Hard Work and Dedication

I came across this article on Facebook and thought it was a excellent read. Check it out!

Hard Work and Dedication by Ashley Freiberg

“…in order to move up to the next level, I had to find a hefty sum of sponsorship dollars. At eighteen, I didn’t know much about the business side of racing—but after realizing that I would not be driving at all if I couldn’t find funds, I put my head down and got to work.”

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Random Thoughts About Modifying Cars

For the first time in a while, I made my way out to the South Bay FRS/BRZ meet in North San Jose. Over the last several months, I’ve found myself to be less motivated to get up and go out to the meets. The most likely reason is that there’s usually something else I would rather do. It might be playing video games, or even sleeping.

The meet was fairly active. A large number of individuals came out and it was nice to see a few familiar faces.

The FRS/BRZ is an interesting platform. As with all cars, each car has its pros and cons, and the twins are no different. I often get a lot question about the car and if I modded, or if I will mod it, and I always answer the same. The car is stock and I have no plans to mod it. And then I get the look that I am full of shit.

I don’t know if it is my age or maturity or who knows what… but I don’t have a desire to modify my car. At least for the sake of modifying, anyways. I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to make upgrades and adjustment for autocross, but there’s certainly a tangible point where I say enough is enough.

Money is important to me. It isn’t everything, but it is important. Money pays my bills and utilities. Money pays for my necessities. Money allows me to have the BRZ. And money allows me to autocross. If there is money leftover, mods would be nice, but to be completely honest, I would rather have cold hard cash that I could save and use for something else. Mods are purely a luxury item for me and provide me less utility (happiness) than other things. There are better places where I can put the money. It is really just a trade-off for me. Do I get performance parts, or do I have money in the bank? Money in the bank is my choice.

Upgrades are expensive. Even a basic $1000 upgrade is expensive. $1000 can fund an entire autocross season! Money is hard to come by, and money should be spent wisely. Buying mods isn’t a really bad thing, but finances have to allow for it, and it has to provide some type of value. If you don’t take full advantage of mods, then you are just wasting money.

Just my $0.02.

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Financial Update

Here’s how the count currently stands after the SCCA Solo National Tour at Crows Landing.

Prior to the event, the total was $130 for two events.

$110 for Solo National Tour (2 days)
$40 for gas
Total: $150 for the weekend

Total after 3 events = $280

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SCCA Solo National Tour – Crows Landing

My first National Tour is now in the books!

All and all, the weekend went fairly well. My only real complaint was the weather and not being able to eat lunch on Saturday. When it comes to mother nature, she always wins. And the lunch thing, that was a misunderstanding, but no big deal. It worked out as Dennis and I found a great Chinese restaurant in Patterson.

My co-driver Dennis was able to be at Crows Landing for all three days. He was able to attend Friday to tech and walk. That was super helpful for me as I wasn’t able to make the trip out to the site Friday evening. Instead of making a trip out, I ended up preparing for Saturday and Sunday. I bought water, chips, cookies, and various other supplies, as well as getting everything ready and packed so that we would have a smooth departure Saturday morning.

Dennis ended up deciding to drive to the event for each day. He arrived at my place at 6AM and we promptly loaded up and departed. Once we arrived, I immediately checked in and walked the course. After walking the course, we set up “camp” in the paddock. This was our little hang-out/nap spot for the weekend. The canopy and coolers were invaluable and I am glad that we were able to make arrangements.

The runs for day 1 were tough. My runs were… 64.2xx, 64.5xx, and 64.0xx. I felt like my second and third runs were better than my first, but wasn’t able to improve. The clock doesn’t lie. The course was definitely challenging. I felt like there was a lot of technical elements. Not really quite sure how to describe the day 1 course. I didn’t think the course was bad or horrible. I actually liked it. However, my results were frustrating. Each run, I tried to push harder and each run, the times were about the same. It seemed that a lot of people were struggling though. The class leaders’ best runs were their first for day 1.

