Jul 15, 2012
Fairview, Alberta
2006 Z06
Sorry this will be sort of short. Just got back from the autocross in Dawson Creek, have to stuff the turkey for Thanksgiving and get to bed. Very tired.

Initial comments, a great deal of fun, try if you never have.

560 m course, very twisty, very, very twisty actually. Very much favored smaller import cars.

Oddly and I still find this hard to believe, as there are two very short straightish areas, I only hit a max speed of 43.5 km/hr. However I also never shifted out of 1st gear and never hit the rev limiter. But it sure seemed like it was going faster.

The ZR1 from the previous autocrosses showed up. The guys name is Brian, it is a 2011 and has had Davenport mods added so it is a 710 hp car instead of 638!

The Z06 preformed fantastically. The results were 1% Garry and 99% Z06. The good news is that I didn't finish in last. Thankfully there was a girl from Grand Prairie who entered in a minivan - honest!

There were some unmodded older cars, a 1st generation RX7 so they were no problem. But there was a 3rd gen RX7, a Skyline GTR, a severely modded 1980's vintage Mustang and two totally crazy mid 1980's Civics - these guys were getting tire spin in 2nd gear.

The Z06 was very stable, very little body roll, rarely chirped a tire or had the back end break out. What an marvalous piece of technology.

I found it exhausting to do after maybe 5 hours, we made runs every 15 to 20 minutes, generally 55 seconds or so.

My 1st time was 58 seconds and I had some sub 50 second runs. The fastest run made by someone was 44 seconds but otherwise there were a few guys around 46 seconds.

Given my previous problems posting things I'm going to make a slide show for YouTube and I'll upload the videos aas well but be warned that some of the videos are not the best quality.

But I will be going back next spring!

My son had such a terrific time, the drivers were so patient with him, he got rides in the Skyline GTR and a 3rd gen Supra and was just in his glory.

Oh ya, while my gf came what really blew me away is that my mom AND my dad came as well.

Thye won't race my SER as I kept telling them but my gf and Dad came for laps with me but I couldn't get my mom to come.

Very, very worthwhile way to spend 1 1/2 days.

Big, huge thanks to Tri Nguyen and the volunteers with the Dawson Creek Autocross Club. A real 1st class effort!

I'll try to upload things tomorrow and write more but turkey and combining await..........

No, I never beat the ZR1.........he had a run in the 46's. Tri is going to send me the results later and I'll also post them too. Never new a minivan could do that good either, she had a 54 second run and was steady in the 56 to 58 second range.


Awesome write up Garry!!!! Glad to hear you enjoyed that machine for what it was meant to do!!!
I knew you'd love it! It really is a blast, and economical too. Post some pics or vids if you have any from the event.:canada:
I have a bit more time this morning. I love the house when it smells of turkey. Yes, Jackie has said that she'll help me get some stuff up on YouTube so I'll let you know when that happens.

A few more comments and thoughts.

We arrived around suppertime in Dawson Creek. Found the hotel that was giving great room and meal discounts for the xcross and the xcross was in the mall right across main street so it was a perfect location. Here we me Tri Nguyen who organizes the xcross events and also manages the family run hotel/restaurant I think.

My son and I went across to see what was going on and how we could help. This is an excellent idea. To start with as it is all volunteers and you never get enough of those many hands lighten the burden. So we were able to help out with putting up the barricades/flag tape to mark off the course from the parking areas and measuring cone distances and positions. This is also where we met Brian who does the course layouts. For a 1st timer, especially in the dark the course layout looks very confusing. But you start to learn about start and stop boxes, Chicago's and chicanes! The people are very good, answering all my questions and explaining to me how the course is run. Alberta time is an hour ahead of BC time so it was dark and we went back to our room after everything was liad out but before the chalk marks were put around the cones and everything was picked up for the night.

The next morning I got up at my usual time which is 5 am BC time and went out for my walk. At the end of that I went through the parking lot and was again able to get some idea of how the course looks.

