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The CJ's Team Tackles The First Autocross of 2015!

The CJ's Team Tackles The First Autocross of 2015!

The CJ's Focus ST on the courseOn a cold and windy weekend in late March, with snow flurries whipping around the Hersheypark parking lot, several members of the CJ Pony Parts team raced in the first Susquehanna Region - SCCA Autocross event of 2015!

CJ's team consisted of:

  • Rick from Product Development, driving CJ's black 2015 Mustang GT
  • Dillon and Tim W., from sales, co-driving CJ's 2014 Focus ST
  • Chris, a copywriter, driving his personal 2011 Mustang GT
  • Dan, another of our copywriters, driving his personal 2006 Mustang V6
  • Tim (aka Magoo), one of our web developers, using his personal blue 2014 Focus ST

Let's see how they did...

Saturday was the colder day of the two, which made traction hard to come by for most drivers. Rick, however, with the big Velgen VMB7 wheels wrapped in Nitto INVO tires, had the least amount of issues and won the day, having the best time amongst the CJ's team. Chris was right on his heels, with the other drivers more than six seconds behind them. The biggest challenge from Saturday, though, was the cold, winds and snow whipping across the parking lot, which made conditions very challenging for everyone at the event.

Rick and CJ's black 2015 GT on the autocross courseWhile the weather warmed up a bit on Sunday, into the upper 40s under mostly sunny skies, Rick still dominated the course, beating Chris by 0.3 seconds to again have the best time amongst the CJ's team. The new day's course, which was completely different than the one the day before, was much faster, helping propel the team to significantly better times. The weather also helped the experience be much better for the drivers and their supporters.

However, despite all of the success, there were a few spin-outs during the weekend's passes, particularly from Dillon and Tim W. in CJ's Focus ST, which tends to be a pretty tail happy car. All of our ST drivers found it strange that a front wheel drive car would behave this way, and it was something that they each needed to adapt to in order to get the fastest times on the courses each day.

The Results

On Saturday, our team stacked up this way:

  1. Rick - 59.979
  2. Chris - 60.143
  3. Magoo - 66.652
  4. Dillon - 66.848
  5. Dan - 69.419

On Sunday, the returning CJ's crew faced an all-new course and recorded the following best times:

  1. Rick - 55.227
  2. Chris - 55.563
  3. Dillon - 57.933
  4. Tim W. - 59.530

The CJ Focus Focus STs, ready to race.A Newcomer's Perspective

While everyone else on the CJ team had autocrossing experience, on Saturday, Magoo had his first experience on the autocross course. He said that he was definitely nervous going into it, but his fellow autocrossers, from the CJ team to the new faces he met at the event, all helped put him completely at ease. The organizers of the event make sure that novices are fully equipped for the day, starting with a novice walk-through with an instructor, which comes with lots of friendly advice on how to complete the course. From there, when Magoo made his passes, he had an instructor in the car, who gave him encouragement and advice throughout each pass and helped him learn tons about the sport.

Every one of Magoo's passes got faster. He started at 86 seconds and, throughout the day, shaved a full 20 seconds off of that time. On every run, he says he learned a lot about the handling characteristics of his new Focus ST, which he could apply in future passes and plans to use in future events. He also had an opportunity to ride with Rick in CJ's 2015 Mustang GT, which taught him a great deal about autocrossing, coming from one of our more experienced in-house drivers in the sport.

Get Involved

Whether your a rookie or an experienced autocross driver, now is the time to get involved! The Susquehanna Region SCCA has tons of events coming up throughout the spring, summer and fall, giving you ample opportunity to get a spin around the course. There were a wide variety of cars represented, too, so don't feel like you need a Mustang or Focus ST to take part. Did we mention it's also cheap? It's only $45 for a day, which is an incredible deal for four passes.

Check it out on the Susquehanna Region SCCA website - the next event is May 3, 2015 at the Giant Center!

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