A Weekend Of Prototype Testing

Over the weekend we received a few prototype cameras with our software on them.  These cameras were given to the drivers here in Boston and we went off with the mission to get some fun videos and see what our limits were for the camera. I have never been to an auto cross race before but I have always wanted to. Some of my best friend have been apart of these events and haven’t had enough good things to say about them so I knew where I had to start. First order of business, find an autocross event to go to. I did some research and decided to use motorsportreg.com to help me find an event that met my needs. I decided to go to a SCCA autocross event in Ayers MA. The autocross race was at an old air-force base that seemed to have been shut down. It was the perfect setup for a race because there was really nowhere to crash if you lost control.

When I got there, I was very surprised at the vast array of vehicles that were present. One would think that autocross would cater to small, nimble vehicles, probably with a balanced torque range. The cars that I expected to see were ones such as the Honda S-2000, Mazda Miata, Subaru WRX, Mitsubishi Lancer and so on. These are all lighter vehicles with 4 cylinder engines know for how agile they are. The first vehicle that I saw when I pulled in was a Fox body mustang rocking 12’ wide tires. It looked a bit insane but you could tell this car had been stripped of all the extra fat and made to get as much traction as one can get in a fox body. The next vehicle I saw was a Z06 Corvette. For those of you who do not know what this is, it is the epitome of straight-line vehicles. It has a massive 7-liter V-8 up front providing over 500 hp to the wheels. This vehicle surely was in the wrong place. As we went down the line I saw many similar cars, ZL-1 Camaro, 2SS, 2LT, Coyote Mustangs etc. As I went further down the line I started to see many 4-cylinder cars such as the fore mentioned vehicles. Now time for some of the cars that stood out to me as top contenders. Top on this list was a beautiful 2005 Lotus Elise. This car was rocking a 2-liter, 4 cylinder engine. The top had been taken off to save some weight. This car was fairly much stock but was used as a Sunday car and track car. It had just over 10k miles on it. The runner up for top spot was a brand new Porsche GT-3. Had it been 2008 I would have told you that anyone bringing a GT-3 to a track like this was nuts but after Porsche added passive steering to the rear of this car, I think that it is over qualified for auto-cross. It was a pleasure to watch this car on the track. With all that torque, the balance, braking abilities and traction, it ate up the course and spat it back out wanting more and more. That being said, the vehicle that was most fun to watch on the track was the Z06. The reason that the Z06 was most fun to watch was because the car couldn’t go straight or keep traction for the life of it. There is nothing more exciting than watching an overpowered vehicle spin out due to too much torque. Overall, this track experience is one that I will not forget any time soon.