I mean Thunderhill in 2009 of course. What? That was like a year ago? Be silent infidel, the dark lord's minions have been busy. And lazy, sloth is one of the seven deadly sins you know.
Anyway, about the race:
We won of course. The whole race. Beat everyone. No, not really, but we did beat the only other Camaro to grace the track.
We got there much earlier than Reno. It was dark and we were greeted by a long line of waiting racers which we reluctantly joined. A note for all you city people, it gets way darker out in the country. When I took this photo, I didn't know Curtis was in it.
We finally got let into the paddock and hustled to get a covered spot, but were too late. We drove in circles for a bit before selecting a pit space at random. We were extremely lucky in our guess. Our space turned out to be between the track entrance and exit! We accidentally selected the best remaining option. That's basically LeMons for you; good decisions are made by accident.
We unloaded our car, performed some final checks and headed for tech inspection. In the rain.
I'd like to say that we:
1. Passed tech on the first try.
2. Followed up with a hard day of practice.
3. Didn't get wet.
But that would be a parcel of lies.
1. We went through tech twice due to concerns about our wiring and extinguisher.
2. We didn't practice, the track was super wet also and our car loves to get a little sideways.
3. It was very wet.
We basically fixed what they wanted us to fix, tarped the car, and watched other cars slide off the track sideways. Here's a picture of our hero and team mechanic Dave replacing the screws which held our extinguisher in with bolts during a brief period of sun:
The next morning dawned bright and sunny, a beautiful day for racing. We quickly discovered that the tarp we had used had been neither clean, nor waterproof. Car cleaning ensued.
Shortly thereafter, my family arrived, and my father presented us with a gift: devil horns! They're monstrously awesome. We put them on with a tie-down and got the car in line to race. The line wasn't moving so it was a good time for a team photo.
And away we went! Racing like we knew what we were doing and being extremely visible doing it. At some point, I swapped into the driver's seat. See how I negotiate turn 5 in front of all those other cars I totally just passed:
After that photo was taken, I then proceeded to overcook the turn leading into the back straight and slide right off the pavement. When the car hit the dirt, the seat bracket slider broke and the seat slid back till it hit the roll cage. With my harness all loose and my pride in ruins, I limped the car back to the pits with the tips of my toes. I had to rev match as best I could to shift because I couldn't press the clutch more than a quarter of the way in. We were off the track for about half an hour while we removed the slider and Dave fixed it by putting a bolt through it. Then Mike was back on track and almost died. Well, not really.
The V8olvo passed us on the inside and then became one with a Triumph TR7. Video here:
We escaped unscathed but the other cars had a little fixing to be done.
We turned out a ton of laps (for us) and had a solid day of racing. As the sun dropped low it became apparent that our red headlights were extremely visible.
We checked the car over, fueled it up, and retired for the day.
On Sunday morning it was Aaron's turn to begin the day. Extra kudos to him for color matching his suit to the car.
Aaron actually had the least mishaps on Sunday of all of us. Curtis experienced our only actual contact with another car the whole race. A wheel kiss with the Channel 4 News Team. Go, go gadget spray paint!
During Mike's turn at the wheel he committed an unknown penalty, and when we failed to explain it we were required to sit in the penalty box and think about what we'd done.
During my stint I ran out of gas on the track and had to be towed in. Embarrassingly, our fuel tank is the OEM part that experiences fuel pickup problems during hard cornering.
While I have the sad distinction of being our only driver towed off the track that race, I also got to finish it. Driving under a checkered flag was awesome, both as an experience and because our car finished the race. We finished 68th out of a field of 156, just short of a top third finish. It's as if our car were enjoying this! I'll leave you with one more image of our Satanic Camaro:
The November Wind
5 years ago