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Thread: 2017 Crows Landing Champ Tour Recap

  1. #1

    2017 Crows Landing Champ Tour Recap

    TL DR

    managed to take home last trophy spot 5th.
    lots of 3rd gear, lots of 2nd gear limiter
    massive grip
    55-60mph 90 degree turns
    3rd gear slaloms
    huge facility
    car setup required here is different
    driving style required here is different, requires a lot of guts, careful planning.
    the best autox course i've been to. wish i could run here all year long
    average speed was 86-90km/hr for a 1.6km course in an STR car.
    corners here are faster than the fast straights at pitt meadows
    3rd chicago box entry and exit.. think about it
    if you can run here, do it, you will learn a massive amount. i havent learnt this much in such a short time ever.


    All videos , i missed turning on the camera for a few
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...GW7BiBnzpZ3oie



    What losing a car at 90km/hr looks like



    Crows Landing 2017 Champ Tour.


    After 2016 Nationals, Dean and I chatted and we thought we needed more experience and testing on concrete. We hatched a plan to attend Crows literally a week after 2016 Nats ended.


    Fast forwards 7 months, some major car changes, 1 set of re71 , 1 set of bfg rival 1.5's, and a new born baby later.

    Note: I haven't driven Dean's car in the dry since September of 2016. I drove one event in the wet with old tires a messed up alignment. So this was my first taste of the car with upgraded lsd, damping changes, and wheel offset changes.


    Day 1


    Dean tows down on Weds and arrives Friday morning April 28th.
    I fly down Friday morning April 28th.


    Get on site at 1245pm, have a bowl of cup noodle. I notice its stupid windy, like you can lean into the wind and not fall over kind of windy.


    Test and Tune


    3 laps on RE71
    3 laps on Rivals


    We both come to the same conclusions, in minimal laps, but we decide to run the RE71 anyways to validate some of our findings.


    Crows is very laid back, and i'd say not quite as organized as packwood. Stuff falls behind and less serious about the running of the event was the impression i got.


    Walk course, its huge, massive. 1.6km long plus wind, dust , sun, sand blowing into your eyes. Exhausting. Its a huge course, big open, all concrete. We anticipate third, but arent quite sure about the different up down shift points.


    Day 2


    I'm the 4th car on course... i guess i look like a street cleaner.


    Run 1. 69.708
    Try the first section all in second.
    Then 3rd on the way out of the second u turn, then downshift to 2 across the center.
    then 3rd to the finish


    what a mess terrible first run, grip levels are wow


    Run 2 67.577
    Try the first section in 3rd, down shift to 2, before entering the right hander
    then 3rd on the way out of the second u turn
    then 3rd to the finish


    what a mess, just getting roasted, we're 2+ seconds off the pace
    we soften up the rear damping kuz the car is loose.. really loose.


    Run 3 67.474
    Try the first section in 3rd, enter the right hander, downshfit to 2 before the slalom, i should have stayed 3rd
    then 3rd on the way out of the second u turn, i should have stayed second
    then 3rd to the finish, i should have stayed second


    what a mess, massively off the pace


    Yom: 65.859
    Bauer: 64.637


    some conclusions.
    crows vs nats, crows has more grip, grips up the front, makes the rear very unstable.
    not knowing concrete and the surface is a huge disadvantage
    driving style is different here, just send her in with a crap ton of speed, not the slow in slow out stuff we do here
    not knowing how to use third, it requires some thinking and planning
    the re71 are not so forgiving at high speed


    so we're way off the pace, im 6th and dean 8th.
    3rd is not catchable, so we decide to test the bfgs.
    add in some front bar, take out some rear damping, and slap on the bfgs.
    walk course and call it a night




    Day 3


    Run 1 67.474
    having walked course and noticing the enormous amount of dirt, sand, crap on the driving line i drive quite hesitantly the first lap.
    Try third through the eyebrows and third across the cbox.
    Not a great time, but a better start.
    Ironically matched my time from yesterday to a thousandth.
    Gave my tire impressions to dean, which validated what we spoke we felt in the short tight test n tune course.


