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Brake Dancing on Ice - The Full Monty of Steamboat
Well, the Chicago contingent is back from CO, a wild and wooly adventure as
always. Lots of interesting happenings, most of them good, all remembered
with smiles. Report follows.
Ben Howell showed up Tues last with a TAP tweeked 91 200tq for CO delivery,
just in time to help me put the final touches on a 88 5ktq (head, 2 pc man,
modded turbo...). Wednesday, fellow lister and last minute ice school newbie,
Bob Dupree (87 5ktq with suspension and Graydon exhaust), took a run to Tire
Rack for some ordinance (pirelli Winter Performance S). Another friend, RB,
from OH, came up late Wed nite to claim his 88 tq (Blizzax), and drive with us
to Da 'Boat. A quick ck for leaks on the 88 and we were on our way at about
The drive out was mucho better with 3 cars and 4 drivers, than my usual solo
trip. We had perfect weather, and enjoyed comparing 10v vs 20vt performance.
Tires? Well, RB indicated that the Blizzax on dry were not fun, Bob
indicating that the Pirellis were equal or better than his goodyear eagles in
the dry. The TAP 20vt was the fastest of the group, anything above 4500rpm
that machine walked away from the 10vt. We ate well too, a couple of stops at
Ben and my favorite gourmandos, kept the bellies happy.
We arrived late Thursday in Denver. Friday was prep day, RB decided he needed
a 3in Exh on the 88, Bob Dupree looking to correct the alignment on his 87.
That proved to be an understatement. He ended up being in the pit with the
mechanic, and chasing parts all afternoon. He got to the Steamboat caravan a
little late, but we all had a great time chatting up mods and checking out
cars. Time for the climb.
Up the hill we went, this year at a more reasonable pace than last ('cept
Chad, "scouting" the forward perimeter:). A couple of stops for heat related
problems, but uneventful, and no tickets. The lack of snow compared to the
last couple years was very evident, looked to be about 3 feet (vs 10ft plus of
the last 3yrs) . The new Ramada turned out to be a great meeting place, and
Fat Tire Ale on tap is always a plus.
Saturday, most skiied, while the newbies went thru the Driving School. I took
a pass on the rock skiing, in deference to getting the 88's fluids changed and
some electricals fixed. Made the decision late Sat to enter the premiere of
the new SCCA RallyCross Event that night with RB's 88 tq. Glad I did it.
8 turns, 1mile 150,000 gals of frozen water applied. Clockwise run = turn 1
and 2 equal a 90 right, turn 3 is a 180 off camber, turn 4 is a kink left,
turn 5 is a flat 180 turn 6 is off camber 90 right, turn 7 is a off camber
left uphill to turn 8 which is a long sweeping downhill 180 to a long
There were 40 cars registered for this first SCCA RallyCross (RallyCross is a
new Autocross series that will be timed runs on "non-tarmac" surfaces). A
bunch of awd, 10 or so fwd, and no rwd registered. Times were from upper 78
sec to 103 sec for the slower machines. A good time was 85, only 3 beat 80
average. I drove the 88tq of RB, first run was 81.5, second run was 82.1,
third run was 78.08. Since I was in novice class (no runs on track in last
30days), I had to wait for the experienced group to run to see if the time
held. It did. The last bonzai run of David Leach in his Eclipse Turbo turned
a 78.248 with a spectacular spoiler eater bank lodge at the end (his son,
btw, was only 2/10ths behind him). So the quattro held the FTD, the trophy a
camaro, and a free lift ticket for the win. Quattros stand proud this year.
SCCA RallyCross Steamboat CO January 31, 1998
CCW runs, 3/4 track. Started mid straight, end mid turn 2
(These are unofficial results)
3 runs, best combined of 2 - Class Win
Fastest Single Lap - FTD
Group 1 Novice
1. Audi 5000 tq - Justusson 1:59.818
2. Mitsu Galant Vr4
Group 2 Experienced
1. Mitsu Eclipse AWD - Leach, Sr 1:57.228
2. Mitsu Eclipse AWD - Leach, Jr.
Justusson - AUDI - 78.078 CLASS/OVERALL
Leach, Sr - MITSU - 78.248 CLASS
Sunday was a beautiful day, the excitement high, as the Quattro Club held it's
open track day. This is the most q's I've seen in the 4years I've been going,
lots of 200tq's, only a couple Urq's, and a bunch of 5ktq's and 4kq's rounding
out the group. The morning was spent with the exercises in owner cars, the
afternoon was open lapping. Ben Howell's gal Valerie was my greatest
instructing challenge, she did the best job of lodging the 200tq in the snow
for the day. One of the lodges was actually dragging the truck off the track,
good ole' lift and push was the only way out. She improved greatly by the end
of the day however, and was smiling the whole time.