Day 2’s run was a lot of fun. I didn’t feel like it was as technically challenging as day 1. It was definitely a little more open and flowing, and I felt like the course allowed competitors to really go fast. I was very pleased with the times I put down for day 2. My run was a 63.xxx (+1), 60.4xx (+1), and 59.495. Despite my first and second runs being dirty, I didn’t let that deter me from pushing harder on the third run. After day 1 and being quite a bit behind the leading group, I came up with the game plan to really push on day 2. The gap after day 1 was going to be nearly impossible to close. My intent was to not so much to be reckless, but rather use my time to learn and improve. I wanted to see how fast of a time I could put down. The likelihood of hitting cones was high, and I might hit a few cones, or DNF, but we learn more from your mistakes than from your successes. I was lucky enough that my third run came out clean. I thought I put down a dirty run, as I felt the “cone bump” in one of the rear corners, but the run was clean. May I got lucky and just wiggled it.

All and all, it was a great weekend. I placed 10th out of 16. Not too bad at all.

Here are my runs from this weekend:

Day 1:

Day 2:

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SCCA Solo National Tour – Counting Down

I finally got around to signing up for the National Tour early this week. Money is tight so I try to put things off as long as I can. It’s a lot of money, but should be fun. I still have some prepping to do as Saturday nears. A lot of the prep isn’t so much for the car, but rather prepping for the weekend. Unlike the regional autocross event, the National Tour is a “national” style event. The competition is going to be faster. The rules are going to be more strict. Event will be very structured and systematic. And 3 runs. Event still will be a lot of fun.

I think the key for me for this weekend is to be both rested for my runs and to have realistic expectations. And have FUN. Otherwise, why do it?! My solution for being rested is to use the downtime intelligently. Especially staying hydrated before, during, and after runs. I read on Weather.com that Crow’s Landing will be in the 80’s this weekend, and I am trying to prepare accordingly. I’ve asked several people to see if they would be interested in pitching in a hand with the prep and working as a group to make our stay at Crow’s Landing as pleasant as possible.

My plans for the weekend are to commute to Crow’s. I was thinking about staying the night, but the cost to stay somewhere was a little more than I wanted to spend, not to mention that I could use the evening to catch up errands or do things with family. All things considered, 1.25 hour drive isn’t too bad. It is a little inconvenient, but otherwise, reasonable. I am hoping to defray the cost of my trip by offering up my passenger seat for anyone else who may be interested in carpooling. If I can save $10 or $20 here and there, that’s easily another autocross event in the future.

I still have quite a bit of prepping to do. I plan to purchase and piece together a misting system tonight. Tomorrow, I’ll make a Costco run and purchase water and snacks. Hopefully, we will have everything we need for this weekend.

As for preparing to being fast… not quite sure… I think I’ll really need to break through to the next level. I’ll have to give in and really trust the car and tires. Crow’s Landing has a ton of grip, especially with brand new tires. I’ll have to really find every little bit. Got to bring my A game.

Anyways, that’s it for now!

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Preparing for the National Tour

It’s been a little while since I last made an update. Not much has really changed. The last event scheduled at Marina was cancelled due to lack of interest. And the National Tour at Crow’s Landing is about a week and half away. The tour is going to be a huge event, and we are expecting

I still haven’t had a chance to sign up for it yet. As the deadline gets closer, I’ll make my way to doing that, but for now, I’ll just have to wait. Money is tight as always and I always try my best to make smart financial decisions. Sometimes, you have to prioritize. Can’t have everything.

In many ways, I look forward to the tour. I am expecting a huge turn-out for my class, C Street, as well as the high level racers that are typically associate with the event of this caliber. My expectations are realistic. I don’t expect to win my class, but of course I’ll step up and try. I will definitely use this opportunity and try to really gauge how I stack up to fellow competitors. Dennis and I don’t have a fully prepped platform, but it is okay. We have what we have and we’ll make it work.

I am still really anxious about the event. Maybe it is the responsible adult thing, but I find it harder and harder to do things I want to do. I find that my amount of free time is dwindling. My responsibilities at home are increasing. My responsibilities at work require me to constantly be on top of things. And it seems that I am the first person in the family that my mom and grandma go to when they need something, probably because I live in arm’s length of them. Regardless, I am going to try to block out this weekend and keep my fingers crossed that nothing comes up.

I am not sure what I’ll do about accommodations for the event though. I think I am okay with making the trip out to Crow’s Landing for the two days, but depending on how I feel, I might decide to try to get a place to stay near the site. Dennis introduced me to AirBNB and there seems to be a few nice places to rent in Tracy and Patterson. That might not be a bad idea at all.

As it is Thursday… I should do a #tbt.

Autocrossing at Great America

Until next time, happy cone dodging!

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