    Run 2 65.254
    Way better lap feel a ton better.
    Attack, use second through the eyebrows, 3rd was the right choice, lost a bunch of time there
    Bumped myself up to 5th. 4th is 3 tenths out.


    Run 3 65.428(1)
    Decide to push harder this lap.
    im 4 tenths up approaching the 90 degree left hander, i lose it at 90km/hr.
    get sideways... everything goes slow motion i correct and somehow save the car hit a cone in the cbox.
    finish my lap.
    i figure without the mistake i would have run a 64.5-64.8.


    I managed to take home the last trophy position, nothing to write home about though, we should have been in the mix with Yom and Bauer.


    So in two days and 6 laps each we went from 2.8 off Bauer, and 1.7 off yom to potentially 0.4 off Bauer and 0.1 off Yom. The experience was invaluable.. to be able to drive these speeds. Its impacted how i think about course, how i drive, how i plan to attack a course, and how to setup a car.


    The amount of learning here is incredible. Attend crows if you can, i highly recommend it.
    You dont get to experience this anywhere else really, maybe el toro.
    You will be a better driver for it.
    Last edited by gtirnick; May 2, 2017 at 11:47.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Re: 2017 Crows Landing Champ Tour Recap

    Great writeup Nick. Reading between the lines a little bit BFG > Bridgestone?

    Any idea why Ron smoked the field by so much? Course play to the ND's strengths with lots of transitions or....?

  3. #3

    Re: 2017 Crows Landing Champ Tour Recap

    Regarding Tires, i think its a bit of a wash between the two.

    Setup, camber challenge, driving style, and surface all play a role.

    Camber Challenged or Understeering type cars will prefer the re71 front with the more lively rear rotation to get the nose in

    If you have a car thats very nervous in the rear, the bfg is a lot more forgiving. It is not a silver bullet, but i think higher power rwd cars or nervous rear cars will like the bfg.

    i'd say the re71 has better longitudinal traction and crisper turn in and you can feel how much slip the rear tires have. The re71 wont let u hang the ass out, so better for people with good right foot control and precision.
    bfg has better lateral traction and more vague feel, although not completely numb, you can't really tell how much slip is happening in the rear. the bfg will hang the ass out more, but sorta hold.

    Deans car is quite nervous so that bfg gives it a bit of operating window, i personally quite liked the bfg, but i guess its not for everyone like fwd/awd, low power rwd/open diff, camber challenged/pushy rwd at least imo. I didnt have any warmup issues, but this is ultra grippy concrete with 20degree ambient california.

    Ron's win was a combination of great driving, course design, and car setup.
    He admits he has a very easy to drive setup that is very stable, plus he drove amazing. The s2k is a lot more nervous with 220-240whp on tap at the top end of the power band trying to complete transitions, sweeps vs the miata with 155-165 whp.

    On top of that the course was full of transitions at speed and parts of the course where the s2k was out of its power band when shifting into 3rd and dropping speeds for elements. The miata was right back into its torque band for those things. plus i think being 450lbs lighter is a big advantage for these fast sweepers/elements. As much as i love the s2k, i think the ND is the future once they start unlocking some more top end power. they have as much peak torque as an s2000 while also being earlier, flatter and wider, have as much tire, weigh 450lbs less, narrower and shorter, and a more driver friendly rear suspension geometry... can't fight physics.

  4. #4
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    Re: 2017 Crows Landing Champ Tour Recap

    Thanks for sharing Nick! Way to go in gathering things together for Day 2!
    Zach Wong

    VCMC Member since: too old to remember when...

    CM - Ford Swift DB-1 (NA94)
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  5. #5

  6. #6
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    Re: 2017 Crows Landing Champ Tour Recap

    I'm not surprised that at least one car ended up in the weeds. There wasn't a ton of room to the edges of the runway and speeds were high. John must have had fun with the speed!

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