I’m instructing all day Saturday, while Chris is taking the school. Instructing was a blast – I really enjoyed it! Got to drive some student cars – 5.0L Mustang, and a Porsche Boxter.
12pm - Lunch break – get the car on jack stands, do an oil change. Barrie comes to the track, he’s done a bit of tuning for me – swap the chip, car runs, cool – let’s shut it down, there’s no water in it.
4:00pm – School is done, gotta get the car ready! Check tire pressures, one is flat. No prob, just start the car and roll it forward. WTF – car won’t start. ECU not getting power. Call Barrie – no idea. Call Arek, do a few quick wiring checks, everything seems legit. Could be the ECU decided to die, or the crank sensor. He’s at the shop and has both. Offers to bring them out. That guy is awesome – it’s now 4:30pm.
4:30pm – Jamie shows up with water and new fitting. Get it all hooked up – awesome! No leaks now, let’s just hope it doesn’t leak when it gets hot!
5:15pm – Arek shows up with new ECU. Swap the chip, plug it in, THE CAR RUNS!!!! Got moved to 2nd qualifying group – I’m on at 5:30. Andrea gets ready, I get ready, we’re on the start line! Woohoo!!! Qualify 7th - bit disappointing, but at this point, it’s the first time i drive the car, and I’m just happy to be out there.
6:30pm - Race time! Car has crazy setup issues – the rear end is way too light. Good battles with a vette while he’s waiting for his brakes to cool down, then he waves goodbye as I see vette taillights disappearing over the upcoming crest. Finish 6th. Cool. I finished
9:30pm - I sleep in the back of my Tahoe. Wake up at 4am as a complete icicle. Turn the truck on with the intent to shut it off in 30 min. Fall back asleep. Wake up again at 5:30 am in a sauna (set the heat to max). Shut the truck down, ¼ tank of gas lighter. Lovely.
7:30am – wake up, go write race license theory test. Think I did really bad.
Did some sessions in the morning, things were looking pretty good. Kuno Wittmer (factory Dodge ALMS test driver) was my first instructor. OMG so cool. Later in the day I had Pat Seguin – a World Challenger driver. This is awesome!
12pm – it’s lunch time, and my brakes are toast. Time to do a quick pad/rotor swap. Crap, didn’t bring a C-clamp or piston spreader. Seems no one has anything like that either. Ruh roh. I see what I can do with a pry-bar. One side opens up, sweet! Done. Move to next, fight with it, fight with it, fight with it.... calliper is seized? Seriously?!? It’s 1pm, I’m supposed to be on track. Sh!t. Go see Carl – tell him my day is done. Looks like I won’t be getting my license. Walk back to my paddock, dude waiting for me “look what I found- a c-clamp AND a spreader.” SWEET! The spreader works! Get the new pads & rotor on, its 1:20pm – 10 min left in the session – let’s go!
5pm – school is over, get my evaluation: I did do bad on the theory test, but they recognized that it’s just stuff I didn’t study (I didn’t do the theory course because I wasn’t “technically” signed up for the school). Got my license, but have some studying to do before I actually do a race!
If I were to describe the weekend in a few words:
-mentally and physically trying
What I learned: I have an amazing group of friends/family/contacts, and I would not have been able to get through everything I did without them. If you keep at it, you WILL succeed. But there were several points this weekend where I really thought I wouldn’t. Thanks to all for what you’ve helped me with – you know who you are, and my words cannot fully express my gratitude.