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Mila Development Diary: Last Autocross of the Year

One of these things is not like the others…

During the prior weekend Kev and I ran Mila with the local Porsche club to get some practice. With the Porsche club our car was thrown in with all non-Porsches, so it was difficult to compare our times to unknown competition. There were some heavy hitters in the non-Porsche class…Corvettes, Mustangs, an E46 M3 that runs in BMW’s unrestricted class, and a modified Subaru WRX that laid waste to Porsche and non-Porsches alike with the fast time of the day.

How did Mila do? We had a good morning, improved with every run and was in 3rd out of 14. The afternoon session was not so kind. I made a series of errors (i.e., punting cones) in the afternoon session and could not improve my time. A ’14 Corvette Grand Sport was able to sneak by me in the afternoon so I finished 4th. Not too bad.

Fast forward eight days―time to see how Mila would do in her normal class. Per usual, the A-class was well attended with 16 cars. Given our 3rd place finish a month earlier, I was feeling good about our prospects for another great finish, possibly even a win.

Staging for the morning runs

The course itself was, how do I put it, a little funky. There were several turns that seemed to juke just when you would hit a higher rate of speed, making it challenging to get into a good flow. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun and very different from the other courses we ran this year.

Like the Porsche autocross a week earlier, the morning session went very well. I improved on each of the morning’s five runs although my 4th run was tossed after hitting several cones in the stop box. My fifth run was solid at 38.4 seconds putting us in 3rd place and only 0.2 seconds behind the 2nd place car.

Also like the Porsche autocross a week earlier, the afternoon session went poorly. I just could not find a good groove. While my competitors all seemed to get faster in the afternoon, the best I could muster was an improvement of 0.07 seconds―not good. Instead of climbing to a 2nd place finish like I hoped, I fell to a 5th place finish which was pretty disappointing. I think this footage from our airborne GoPro best summed up the afternoon…

It was not the ending to season that I had hoped for, but some great strides were made in improving Mila. We have plans for additional upgrades and fixes to the car this winter that hopefully will get us in contention for a victory.

Stating the obvious, it’s been a weird year. But even under the world’s extremely unique set of circumstances, our local BMW car club impressively managed to put on six autocross events this year. Even with adhering to safety protocol, these car events have been a welcome break from reality. And for that I’m very thankful.

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