Well my 2007 Autocross season began back at the end of March. Since then I've participated in four events put on by the Washington DC Region SCCA and have won two of the four. On April 22nd I let a fellow BMW driver whose car was in the shop co-drive my M3 with me and he beat me by .019 seconds; it was the first time I'd been defeated in the DC region since I started running in the STU class in 2005. On June 17th, I co-drove a 2006 Mitsubishi Evolution IX with its owner, Danny Kao and finished in second place, .199 seconds behind Dave MacDougal who has been chasing me for the past couple of years.
With STU gaining national status this year, the AWD cars (Subaru STIs and Mitsubishi Evos) are coming out of the woodwork and after having driven Danny's car one time I'd made up my mind that the M3's time in the class as a competitive car was over. Danny offered to let me drive his car at the DC Pro Solo which took place this past weekend and I jumped at the offer, taking into consideration that Pro Solos have a drag strip start giving the AWD cars a distinct advantage of up to half a second in the first 60 feet. Being only my second time in Danny's car (or any AWD car for that matter) I didn't expect too much but pressure was applied and I faltered. I managed to hit cones on every right side run I had on Saturday; in fact, I hate the same 2 cones on all 4 runs and an additional 3 cones on my first run! Come Sunday morning I needed a clean run on the right and I needed to find at least a half a second on the left course. I lined up in the right lane for my first run and I hit two cones BUT, they were two different cones than I'd hit before so it was a step in the right direction I guess. My left side runs were slower than my runs from Saturday and with only one run left on the right, I had to have a clean run. I did manage to make it through the right side course without hitting any cones, but the run was about half a second slower than my raw times from Saturday. Final result was that I wound up in 3rd place about 1.4 seconds behind the class winner.
Danny has graciously offered to let me continue co-driving with him for the remainder of the season and I am inclined to accept his offer. We are finding that his car has a LOT of room for improvement and we are both eager to get started on that process right away. I will still run my M3 at my club's (Autocrossers Inc ) events kind of as a benchmark for where Danny's car stands as far as time goes. I think eventually we will eclipse the abilities of the M3 and never look back.