Introductions- Andrew Howe

Hi.  I thought I’d start out on StartingGrid by introducing myself.

As an amateur racer (an autocrosser to be more precise), I’m the car owner, the engineer, the mechanic, and the driver.  I drive the truck, I stock the cooler, I book the hotels.  If that seems like a lot of responsibility, that’s true.  The reward?  Just a few minutes of glory, a big grin, and good memories.  Very few of us take anything monetary back out of the sport.

Now, a bit about my background in motorsports.  Autocross is a test of precision and speed in a time trial format. Each driver gets 3 runs at a course with their best time going in the results.  There is no practice; the course is learned by walking it.  It is marked with cones and hitting a cone invokes a fatal 2 second penalty.  Being perfect for 60 seconds is the holy grail of autocross.  The one that is most nearly perfect wins.

I drive a 1982 Reynard chassis Formula Ford.  It is underpowered, but capable.  When it was new, it was one of the best rides out there and the European series was a stepping stone towards Formula 1.  Your favorite F1 drivers from the 80’s all came through the Formula Ford ranks.  The cars are very forgiving but painfully slow.  Every ounce of speed must be carried through the corner to be fast.

I’ll be writing about car setup and driving technique.  My personal strengths appear to be in setting up the car and driving the best line.  I’m not much for driving with my hair on fire, but I can do it from time to time.  Usually you’ll find me being methodical, precise, and living between 9/10ths and 10/10ths.  As an amateur, this seems to work fairly well.  And, the more seat time I get, the more comfortable 10/10ths feels.

Recent in-car video from the SCCA Solo National Championships:

If I were more tech savvy, I’d find a way to embed that directly in the post.  (Editor’s Note: Don’t worry, Andy. I’ve got your back. 😉 ) Oh well… something more to learn.  In the mean time, I’ll see you on the Grid.