Well, I went to divisionals to see how I'd hold up. I drove well, and turned in some decent times. It was a lot of fun. But, I still lost, and lost hard. I pax'd 93 out of 150 overall, but I ran in the rain on Saturday, while most classes got dry runs. The Contour is 600lbs heavier than similarly powerful cars. I was racing against a Neon with an engine that Daddio had build for his DSP car, and it was just so much faster through the corners. Plus the driver trophied at Nats last year in the same car with an older setup. 4 seconds back from him on a 75 second course ain't bad, but it's still a LOT.
A built Contour might be able to get a little closer in STX with lots-o-power, more weight loss, 245s and LSD, but it's still way, way off the pace.
So, I'm off to E Stock next year. I want to learn new techniques for a different car, and get used to r-comps. It's been fun, but now I want the only excuse between me and first place to be my driving. It's not a 94R with high-dollar shocks, but it's a 1.8L LSD Miata that'll have big fat r-comps, a FSB, and Konis, and that's pretty dang close.
I will miss the looks on people's faces when I whooped them in the Contour, though. Some of my favorites:
(Elise driver at Divisonals)
"What are you driving?"
"The really ***** fast one?!"
"Um, the only one, so I guess so..."
(from a G35 coupe driver watching me swap my race exhaust back off at a Glen event)
"You know, that isn't going to do *** for you."
"I think the weight reduction is worth any loss in power from the short pipe."
"It's still a Taurus, dude."
"It's a Contour, and it was two seconds faster then you."
(Divisionals practice)"Holy crap, that thing took off like a bat out of hell!"
(At the drag strip)"And in the left lane, a shockingly fast Ford Contour driven by Phil Maynard..."
(Glen region) "And second place in STS is Philip Maynard in a ... umm, lemme check this... huh. In a Ford Contour. Wow."
(CPR Region)"And first place STS... Well, this is the first time I've ever said this. First place goes to the 1995 Ford Contour driven by Philip Maynard." (Turns to local Civic driver, laughing:) "What happened, man?"
So I'll now finish up the season (I want to win PAX locally once, please please please) and do a track day, and then de-mod. I will miss one thing terribly, though: the Duratec. The power delivery is absolutely killer for autocross. Having that kind of torque at 3-4k means I spend less time bogging/shifting than the 4-banger cars, and makes botched corners less ciritcal. It's a bit heavy to be a competitve engine, but if I bet a focus with the 3.0L in SM would be a hoot, as well as very fast. Or a 3L locost...
I learned a lot about driving and picked up some good habits whipping a ton and a half through the cones. I still very highly reccomend taking your Contour out and flogging it! Even stock it handles really well and rewards good driving. Do it!
'95 Contour [71 STS | Track Whore]
'97 Miata [71 ES | Boulevard Pimp]
2006 autocross results