Rallycrossing the iX

Monday, October 25, 2010 at 19:35
Now that summer autocross season is over and the Miata is in storage for the winter, I thought I'd have a go at rallycross racing. It's similar to autocross in that it's timed racing on a closed course, but it's done off-road and the scoring is a bit different. Rather than counting your fastest run in a day, rallycross totals your times and so it rewards consistency.

My winter autocross/rallycross car is an 1988 BMW 325iX. This is a fairly rare all-wheel-drive E30 chassis BMW; about 1500 came to North America and most of those went to the USA. Due to the AWD, the front suspension is unique but the rest of the car is the same as the popular E30 series. The AWD system add only about 140 lbs over the RWD chassis, so overall performance is nearly the same.

My co-driver for the day was rally driver and jazz musician Johnny Summers. We had a lot of fun together and Johnny gave me some great coaching that will help me improve my loose-surface driving skills. I've got a bit more work to do sorting the car, particularly the suspension. I also got some tips on setup that will be helpful for me. I think this will make a pretty decent rallycross car.

Here's some great pictures taken by Grant C of the car in action:

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The Kids are Alright

Saturday, October 9, 2010 at 17:17


As a concerned parent, I try to keep up with music and media that my kids are into. For a while there, I was pretty concerned. The modern music scene is dominated by plastic, manufactured pop stars who can't sing (also, "get off my lawn"). I'm convinced that the state of pop music would be greatly improved if more musicians would just say yes to drugs and no to AutoTOOOOOOOON.

More importantly, I've been worried about what kind of future and careers await a generation of kids raised on a manufactured, synthetic, Disneyfied, Bieberiffic, auto-tuned, non-reality. Basically, their opportunities are going to be limited to anything that fits the general job description of "professional liar":

  • Politician
  • Stock Broker
  • Social Media Expert 

I was getting kind of depressed about it all until I discovered these crazy young lads from Austrialia, a band called Airbourne. There they were playing real rock 'n' roll on classic guitars through huge amps with REAL TUBES in them and doing it way too loud. I realized then that maybe things are OK after all. There's still kids out there that will get up on stage with loud guitars and scream their guts out about hot girls, fast cars and cold beer. You know, normal rebellious youth stuff.

Yes, the music and its themes are immature, but it's honestly immature and isn't pretending to be anything it's not. And yes, they sound a LOT like AC/DC. That's not a bad thing in my book. It's good old bluesy rock 'n' roll. An Airbourne tune is a rowdy, racous reprieve from the syrupy-fake crapfest that Disney, et al is feeding the world. So yeah, I think the kids are gonna do just fine.

(video mildly nsfw - naughty words in intro)

2010 SCCA Solo National Championships - YouTube

Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 20:42
An excellent autocross video from this year's USA national championship. Very well filmed and edited and lots of great action. Makes me sad that this year's racing is over here. Ahh, next year, maybe.

YouTube - Speedway Motors 2010 SCCA Solo National Championships Music Video: ""

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