Saturday, November 2, 2013

One step closer (and my first shit my pants moment)

     Sometimes life gives you a lot of shit and you go through very long periods of nothing going right and you feel like you have no control...and then you get to go racing, in a car you built and maintained and you get to make every decision and be in full control.

                                           Gas - Brake - Shift - Turn in - APEX - Track out

                                                           It really is a great feeling

     I woke up Friday at the ass crack of dawn to start my adventure down to NJMP.  I was feeling pretty good, well as good as you can on 3 hours of sleep.  The drive was pretty uneventful but took about 7 hours even without counting the stop at my parents house to meet up with my was still better than being at work, no question.  Got all checked in to the hotel and headed out to dinner with my Dad, typical life/politics/work discussion ensued.  At some point I made a joke about how the worst thing that could happen would be for them to sign me off to DE2 since that would open up the world of safety equipment purchases and some changes to the car I specifically have held back on...foreshadowing maybe?

     Saturday morning I rolled into the track as the sun came up.  Its funny how most days I'm lucky if I get out of bed by 11.30, but put the track in front of me and I can be out of bed at 6am like nobody's business.  Did the usual meetings and car clean out etc, and then had like two hours to kill before the first session (we had a weird schedule this event because of lack of daylight this late in the year and all DE groups/racers on the same track).  I didn't meet up with my instructor until we gridded up for session 1, but Jordan had told me he was a great guy...i should say though that my first two NASA instructors were both great and taught me a lot BUT one drove a Porsche and one a corvette and it was evident in their instructing.  This of course is certainly not a bad thing but it just doesn't translate to driving an Evo.

    So Andy (my intructor) drives a 1M, a bad ass car that has special characteristics I'm sure.  After some chatting it was evident he knew that the Evo was a special car and can't be treated like others.  We head out on track and about a lap and a half in Andy starts to chuckle and just says "you have no business being in this group, you are way better than this group".  Well ok then!  Andy went to talk to the head guys to get me moved up, next session he went out with me in DE2 to make sure i was comfortable and could run a decent enough pace (which I did), and I then got my first white bracelet! WOOHOO.

     This is usually the part where I give a session by session recap, but it was just a seat time day so I wasn't going for time.  Here's what I can say, the car was again nice and smooth and reliable and just did what I asked of it all day.  BUT it seems I still have an alignment issue or something since it appears I corded the inside shoulder of my right front tire.  Overall the tires are just smoked at this point after 7 track days and like 5k street miles.

The "OH SHIT" moment - long story short, an STi blew a transmission/engine/brake line or something and laid slipper fluid from turn 1 through 9.  I came down the front stretch at almost 130mph, got on the brakes and got nothing but abs and the car started to rotate without any input.  I got off the brakes which luckily let the car straighten up, dropped down to 4th and just turned into turn 1 and hoped it stuck...and it did luckily.  (the video below doesn't sort of minimizes the amount of rotation due to the camera angle...but trust me I thought I was gonna be in the tires.


Couple Solo Laps


     Next event is PCD cold tire which unfortunately has been shortened to just one day ut should still be a damn good time.  Hopefully I can squeeze in an alignment before then.