|Written by Peter|
|Monday, 04 February 2008|
The car made it!!!
This is a milestone for me and the XR because it was a full weekend of hard driving and the car didn't brake! There are things that need tweaked and tuned, tightened and cleaned, and some that need further improvement, but the point is that I drove it onto the trailer, to the event, back on to the trailer after the event, and drove it into my garage. What a relief!
This was a fairly good event. I give the weekend an 8/10. What could have made it a 10? A better relationship with my instructor and not having the stress of work and life. Only one of those could have been readily prevented, so overall this weekend was great!
I started the event in HPDE 1, my last two sessions on Sunday I was allowed to drive Solo, and at the end of the weekend I was graduated to HPDE 2 for my next event!
The weekend began on Thursday evening, when my friend Chad rolled up and we did a few little things to the XR. We felt strange though because it was around 10:00pm and we were done, tools packed, car running, and nothing catastrophic to fix, like rebuilding the brake system, replacing engines, etc. So we stood in the empty garage for a few minutes figuring out what we could do to fill this void in our lives, so we started packing "unnecessary" items, including my 6hp 30 gallon air compressor and all my air tools!
Friday we headed out around 11:30am after I did some things that morning at work. My Girlfriend drove the first part of the drive while I caught up from an exhausting week. I took over when the roads got twisty (we were towing the car) and overall the convoy made good time to VIR. Right at 4 hours if I recall correctly, and that's two trucks pulling their cars.
We got set up on Friday and went to dinner at Ham's in Danville with some of the gang from Madison Motorsports. We then went to the hotel and crashed.
Saturday started at 5:45am because Alison was working the event and had to be at the gate. I took this opportunity to calmly get my car checked out and get my head in the game with a good breakfast and several reviews of track videos. The track was somewhat wet for my first session, but that was ok because I had to get to know the track.
Saturday was uneventful, we just spent time learning the track and getting the hang of the "Stevie Wonder's."
Sunday was a great day. The first session was completed in full rain, so cars were going slowly and it really evened the playing field. I chased a Subaru STi the entire session and only lost him on a the crossover (steep right hand uphill turn, his AWD pulled him right up, my RWD sent me into a controlled drift) and on the straights because my instructor had me not exceed 95mph due to the conditions, which was perfectly fine with me. On the turns though, I was right on that STi and it felt great!
Session 2 and 3 (of 3) I was allowed to Solo and I learned more during those sessions than I did the entire weekend. I guess it was not having the pressure of an instructor. Session 3 was awesome, as I was able to start out 3rd in line and pass both cars in front of me, and by the end of the session I had caught up to and passed nearly half of the pack. Sweet :-).
A special thanks to Chad, Alison, the MM crew, and NASA for such an awesome event!
All of the nice pictures, the first several, are credit to euroimage.
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