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Discussion Starter #81
With the antenna up top, could you really tell there was a color difference? It it looked OK wet, you may simply need to clear coat?

What is the big red button on the dash? (Or do I want to know?)
I’ll revisit the antenna soon. I actually did use clear coat, but it would have looked horrible on the car. Not necessarily because of color mismatch, just because low quality paint job. I’d like to figure out how to do it very well, so my guess is I do it 3-4 more times before getting it right enough to mount

The big red button is a gps transmitter. Basically, the gps in my iPhone transmits my position about 60 times a second with a 10m accuracy. That’s great for getting directions to a grocery store, but not great for comparing runs on a tight Autocross track. The product I use is here:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E65TNYE?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share

This is a video where I went through my racing video/ telemetry set up:

https://youtu.be/zTA8dtn4880
 

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Discussion Starter #84
Day 1 of Autocross. I saw the cones and I killed them. I killed them in the corners, I killed them in the straights and I killed them in the chicanes. I’d kill one cone, then I would come for his family and then all the cones he ever loved. My bumper is drenched in their blood.


Luckily, I got one clean run in. It was good for 6th of 12 in the novice class (I beat a corvette straight up!).

https://youtu.be/R4iYKgLtelM

There was a single bunch of cones that needed a 180 degree plus turn to get around them. It was very obvious that I have no idea how to do that correctly. Exiting that feature, I desperately wanted more power. But I’m going to wait until winter for big mods, and try to learn how to drive this year.
 

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Discussion Starter #85
Day 2: Every time I come home from one of these things, the only thing my six year old wants to know is “Did you get a trophy”. Nothing brings you down to earth faster than failing to meet the expectations of a six year old.
There were 10 cars in the novice class. Top 4 get a trophy, and get to remain successful in the eyes of their children. After the first run group, I was in first with a commanding 1.5 second lead

After the second run group, I had moved back to second.
With one car left for one final run, I was in 4th with about 0.6 seconds of margin. And on that run, the guy beat his personal best by a full 3.5 seconds, sending himself to second place and me to 5th place; a failure in the eyes of my children.
https://youtu.be/bbgnQG2ZF48

However, it was definitely a great day. For the first time I was thinking multiple elements ahead and tying them together. I’m also dialing in the tires


Looks like I should drop to about 42 PSI next time. Anyway, here is the usual reminder that these cars are incredible fun to drive hard. So get yours on a track or Autocross course ASAP. Preferably, somewhere near me.
 

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Great thread! I like the pics and vids Doug. I have been trying to get my son and my abarth to an scca autocross event here in ky, but timing with work schedule has been difficult. This info you posted is helpful because I have discussed all the same things with my son....
 

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Discussion Starter #88
i noticed you didnt shift much....
True. Usually the only shift on an Autocross course is 1-2. Of course on the pivot cone that whipped me, I should have been downshifting. I should have video up for VIR when I get to go again August 10th. I should be using 4 of 5 gears there. Thanks for the kind words, and good luck Autocrossing!
 

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Did the bumper clean up OK? That sort of damage often looks a lot worse than it is.

It took mine a couple months before odd smudges stopped showing up. They were like that, but smaller. I think they could have been from the shipping wrap, though I don't understand the long delay in showing.
 

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Discussion Starter #90
Did the bumper clean up OK? That sort of damage often looks a lot worse than it is.

It took mine a couple months before odd smudges stopped showing up. They were like that, but smaller. I think they could have been from the shipping wrap, though I don't understand the long delay in showing.
Yes, the bumper cleaned up fine. Your exactly right, it looks worse (and cooler) than it is.
 

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I'm glad there was no paint damage... but it does look cool.

For myself, I manage to cut corners too close on sharp, so had to learn to drive the Fiat like a truck... take corners wide. The tire sidewalls offer no protection for the wheels. Instead of scuffed rubber, I got scratches on the wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #92
After a few weeks of vacation, little girl transportation duties, and a steady diet of cones, I finally got some time today to clean up the (outside) of the Abarth.



I never used to be a detail geek, but I love cleaning this thing up. I need to get a dual action polisher and some touch up paint to really learn what I’m doing. However, I’m still getting lots of “help” from a 3 year old and a six year old


So I’m a little hesitant to introduce power tools to the situation.

