41st Bay Bottom Crawl
6-8 October 2000
Hosted by the:
Ecurie Vitesse Sports Car Club
Summary: It was HOT and not just the racing
action. No rain is a good thing, but along with the dry weather came lots of sun and little breeze.
Past years' pages describe the course in more detail, here is a recount
of my 6th run through the BBC obstacles this year, the first 5 were good, but this time
I think the heat was getting to me and the car:
- Launch - clutch seems slippy, could just be age - but they told me that kevlar lasts forever....
anyway, well on boost (3500RPM) by the time I get to the timer, nice shift into 2nd,
then blow the shift into 3rd, get it into 5th after what seems an
eternity, (probably about 1/2 second), then brake for the long slalom, a
little too slow on entry, but not bad, downshifted to 2nd and back up to speed by
about the 5th cone.
- Good exit from 1, good shift into 3rd this time, and winding up to 7000 RPM just
like the previous 5 runs before braking for station 2... well, either my distance judgement
was off, and the car was slower getting up to speed, or the brakes were extra greasy for some
reason, but I came into station 2 waaaay too fast, managed to clip two cones and convince the
course worker that I wasn't off course, but a major botch job, at this point I realize that I
won't be breaking 2:45 this year.
- Good exit from 2, well into 4th gear before slowing for station 3. This year, it
seems that station 3 has moved further from station 2 and closer to the dip, could just be the
way the mangroves got trimmed, but if it is a change, I like it. More speed on entry to 3 -
nearly as much as the dreaded 6, and less time to accelerate before the dip. Anyway, I always
hated the offset slalom in 3, very deceptive, I took it clean all 5 previous runs this weekend,
but this time I banzaied through faster than I thought possible, clipping one cone in the
- Exit 3, through the dip - perhaps a bit too fast, wash out to the outside of the hairpin
(way outside in the marbles) but keep it on the pavement. Now I'm thinking, just don't hurt the
car... through 4 nice and cautiously.
- Halfhearted exit from 4, nice easy braking for the slalom in 5.
- Leaving 5 nice and smooth, on the way to 6, there's a little dip in the middle of the sweeper,
it doesn't bother most people, but this year it's hitting me a second after I'm starting to
understeer at the limit, at top of 3rd gear, around 90MPH, unnerving to say the least.
I do go ahead into 4th when the sweeper opens up, and manage a nice brake job into 6
without overheating the pads... Wave to Bob and Andy Hess who are working this station, but not
for too long - have to have both hands on the wheel to avoid clipping the inside exit cone for
the 4th time this weekend.
- Now I'm getting back into the spirit, good entry into 7, on the power early for the exit.
- Catch 3rd gear after the first cones of station 8, there's a little hump in the road
that likes to grab the wheel and steer for you just at that shift point, then about 60 feet later
stab the brakes, downshift while negotiating the obstacle and fly out.
- Having too much fun now, attempting to brake for 9 way too late, greasy pads again just like in 2,
manage to miss the first two sets of cones, but there's no way to even convince the course worker
that I'm making the 3rd gate, oh well, this wasn't going to be the fastest run of the
day, anyway... Out clean, and accelerate for the finish, which I have been crossing consistantly
at 95MPH this year, instead of 100+ last year, probably due to tire pressures at 24psi instead of
30. Could have something to do with the new ECU with only 1 hour of tuning work in it, too...
This was a good year, safety wise, no swimmers, and only two drivers tangled with the flora and
fauna - the damage appeared to be cosmetic. There were also relatively few delays with radio
and other problems.
My setup this year was identical to last year, except:
- The engine ECU was replaced, and not quite tuned yet, running rich in several zones
- Possible ignition problem, slight hesitation under full boost, more annoying than slowing
- Discovered on Friday morning (while installing the race wheels/tires) that the front brake
pads were down to 1mm... drove to Carbotech Engineering
in Ft. Lauderdale to pick up a set of Super Street-F compound pads. These seem to be nearly
equivalent to the Porterfield Carbon Metallics that were on there before, right down to the
smell they make when they are new and abused. The older pads were definately better, but
I think it's unfair to judge the Street-Fs just yet, since the Porterfields had some tendancy
to outgas, stink, and slip, when they were brand new too. For anyone considering Street-Fs,
be aware that they mean what they say about 100F minimum operating temp - driving home on
the turnpike at night, braking for the toll plaza, the pads were noticably slippery on initial
- Dropped the tire pressures on my A032Rs to 25psi front and 24psi rear- they have extremely
stiff sidewalls and did not roll over even enough to wear off the little nubs on the edge of
the tread, but the scuff pattern was concentrated in the outer 1/4 to 1/3 of the tread. I
think next time I'll try 26psi all around as a comprimise. At 28psi, I was wearing out the
center tread long before the edge.
About the competition:
For once, I was classed against semi-competitive competition. (Translation: the real
competitive E-Mod guys didn't show up.) But, Cobras are fun! They've got awesome
potential, if they don't break and are driven well. John drove all the way from
Ontario in his beautiful red supercharged Cobra, which unfortunately didn't get over
its intake manifold gasket leak in time for the race. Richard, in the equally
beautiful yellow #90 Cobra ran all 6 runs, but couldn't quite get the control and
speed thing to go together this weekend. Personally, I bested my last year's time
by 8.5 seconds, mostly by taking the A032Rs from rolling to sliding friction - previously
I wouldn't let them slip much, if at all, in the slaloms, but there's alot more speed
to be had when your sliding around the cones, and the R compound tires do it much better
than ordinary street tires.