Stott and Chris brought up a 4kq with a for sale sticker on it (... by owner,
driven only on weekends), and slid around the track with the same reckless
abandon that got them the Mad Max team label last year. They even managed to
push in some door panels, and get the front lodged in the bank a couple of
times. Some parts dropped recognizable, others not. Bob Dupree did very
well, and was really pushing his car fast for a first timer. RB, managed to
get the 88tq up to a precarious 45degree angle on the out of 1-2, but 4 tires
came down onto the track in spite of the show. Too bad Chris Tucker (co-
driving) didn't have the movie camera, this would have been keeper footage. I
gave rides every chance I could, the most memorable being a Porsche racer and
his buddy. Sitting in Bob Duprees car at stage, he pulled a pix out of the
911 on tarmac. Decided to hotdog a couple laps, and his rolling commentary of
us sliding towards the banks was pretty funny. His grip on the door got as
intense as the change in voice.
Dave Lawson looked to have his hands full with the 200tq wagon in my run
group. I took Steve Eiche for a ride, and we were just gaining on Dave when I
took a rut line on turn 8. After 90 degrees, my technique is to ram the snow
bank shift to first and take the 180 catch. We did this at about 30 mph, and
caught up to Dave by turn 3 of the same lap. The differential lock technique
per my yearly posts were about the same this year, but the track got so slick
by late Sunday, that only on the two slow 180's (turns 3 & 5) did I run
ulocked rear. The center was always locked, btw. Hence, no ABS either.
Comparing the Blizzacks. RB's car and Rob Duprees car were very close in the
mods department: Both with stage II boxes, 3in exh, suspensions etc... RB
had Blizzacks (BX), Bob Dupree Pirelli Winter S (PWS). What I found was that
the BX had traction on the ice, no problem. But, on boost in the slick, they
proved not as good as the PWS. My thinking is that as the boost spools up the
BX "cells" pick up water and turn the tire into a slick. The PWS found the
same traction on mild boost, and more than the BX as the boost increased.
Turn in on the PWS was miles above the BX, and mucho more chassis control than
the BX as well. Given the conditions we were running in, I give the HP, speed
and control ability to the PWS, accepting BX for sheer ice and off boost
traction. My caveat is this: Speed in these conditions is relative to where
you find traction other than ice, for either tire. I did not change the line
or driving style with either tire, and found both tires to do the "job" well,
the BX ice traction did not become a gain for the objective. Given the sub 20
degree weather at the SCCA event, my opinion is that I would have been faster
on the PWS than the BX, I'll take chassis control over ice traction anytime.
I did get to drive the cars back to back on Sunday, and the advantage was
still with the PWS.
We lost the alternator on the 88tq Sunday night. Had it towed to Boulder, and
we all piled in Bob Duprees car. Got to Boulder rather late, called it a
night. Monday proved to be a very exciting day for some of the lucky ones.
The Beast is now the sister ship to the owner of PDQSHIP (2 sets of coil
overs, and 2 RS2 turbos, amongst other trick toys, that's being spoiled) .
Carl Jerritts is driving a very stealth (unlike before) Dinan 535. The Beast
is now an official Midwest owned rocket, so those of you who only heard of it
here, will certainly get a better view of the tailites. I went with Carl on
Monday to check out the Dinan, and must say, heretically of course, he picked
up a finely tuned replacement. Mike Spiers will be back with a quattro again
(he's buying the '88tq), and Stapleton in May will prove to be a not to be
Thanks abound again to all for a great adventure. Ben, for making a boring
drive less so, I'll never look at a grape again without laughing. Bob Dupree,
one look on his face, and you just know the addiction. Deb and Bob P, as
usual a flawless and fun event. Dave L, Alex, Ned (always great show and
tell), Marnie, Chris, Chad (hey what happened, you were right behind us on the
first lap?), great catching up with old buds again. Chris Tucker, nice
machine (83 urq looking really good), looking forward to the stills. Chris
and Stott, you're both wacky, and we all enjoy that company. Bruce and Jason,
looking forward to the progression of toys, Jason, great job on the track.
Val, the "I'll Steer award" for allowing my very first digression of steering
from the right seat. RB and Bob Dupree, appreciate the sharing of the rides,
I enjoyed dancing with your respective quattros. Carl and Ben for the local
hospitality and pulling of favours at the shops we invaded. Scotty Davis, for
NOT bringing the 20vt Urq :). Steve and Nicky, good to see those friendly
All in all a great adventure once again. Hope to see more of you there next
year, but a great q turn out. More technical posts to follow on the difflox
and tires for those interested.