Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Driving everybody's car but my own.

I went with my friend/mechanic Pat to pick up my new used engine. In an ideal world, it would have been installed last weekend. In fact, Pat did not have time to install it last weekend. I went to Monday night lapping anyway, with the blue Civic. The blue Civic can only take about 5 hot laps befire it runs out of brakes and the temperature begins to climb. It's fun while it lasts, but it sure doesn't last long. Luckily for me, my friends at the lapping club are very generous with their cars. I got to drive Pascal's blue Civic. It looks a lot like mine, but it's got an Integra GSR motor, Koni shocks, Neuspeed race springs and some weight reduction. The result is a seriously fast and fun to drive car. It's almost as fast as my race car was (before dropping a valve). The car handled like a go-kart and was confidence-inspiring.

Yesterday, I instructed at a Trac Racing Depot corporate day for a private group. Three of the seven students had 996-Generation Porsche 911's. This presented a good opportunity for me to drive a 2WD Carrera, a 4WD Carrera S and a Turbo in a short period of time. All are great cars, but my favourite at a track like St-Eustache is the 2WD narrow-body non-turbo Carrera. Even though it was a convertible, it was the best of the bunch. The Carrera 4S had a problem with the stability control, which kept intervening all the time for no reason. To stop the problem, I shut off the PSM and the car was back to normal. It's stable enough so that it can be driven hard even without PSM. It helps to have the wider body with 4WD. I was a bit disappointed that a car that was not that old felt so used though. The car was showing its age... Until yesterday, I was under the impression that 911's were bullet-proof and did not really deteriorate. This was not really logical, but it was an impression I had. Yesterday, I saw that they can get worn out just like any other car. I guess you can't beat on them all the time and expect them to just take the punishment.

Tonight I will help Pat remove the old engine so we can install the new one over the weekend. If all goes well, I will be able to take the car to the track Monday night for testing. There are only two lapping evenings left. I would really like to get the car out for both of them. I hope it works out!

Cool cars spotted:
Saab 900 SPG
Porsche 997 turbo
Nissan Skyline R32 GTR
Ford GT
Ferrari 328

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