After breakfast I took the Z06 over to the parking lot, a few of the other cars had arrived and then my son and I helped to unload the shopping carts filled with cones and started to put them out and when we were done I was able to get a map of the course from Brian and then went on my own course walk - very important again and finally the cones etc. started to make sense and I got a good idea of the directional cones etc. too.

The cars undergo a technical inspection, all the loose stuff has to be emptied, you sign a waiver and then the drivers all get together and wlak the couse with Brian who explains everything.

The gave my son and I reflective vests and radios as well when we were working, safety is very much on their minds. They also remind us that we are lucky to have the support of the mall so minimize the rubber smoke and keep the place clean.

The volunteers and drivers were a very good group of people, generally in the 20 to 30 age range outside of probably myself, Brian the course designer and Brian the ZR 1 owner. A lot of them smoked which I can't say I cared for. A few of the drivers gf's and some younger kids, one other boy a bit older than my son were there and then the spectators on the side of the parking lot.

After the course walk around you then like up in your cars and the xcross starts. The 1st lap for was terrifying. How would I do at this? Would I make a fool of myself? Would I enjoy it? It was for me 60 seconds of unbelieveable panic, stress and terror and then it is over. I made it through the 1st time without any penalty (for missing gates, hitting cones in the Stop box you get a DNF, for hitting cones and knocking them out of the chalk outline where they were positioned a 1 sec penalty to your time........

The 2nd lap I went into with the expected cockiness and bravado and missed one of the slalom cones, well I drove over it actually, and like a totally idiot backed up to clear it rather than going around........but at the end of the run this was politely explaned to me (again!) what I should be doing in those situations!

The 3rd and subsequent rounds I started to feel more comfortable and less paniced. We stopped for 30 minutes for lunch and then resumed. There were generally about 15 cars which is actually a nice number as then you are only waiting 15 minutes before runs. While some xcrosses run the cars at say 15 or 20 sec intervals, this course does have to be done one car at a time since you repeat parts of the course.

Even with that, I measured the course when walking with my exercise Garmin GPS and it was 560 m in length. Brian packs two chicanes, two Chicagos and a whole lot of cones into this distance. I was shocked when I looked at the data and found that my top speed was 43.5 km/hr! The course is tight but there are three brief WOT occasions and I thought I was going so much faster than that!!

When I was an F1 fan my sister used to argue with me that car driving was not a sport and the drivers were not athletes (she was in the process of entering her first triathalon) and was insensed when Jacques Villeneuve was named Canada's athete of the year when he won the drivers championship instead of some triathete..........well let me tell you on the drive home and still this morning my arms and legs are very sore! This maybe because I am simply not good at autocrossing and maybe have poor technique but you really get a workout and this for me was hightened by trying to do well at something I had never done before in my life.

It is, as I had read, not an event, at least with a track design like this, something that is suited to a Corvette. Even at 3200 lb or so the cars are larger and heavier than those modded mid 1980's Civics which had some of the best times.

But for getting a better understanding of how to handle a car without risking more than spinning in aparking lot and not running over a dog or pedestrian or hitting another car or having your car seized by the police, it is such a great and safe way to learn about how your car performs closer to its limits. Gaining some skill and being able to practice how to avoid hitting things and navigating around things and improving your hand-eye coordination is valuable and in the end was just so much fun.

The other drivers were very helpful and answered all my questions - it helps to increase your popularity when for some reason I was the only person with a tire gauge and this for the guy with a car with an on-board tire pressure display!

Huge family fun, my son thought it was the best day of his life and even my mom and dad and gf had so much fun watching all the cars and cheering me on.

I can't wait to try this again next year. I'm not sure I'll get any better but as these people are so willing to help maybe I can get some of the more experienced drivers to throw a lap to let me ride when them and to teach me things about entering, exiting and positiong the car so I might gain some technical skills.

Wow can I ramble on eh!


