volksdragon: (Autocross)
This past Sunday (the hottest day of the year) was New England Region's 5th points event of the year. I've driven every points event so far, as I'm hotly in contention for the STS class championship. Along with my Co-Driver, we've ended up usually first or second, and always top-3, with me coming out on top. We're driving a well-prepared 1993 Honda Civic SI, one of the best in STS in the country. The car's owner is one of the fastest ST class drivers (and CM drivers this year) that I've ever seen, definitely top-5 fastest in our region, and Nationally competitive. I'm sure it's killed him to see his car driven so below its normal level this year. I've been having some issues coming to grip with this car. It's DAMN fast, corners like no other Auto-X car I've driven (I'm sure the Viper pulled more G on the skidpad, but it might be close, the Datalogger on this thing recorded 1.13G already, and I know it'll do more), accelerates great thanks to the modified intake and massaged head, and stops FAST thanks to nice new Hawk brake pads. The Konis are amazing, and this is all being done on Falken ST-615s, no Kumho or Hoosiers here.

Solo2 talk under here )
volksdragon: (Autocross)
RAINED all day, 11 hours straight of regular rain to downpour rain, and I'm not exaggerating.
I drove not up to my regular rain skill. Spun the car twice. Got pissed. Got calmed down. Pulled out an 8th place time for the first day on my last run.

Pleased I set a time, not pleased overall how I drove. Oh well. There's tomorrow to beat everyone by 1 second.
volksdragon: (gasoline)
I knew it wasn't going to be a fun phone call when the VW service guy quoted me a price of $600... JUST FOR PARTS. Yes, it's a Clutch. NO, CLUTCH PARTS DO NOT COST $600. And then,. of course labor. HOW MANY HOURS? Dude, *I* could change the clutch, blind-folded, drunk and high on Percocet, in under 7.5 hours! HOW MUCH PER HOUR?

Don't touch my car, I'm having it towed out of there tomorrow morning.

The funny part was when I told Paul at Murphy Brothers how much they were trying to charge me, he said, "Man, I have to go work for a Dealership."

*sigh* I shoulda just had it towed there in the first place, but it'll STILL be cheaper to pay for the tow anyway.

(And don't call me Shirley)
volksdragon: (Autocross)
Driving up Route 128 (N) today, heading to work. Traffic is piss-poor, so it's stop-and-go all the way. I was (luckily) in the right-hand lane of traffic, and of course, since I drive manual shift cars, I am clutching and shifting a lot. As the traffic comes to a stop, I press down on the clutch.... and it hits the floor, and STAYS there. DOH.

LUCKILY, I was practicing driving and shifting without a clutch a few months ago. I was able to get the car OFF the road onto the grass (I was between an exit's on-ramp and off-ramp) so I didn't cause a traffic backup by blocking the breakdown lane (AKA: High speed lane).

Checked the clutch cable, it's not broken (anywhere that I can see, it COULD be broken inside the sheath, but it's still hooked to the transmission, and still hooked to the pedal, but the clutch does NOT release from the transmission. *sigh* Had it not been horrible traffic and having to stop, I could have driven it sans clutch to my office, but I decided to call AAA and have it towed to the relatively nearby Norwood VW dealer.

So, there it sits. I'm waiting to hear from ther dealer if they even have time to look at it today. I'm hoping it's something simple like the throwout bearing in the clutch went out, and that's all the have to replace. Worst case is that the clutch springs collapsed, but it didn't really make that kind of horrible noise, so I'm hoping something smaller.

It's not fair, though! I wasn't speeding, and I WAS wearing a Volkswagen shirt! Where's the good karma?
volksdragon: (Autocross)
Scored 2nd in class. Continue to beat my co-driver (we both got beat out for 1st place by a very fast guy in an STS Celica GT-S. Very Hot day. My brain is poached. Hannah and Jenn came up to Chang's house Maynard for a post-race BBQ, which was nice. Drove truck back to Millis, drove car back to house, am now very tired. Going to watch the F1 race, and probably fall asleep doing so.
volksdragon: (Cars)
I'm sure this ride felt like 8 YEARS. Scroll down about 20% of the page and enjoy!

volksdragon: (Default)
Oh yeah, to protect us from ourselves.... forgot.

volksdragon: (ME)
(apologies to [livejournal.com profile] nrubenstein, he's already seen this!)

I had a rather odd experience yesterday. Someone recognized me as being a "driver" in a race setting. I went to Race-a-Rama yesterday, and we hung out for a while, looking stuff over. As we were walking out, I was behind some guy I didn't recognize at all, but he turned to look at me, and said "Hi." Being friendly, I said HI back, and he said, "Are you a driver?"
"uh, yeah, I drive in the NER Auto-X group in SCCA. "Yeah, I've seen you before. Nice to meet you."

Heh. Either it was an amazing spin-out I had, or, I dunno... Strange. Not bad, but not what I'm used to. :)
volksdragon: (Default)
Tonight was the night for myself, the car owner and the other co-driver to all meet and discuss details about co-driving the owner's car for this Autocross season. I was offered a chance to get in on this deal a few weeks ago, as I'm still out a racing car, and THIS is really my year to save up the $$$ for it.

We did it just like businessmen do, at Golf courses, except we did it at the indoor Go-Kart track. We raced three races (I'm still getting faster!) and then sat down to hammer out details.

A lot of the details (prices for the rental) had been mostly decided over email, this was just to nail that down, as well as prices for damage accrued, when the car would be available, what kind of tires were going to be purchased, and things like that. We all came to agreement over the terms, and starting in April, I'll be racing the car that placed 10th at Nationals last year in STS Class, a 1992 Honda Civic SI prepped to within an inch of its life (and the class rules). The car owner says (and has results to back up) that it's probably top-3 if not THE best STS class car in at LEAST the region, if not the east coast, and is capable of winning 1st place at Nationals with the right driver. That's probably not me first year, but it's nice to know the slow thing will be me, and not the car, so I know what to work on. :)

So, yeah, excited.

This isn't THE car, but it looks pretty much like this one. Same year, same color, different wheels (and this one's slower)
Car pic under here )
volksdragon: (Workout)
So, 7 teams didn't race at the Indianapolis Formula 1 race this weekend, leading to a joke of 6 cars racing. I watched it. If it wasn't so sad, it would have been funny.

Michelin advised the 7 teams that run its tires that it couldn't guarantee their safety if they raced, due to their tires being insufficient for racing at Indy, with the high speeds and downforce generated on the banked turn 13. They also had not provided a secondary tire for use for some reason this weekend.

Now, let me get this straight. Michelin, the dominant tire manufacturer in F1 right now, who have been racing Formula 1 for 5 years, and many other races for much longer, managed to LOSE ALL THEIR CAREFULLY MAINTAINED DATA from the past 5 races, that indicate just how much stress these tires are under in that corner, and designed a tire that was unable to sustain the speeds necessary without exploding, causing not one, but two accidents in qualifying/practice, and then quite probably ended any chance of F1 making any in-roads into the US for a long time, if ever. AND, then have the gall to ask that the track be redesigned to allow their cars to run safely, when it was their responsbility in the first place.

Michael Schumacher put it pretty well: "Bridgestone-shod teams haven't been performing as well at many of the races, but we finally showed up with as reliable and well-performing tire for this race. Can you imagine what would have happened if, at previous races, we didn't have the qualifying speed in two laps, and so we asked for a third lap to qualify better? We would have been laughed off the grid."

It's all sad, ugly, and a bad blow for Formula 1.


volksdragon: (Default)

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