This program is SCCA's attempt to reach out to the young drifting crowd. I like drifting and all - in dirt and snow. Looking at all the 360s and figure-8s on course, I knew this is going to be a new experience. Timing equipment was set up, so the goal is still to get around as fast as possible - is anything I know from autocross and rallycross going to apply? Drifting is a little like rallycross, perhaps?
Picture - Fortunately that question was not left solely up for me to answer - Bill showed up too in his autocross X Prepared car with R-compounds. Based on the way we set up in "grid" though, it seems as if we still don't know to think of the 240 guys with their welded differentials, detachable steering wheels, and enormous shift levers. One autocross XP car, one rallycross Subaru, and a bunch of 240s...
Picture - Another indication this is not like autocross - autocrossers bring one change of tires sometimes to change from street to racing tires. These people brought one and a half sets of extra tires.
Picture - Excuse me, they brought 3 pairs of tires - only the rear tires ever got changed, and they went through all of them in one event.
It was a fun day riding along with the friendly 240 guys and see them do all sorts of things most SCCA people don't know anything about: clutch-kicks, letting go of the steering wheel and letting it spin in your hand during a drift - the whole thing was a different experience. In the afternoon the course was altered to be less nauseating - instead of 5 360s in a row, we now had 2 figure-8s, just 2 360s, and a fun box element that resembled a decreasing radius turn (as in, decreasing down to a single point, lol.) I just drove it like an autocross course, but with the tight figures I was staying in 1st gear the whole time. Since there's going to be no clutch kicking the Subaru, I applied autocross techniques - slow in, fast out, find the fast straight lines to get in and out of the figure-8s. Hugging that cone as tight as a station wagon physically can was key to getting out of the 360 quickly. Speed is not as important as making the radius small. That is the trick to drifting around a 360 too - just watch Ken Block. For a while I had the fastest time of the day, 47.500. Then the driver with the "slowest" 240 (stock KA24 motor, no turbo) whipped together some 46 second runs - someone gave him advice to yank on the handbrake to hug that cone tight. Bill was doing well in the autocross-prepared car too - I could never match his fastest 47.39 time. But his car doesn't have a handbrake. Or power steering.
Thursday, 6th of May, 2010
Wednesday, 5th of May, 2010
Picture - All ready for Gran Turismo 5 now. Let's see if it makes it before the Playstation 4 comes out, lol. Picked up this very lightly used setup tonight - Playseat WRC with a Logitech G27 force feedback wheel and 6-speed H-pattern shifter (plus push down reverse!)
Picture - The G27 even comes with a clutch pedal. Now you can learn how to drive stick without leaving the house!
Monday, 3rd of May, 2010
Sunday, 2nd of May, 2010
Saturday, 1st of May, 2010
Picture - I skipped the luxurious Logitech diNovo and came across the Adesso 3200UB wireless keyboard - with a trackball! The ball is on the top right corner of the keyboard, and the two mouse buttons are on the top left, so it's really easy to use your input devices now even if you're standing up and holding the keyboard - both the buttons and the trackball are right at your thumb. Also at your left thumb is a scroll wheel - perfect for scrolling through websites, emails, or lists of things on the screen.
In this most recent iteration, additional buttons have been added for the Media Center Edition operating systems. The most useful ones don't require it though - volume up/down, mute, home, and email all still work on my regular XP machine. Most of the play controls work in Power DVD too.
To cut down on the footprint of the device, they crammed the arrow keys into the keyboard. This is common on laptops too, and to compare it to typing on a full sized laptop keyboard summarizes the experience quite well - complete with the initial hunting for the page up/down and home/end keys until you get used to where they are at. Once you learn it their positions make a lot of sense actually - they are all within thumb's reach when it's parked at the trackball, including backspace, which is great for browsing websites.
I'll admit to never having used a wireless keyboard before so I can't tell if this is normal: I appear to type too fast for the information to be delivered over RF, and letters get dropped if I get excited. As you can see in the picture, Sunny is not excited at all about the new toy, but this is one I have been eyeing for a while now, and it will be nice to not have to trip over USB extension cables when typing on the couch.