Your first and second run descriptions are bang on. That's how I felt too the first time, or even if I haven't done it in a long time. :D:agree:
You should try a track day... For now , stratotech is the only one around but MASSIVE fun!!!
Good morning,

Harvest is over! It was a late night and I hate combining at night, all my senses seem to get hightened which makes it much more exhausting for me. But on the plus side which I finished unloading the combine and let it cool down, shut it off and then got out of the cab, well the Northern Lights were some of the most beautiful I've seen in some time. Now we're going to get four days of showers and flurries and then back to 12/13 by the weekend. This must be the run down to the end of Z06 season!

Riley, I really have some reservations about my top speed. My Garmin I use for running and I am not sure of the frequency of data points it is collecting. While I did not hit redline in 1st gear ever (some of the imports do) even on the short stretches I should be going faster than 43.5 km/hr. I know it is about 90 meters between power poles on the roads here and my old Ford 3/4 ton pickup can go from 0 60 km/hr in that distance! So I'd sort of doubtful that was the fastest I'd go on a lap.

I agree HLN A55, it would be fun to do a track/road course with high speeds. But distance is always an issue for me and Dawson Creek is about 200 km away compared to 500 km to Edmonton so it is a matter of time invested. I don't doubt that it would be terrific fun but it would probably be a question of if it coordinated with the need for a trip to Edmonton for other reasons.

The club was very good. Considering that this was just the 3rd time they did an xcross I thought it was well done. Tri Nguyen really is dedicated to making this work. He is from DC but spent time living in Toronto where he was involved in car shows etc. and really has a love for this sort of thing.

The competition is really so much fun too. There are a few people who are pretty serious competitors but they are also obviously good friends and are enjoying the comradeship of the event. They all get out and discuss tire pressures, tire temperatures, understeer and oversteer and so forth. I ask them questions and they all willingly share information and advice and showed me things like how to heel and toe shift - not that I think I can ever do that but seeing someone sitting in your car and doing it is better than any description or video I've watched!

We started with about 15 cars, had about 20 after lunch and then dropped back down to 12 to 15 later in the afternoon. Due to the course design and not being able to run cars simultaneously on the track it is much better to have a few number of cars. Getting to race every 15 minutes is better than having to wait 30 minutes or longer.

Some of the cars are much better suited to this sort of thing. You get to see quickly that weight is a real issue. There was a current gen Mustang and Camero and while they have lots of power being heavier they suffer in an event like the this. The Camero didn't say long and while the Mustang did it had handling problems and was the 1st car to spin out.

The imports, especially those two Civics, are so much lighter and more nimble. You see which people are more serious about this compared to others, some cars have gutted interiors, seats removed etc. My only concession was to turn off the A/C!

The Z06 does handle so well. I don't even recall that it was easy to either chirp the tires or to get the back end to snap out without making a real effort to do so. It understeers and I reall prefer that to oversteer since it is an easy thing to induce with the throttle. There is so little body roll compared to some cars and the brakes on this car, well like I told my son if you apply the brakes hard enough our teeth would fly out of our mouths! The Z06 seems so unflappable compared to other cars. The traction and stablity control work so well to allow the driver to worry about just steering the car and using the brakes and throttle. I do wish that I had some launch control, the 2011 ZR1 had that I think, along with the magnetic select-a-ride.

Yes Riley, there were some AWD cars. Tri's Skyline GTR was one of them. He started in 2 wheel drive, I seem to recall that it is not a full 50/50 AWD but 70/30 I think. He can control it by removing a fuse. I'm not sure how hard he was trying but he was getting some 54, 52 sec laps and was just behind me in line and when we were getting ready for our next laps he told me that as I was faster than him he was putting the fuse back in and then he had a 48 sec lap! His previous car, a well prepped 3rd gen RX7 was there and it appeared to be a very well performing car.

