunday, January 6, 2008

First event of 2008

Yesterday I attended the first snowcross of the year organized by the MCO near Ottawa. Snowcross is basically autocross in the snow. They set up a track in the snow that can be configured many different ways. It requires a lot of hard work on the club's part to build and maintain the track and I thank them for that work.

I've been attending these events on and off since 2002 with various cars, often sharing my car with Carl Wener. We have done pretty well in the past. One of the reasons we have done well is that we have a great set of winter tires we use only for these events.

Carl was not available for the first event of 2008, but I decided to head out there anyway with the blue Civic. I borrowed the tires from Carl. They were mounted on 4x100 rims so they would be a bolt on fit for the Civic. I brought my jack and tire tools. For the first time ever, the event would be held mostly in the evening. I would have liked to hook up my Hella 500 driving lights to the Civic, but there was no time.

I arrived in Stittsville, near Ottawa, with enough time to change the tires and drop the pressures. There were more cars than I've ever seen before at one of these events. I believe there were a total of 54 entrants. The type of car varied a lot, from full on rally cars to daily drivers. There were 20 entries in my class, the FWD class. My class was mostly made up of VW's and a few Honda's. There were even more cars in the AWD class, including a bunch of Subaru's and Audi's, and even a Lancia Delta Integrale 16v.

The scoring system is simple: the times of all your runs are added up. If you stuff it into a snowbank and need to use reverse or be towed out, you are awarded your worst time plus 15 seconds. My number was drawn early in the run order and I got to run in daylight. I put in a conservative run which I think went quite well, although I did not ask for my time. On my second run, I also drove quite smoothly. I was told the run took me 89 seconds, but I had no real frame of reference.

After these two runs, they called the dinner brake and I hitched a ride into town in a rare Subaru SVX with Chris at the wheel so that I would not have to readjust my tire pressures for the street. Thanks Chris! Cool car!

The second configuration was shorter. I think I did quite well as I didn't score any DNF's. My last run was a 36.xx second run according to the scorer. Over all, I had a great time and, although I was never the fastest, I was hoping my consistency would net me a top 5 finish in the class. Indeed, I had noticed that some of the fastest guys had scored at least one DNF.

I checked the results this morning to see how I did. I was unpleasantly surprised to see that my name was nowhere to be found on the unofficial results document. So basically, I don't know how I did. It's quite frustrating! Stay tuned for my result...

Here is a cool pic of me in the Civic taken by

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