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Below is a recounting of various car events I've attended along the years, from car club meets, autocrosses, track events, and enthusiast drives.

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2004/10/22 Thunderhill again
π 2004-10-22 09:44 by Merlin in Cars

In a nutshell, the day couldn't have gone better. We narrowly escaped rain, my car was all ready for the track (new bushings, Tein shocks, fresh alignment and RA-1s), and despite a problem with my tranny (shifting from 2nd to 3rd gear when the car was hot) which forced me to take turn 11 in 3rd gear, I shaved about 5 seconds off my previous best time (now 2:13:7-8x). 5 seconds might not sound like much, but actually, it's a whole lot, especially the more you get under 2:30 at TH.

Needing new brake pads: $50
Needing new race compound tires soon: $500 for 4
Hearing "boy was that you in the white miata, you were damn fast" several times: priceless :)

What's interesting is that once again, I've shown that I can have a bout of performance (i.e. two great lap times), and then lack focus entirely, to the limit of day dreaming (went off track a bit once, and spun twice while staying on track).
Once, I just spun off turn 2 because I was pushing it a bit too much on my first lap and apparently my tires had cooled down a bit too much (this seems to have scared Matt off since he came up with a lame excuse why he wanted off the car :), and my off track in turn 1 was so bad, I don't even really know what I was doing, except that I obviously wasn't paying any attention at all since I don't really even remember what I did, if I came in hot, or not, whether I caught it a bit or not (I saw a video taken by someone behind me, and if it weren't for that, I still wouldn't know what I did). Mmmh....
My last spin (on my last session and lap of the day), was in 5, my first time ever. That one, well, I don't have to feel bad about it, I just screwed up: I tried a different line going in, and it just didn't work :) I kind of sucks how I've been constantly tired in the past two weeks, and have been struggling to stay alert and awake. Basically I was running on red bull and rock star during the day, and I could really tell when the previous one was wearing off...

Long story short, I am estatic about having dropped my lap time so much. I was running 2:15 on most my laps, some even included passing folks, and many also included very bad misshifts in 11 as my tranny/clutch just refused to shift back from 2nd to 3rd.
I had planned to play with the brand new lotus that was there, but I made the mistake to start in front of it instead of behind (i.e. the driver waved me by in the pits), and I never saw him again until we pitted at the end of the session :)
I also did some sweet passes in unusual turns (for me), like multiple passes between 2 and 3 by taking people on the inside of 2 at its exit, and I also passed several cars between 5 and 6.
Practise, more confidence, and better tires also helped me work up to close to 90mph exit speed in turn 1, and up to 92-95mph in turn 8, with does require a little faith :)

My "lap time" going to TH on wed night was 2:00:30 (doh, didn't make it under 2 hours. If it weren't for all those cops coming the other way on 5 and driving my V1 crazy...). On the way back I got a more respectable 1:51:45 (to 237 and Lawrence Expy exit, after that, well, it was street, so I slowed down :) The funny thing was that I found that I'm better off cruising between 110 and 120 tops as after that (130+), I have to be full boost, and well, my 12 gallon tank doesn't quite last the 160 miles required for the trip :)
It was kind of funny driving the way up glancing at both speed, RPMs, EGTs, core temp, trip distance left, and how fast the gas gauge was going down :)

Oh, did I mention that the lotus 2005 looks really sweet? :)


Pictures are here


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