Silver Ghost 2022 Wrap-up

The year did not start well. First thing I did was to put Silver Ghost into a ditch at a wet Test & Tune. That was in February and caused me to miss the Red Hills tour. I had done the single-course Pro at The Firm in January, though with quite poor results and not yet on Penske shocks. I disliked the course immensely. The design used the edge of the pavement, effectively, as a wall of cones which it directed you straight toward. Except that the penalty for “hitting” a cone in the wall was an off-course spin in the dirt. The percentage of DNF runs was incredibly high. I’d never seen multiple people go 6 for 6 DNFs over a weekend and get no time for either day.

The course also contained what I thought was a dangerous feature that caused me to be extra careful (and slower) in order to not risk the car and my health. To be fair, most people took that feature just a little more conservatively, even if unconsciously. There was only one possible location on that site where you could create a danger and boy did they find it. (The previous year the course had not contained this issue at the location in question.) I’ll never go back to that site for an autocross. (The road-course track itself is fine.)

So, it was the beginning of June before Silver Ghost got into local competition and I could start to figure out the car, shock settings, tire pressures, etc. In the meantime my co-driver and I bought a set of Hoosiers for my Porsche 944 and ran it in CSP in three locals. After Nationals I realized that, thanks to winning those three events early in the year, if we continued running the 944 and I won the remaining four events I could be the local CSP champ, so that’s what we did. And I won CSP.

The full national competition history for Silver Ghost in 2022 is as follows:

That makes nine national events I raced in this year, the most ever for me in a single year. I trophied at four events and took a 2nd place points trophy for the year in BS in Pro, but no class wins. Let’s try to fix that next year. With the Penske shocks being revalved to correct my math error and Yokohama tires on the rear it’s definitely the goal for 2023, though I’ll do fewer events.

The “trophies in grid” presentation for my run group at Charlotte, a tradition begun by Scott Dobler (blue shirt on the left)

Lessons Learned in 2022

-Have autocross insurance if your car has any significant value. It’s cheap and you just never know.

-Penske 8300-series shocks are great, but

-Don’t (make a math mistake and) valve your shocks for 108% of Critical. That’s too much damping for bumpy lots, at least for this car and these tires.

-I learned new things about how Dennis Grant’s on-line suspension calculator works which are being input into the Penske revalve happening now

-The car needs just the right amount of toe-in in the rear.

-Let the tires roll over “too much” if the grip is clearly better.

-Yokohama A052 tires on the rear put down power better than the Falkens coming off corners and make the car faster.

-I need to work on my driving discipline: set up as early as possible for the next feature without fail.

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