2013 Scion FR-S: Black Friday Autocross, New Tires, Faster Laps
November 29, 2012
Photos by Kurt Niebuhr
I hunted down Kurt's fast time in our Focus ST in the morning session to no avail. On the stock FR-S tires I could only manage to come with a second or so. In a "too close for missiles, switching to guns" moment, it was time to swap the tires out.
As soon as I rolled off the course, I was joined by my sister in the pits. We pulled off the old and dropped on the new in pretty quick fashion. Lugs torque and pressures set, we still had plenty of time to hang out until our next work group was called, followed by the final six runs.
My first lap out on the stickier Yokohamas resulted in a 64.389-second run. That's 2.175 seconds quicker than my best time on the stockers. That was followed by a 63.264 and a 63.430. It was at this point that Leonard, gave me a few pointers. He said this car could get into the 62-second range if I cleaned up a line here, lifted less there, and stopped drifting through the last turn. Sage advice.
My next lap was dashed by driver error, and that was a 63.290. Then it finally happened.
61.717. That's a 4.874 difference between the original tires. I broke the 62-second mark and was elated! On the next and final lap, I tried too hard and dropped back to a 62.166. No matter, I did it.
It was a great event that was run smoothly and well organized. The tires didn't suffer and we all had a blast. If you have aspirations for pulling g-forces, this is a wonderful and safe way to do it. Find yourself an autocross event near you and keep the sport alive.
Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 7,140 miles