There was a white car but all the emblems had been removed and I'm not exactly up on really new import cars. Maybe it was a Mitsubishi Evo 10 or something like that? There was the one car that had a 44 sec time bfore I left and it might have been this one. Tri said that he would send me the results so at some point I should have a list of all the cars and their best laps and then I'll add that.

Still the best fun you can probably have for a day and $45.........a super, super good family event, you can swap cars with people too and some did do that. No cars got damaged and you end up learning so much about how far you can push a car and how to control it under greater duress. It is very beneficial to have these skills but not the sort of thing you want to be learning on public roads and this is the biggest advantage of xcross.

As a side note which I thought was really nice as well, one of the members of the local RCMP competes with his Ram SRT 10 pickup! He had to work that day but was at the previous events and did come by the previous night when we were setting out the course.



Some cars are much better suited to this sort of thing.
Some results.

And the winner is..............

The ZR1 with a time of 34 seconds flat!

Last run of the day and the owner Brian loaned his car to Bob, one of the two fast Civic drivers and without any prior runs Bob zips off a 43 in the ZR1!

Obviously 710 hp helps in the right hands, those poor import owners.........!


Oops, my bad, it was 43 sec not 34. Dyslexia raises its ugly head again......

Yes HLN A55, not only way out west in Alberta but way up north in Alberta! You're more than welcome.

Just wait until I can get the images and video going. I was watching some at lunch and that is an other area to work on. but sort of funny to hear my mom clapping and cheering me on while my gf was filming it.

I'm currently looking for a sucktion cup camera mount to put on the room of the car, any recommendations?

Even Vararam-less it was still a blast!


I think a lot of people are going with the Go-Pro HD. I know when I was out in the mountains biking, a lot of kids were using them and the image is pretty good! I think it may come with mounts....but maybe not. Anyway. I would check those out and wait over winter to see if any come on sale.
Good morning Riley,

It looks interesting. This is another one that I thought looked promising.

Delkin DDMOUNT-SUCTION Fat Gecko Double Knuckle Dual Suction Cup Camera Mount | eBay

I thought it would be sort of fun to be able to review the runs and also to help generate on car clips to put up on the club website so that people could see what it looks like from the car point of view.

I went to the hospital today for shots and they were doing construction work there and had some of those orange cones laid out. It required some effort to not start weaving around them!


Good evening Riley,

I forgot to add, our first taste of........the "s" word, snow came this morning. Nothing sadder than a Z06 under a skiff of snow. It is going to be -8 tonight. Thankfully it will be 12 above by Sunday but that is a long way off. I had considered dropped the car off in my garage at the other house but decided I'd still get a few more rides in yet. But this is the writing on the wall I'm afraid.

I think it might be fun to see if I could rotate the camera between the cars as they are making their runs too.

I also have a acquire a helmet for next year as well and am thinking about a camera mounting for the helmet as well. Do you have any experience with something like that? Obviously nothing too heavy or too cumbersome. Maybe even one facing rearward too!


You should try a track day... For now , stratotech is the only one around but MASSIVE fun!!!

Stratotech is awesome. My dad raced go-karts there for a few years. It was wicked competetive, and it feels FAST when your butt is an inch off the ground doing 120..............:D
I just wish our track was built already. Race City had 2 beauty straights... Front straight was good for almost 240 and 190-200 on the back (if you weren't afraid of the concrete wall at the end of it LOL)
Good morning HLN A55,

A track experience would be also something I would love to try. The dealer I bought the car from in Vancouver used to rent a track there for his customers to use every once in a while, guys would swap cars for laps, it really sounded like a lot of fun!

240 approaching a concrete barrier! I'd want Colin's brake pad upgrade first I think!

The twisty nature of the autocross is really something else in terms of the cars handling but the need for speed is also there and only a track could give that. Plus it would be great to get more experience with my desire to be a better heel/toe down shifter.

Major snow here this morning, 15 cm.......hoping to go to GP to see the trailer that I hope to move the car to Edmonton in today.


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