4 Danny Kao SCCA 2012 Johnson Spirit of The Sport Award Winner

This show features Danny Kao who was your 2012 Johnson Spirit of the Sport Award Winner.

It was a lot of fun to learn more about Danny who is another of the great people in our autocross community!

Danny started autocrossing at the end of 2006 and I bet he has autocrossed as much as anyone since then. He thinks he 450 runs per year (59 autocrosses).  He makes every test and tune in the DC area.

I totally forgot to ask him about his theory that relates the PSI it takes to seat a tire to how fast it will be compared to other tires. Danny has a tire mounting machine in his house.

Danny did lots of tire testing last year and shared all of his findings and experiences to help the rest of us who use street tires the time and expense of testing. He is very active on forums and Facebook.

If you think you have a car addiction maybe not once you compare your purchases to his before starting autocross in 2006 he thinks he owned 55 or 60 cars.

He started in CSP kind of by accident and he is once again in CSP for 2016 and has been building a Miata from the ground up – he shared lots of photos on Facebook. Danny shares a lot, a lot of fun which explains him winning the Spirit of the Sport Award Winner.

Classes Danny Kao has run: CSP, GS, STX, STU, SS, F125 (KM)

 

Started autocrossing at the end of 2006 – before that he was a hobby guy – basketball, golf, motorcyles then he started fixing cars.

His first autocross car was a Miata he found for $1300 thought he would road race it but was told he should try autocross.

After the Miata, he showed up with a new Evo in STU.

Fun first more than anything else – it’s not about competing or doing well, fun is the number one priority. “If I get there, I want everyone to have fun or have a good time. I don’t want to go to an event where everyone is miserable.”

Jokes around and let people loosen up. Keep everybody happy.

At least 450 runs a year on average.

Played too much golf between 1996-98, at least 500 rounds a year.

“I don’t focus on the bad. I can remember the good part, the fun part. The first 5-6 years, I didn’t really learn a lot.”

Majority, on the places I thought I did good, I did poorly. Now, I can go back to the data and evaluate and say, confirm that I didn’t do well.

When I first started, I tried to conserve distance by making everything into a triangle.

Right or left foot braker? Initially a left. Every time I get nervous, my left foot just constantly hovers the brake.

Modulating the throttle – that’s when I started driving the car the way it should be driven. That’s how I got faster.

Knowing what your limitations.

The last three years he can actually feel what the car is doing.

 

Episode 1 Brian Peters your SCCA 2015 Driver of Eminence winner and autocross champion many times over

This was a fun and insightful interview with Brian Peters who is a multi SCCA national champion and pro solo champion.  He is fast and shares his thoughts with us.

Brian was the 2015 Driver of Eminence award winner and multi time national champion in SOLO and Pro Solo in many different classes.

Brian started out in 1999 when he got invited to an event – had a great time and realized he was good at it, been doing it since.

His first car: Toyota Cressida AT ‘80 – Check out a photo here.

In the beginning Brian hit some local events and traveled a bit. The first few years was just really about having fun for him.

Brian’s thoughts:

  • One of his tips: It’s really just a matter of coming with a baseline and testing – maximizing car strength.
  • There’s no one way to drive – each driver is different.
  • Brian likes a stable car but he’s more about responsive car.
  • He thinks: How quickly can you get the car through the element?
  • There’s complications that won’t allow the driver to focus in front of the car like they should.
  • How far ahead do you scan? It’s a matter of really knowing what’s coming up – it’s too late to make changes. It’s really a matter of being one feature ahead. Timing is vital.
  • It’s more of a challenge on the front-wheel drive to keep the balance.
  • The first walk is important – you have to put together a good mental plan on what to do. Timing is really important too.
  • On walking the course: One or two casual walks at bigger events – then one for myself to focus.
  • Are you picking all the elements? I walk through my exits. I make sure I have visuals on every exit. You don’t look at single cones – I draw mental lines off the corners.
  • I don’t think about car placements on entries, I don’t look at entrances.

If Brian could drive anybody’s car right now? Kiesel’s will be high on the list.

If Brian could build any car? A Mustang – I kinda pick the underdogs.  (I forgot to ask him then why a corvette…oh this was a question with unlimited budget :)

Awards – 2015 Driver of Eminence

National Championships

  • 2008 CSP Mazda MX5
  • 2010 DSP BMW 330i
  • 2012 FS Mustang
  • 2013 STR Nissan 350Z
  • 2014 STU Nissan 350Z
  • 2015 ESP Mustang

Pro Solo National Championships

  • 2010 DSP Class Championship
  • 2015 ESP Class Championship