Racing next Saturday and Sunday in Verona Virginia with the BRR-SCCA. I’m very excited
 

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Discussion Starter #94
Since I started this racing thing, every time out has been improvement or at least big learning. Today was a massive and frustrating step back during which all I learned was that I’m a stubborn, impatient, idiot.
Last time I had decided to drop my front tire pressure down to 42 psi. I honestly can’t tell if that was to low, or if it looks to low because I drove like a deranged lunatic



Regardless, I was rolling the tires way past the wear strips. Of course, I was also braking so late on every turn that it’s amazing the tires aren’t square at this point. Remember last weeks pristine car wash pics? Well this is the side skirt after 5 tire shredding runs


Yes, I’ve written the word tires in the remnants of my tires which are sprayed basically the length of the car.
When I started, I was to timid to really challenge the limits of the car. Now that I’ve learned a little something, I can exceed the limits of the car at any point (all the points) on the track. I clearly don’t know how to handle this (driving within the limits of the car). But it interests me greatly. I’ve always loved building cars, but never was particularly interested in racing. I got into it not because I was looking for a thrill, but because I bought an interesting car that should be most interesting on a small racetrack, and I wanted a meaningful way to measure the impact of the mods I have planned for it. It turns out I do like thrills also, so that’s been big lesson number 1 of my middle aged rookie season. But lesson number 2, which I didn’t appreciate the challenge of until today, is that racing is as much about going slow (within the cars limits) as it is about going fast. That whole aspect of understanding and working within the limits of the car is actually deeply appealing to the engineering nerd in me. Unfortunately, I currently suck at it. But I’ll try again tomorrow.
No video today, I can’t bear to watch.
 

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Ah, looks like you got in the marbles?

Hang in there. My friend said every time he took time off, it took a few laps to dial in. He'd been a weekend racer for 20 years, pro a couple of those. It sounds like you are having a blast. Some of those tracks have a dude who's been doing it for years. Maybe try to find one of those guys who'll ride along and give pointers?

What mods are you thinking on?
 

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Discussion Starter #96 (Edited)
Redemption day! Slow is fast. Thank goodness it was a two day event, I would have been miserable for a month if I had to wait with the taste of yesterday still in my mouth. Today was a much more straightforward course, and I could focus on driving again. I apologize for the lesser video quality, it was a very bumpy track
https://youtu.be/Sm7tMUa_J1E

Speaking of video, I sure could use some likes, my YouTube channel is looking pretty pathetic (it may well deserve to look pathetic though)

For mods, it’s all the standards, and yes, valve springs are on the list. The main priority is power, but I’d like to leave budget for coil overs and rear sway bar if possible.
 

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Hi Doug, I really enjoy this thread, and enjoy seeing the videos, it's been a really good show.

FWD cars, especially ours with such a front heavy weight distribution always want to understeer, and driven hard on a tight course especially loads up the outside front. Like you said, slow is faster, to control the amount of weight transfer, and in effect, to utilize rear to change direction quicker. One of the practice we used to was using the handbrake. There are multiple ways to use handbrakes, like showboating (and also wicked useful for tight hairpins). But we also learned to use it to give a trigger to induce a turn-in for a bit faster but tighter corners, it works on both FWD and RWD. Of course, depending on the layout and speed of the track, but there are corners that you let understeer just naturally wash off to outside in prep for the next corner, and the layout where you have to chop them, so a lot is about how to decipher the course. We also practiced lef-foot braking, not so much to slow-down the car, but to adjust weight transfer mid-corner (though left-foot braking is a controversial subject - Gilles Panizzi once said in an interview with Japanese TV show that left-foot braking is for sissies). All these, I used to practice when I was stupid kid in Japan back in the late 80s/early 90s, wanting to join the ranks of those drifting maniacs. Some of those roads there were tighter than typical autocross courses. It wasn't at all like Initial D, but it really wasn't that far off either.

Keep'em coming!
 

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Discussion Starter #99
Picture time! I love that people come out to shoot the event. So, first up, am I lifting a wheel? Stupid cone is in the way


And 2 more good ones




Thanks for the kind words everyone. Next event is at the real track, VIR, August 10. Just 4 events left before off season modding can begin.
 

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Discussion Starter #100
Not often I get to be the “big” car



Starting to do some math to plan out the off season mods (and planning what to sell to finance them).

Edit: looking at this thread in a browser, it looks right. But in Tapatalk on iOS all the pictures are blown way up. Update problem?
 
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