Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Driving as much as possible

Sadly, Alex has gone to Chicago for 6 weeks to do post-doctoral work. As a result, I have tried to find activities to fill my weekends. This past weekend, I was invited to drive Carl's Type R at a Solo 2 event. Usually, I don't really go in for Solo 2. I decided to give it another shot. Carl would be driving Oktay's S2000 and I would have the Type R all to myself. I was classed in STX as the car was on street tires (Kumho). I managed not to get lost in the field of cones and did a 1:10 on my first run, 1:08 on my second and 1:07 on my third. Carl told me I could get down to 1:05. He was running 1:03 in the S2000. I managed 1:05 on my next run then 1:05 plus a cone on my fifth run. I slowed down to 1:06 on my last run. I was satisfied with my result. I ended up 13th out of 33 ST class cars. Carl decided to do his 6th run in the Type R. He managed a 1:02. Ouch! I guess I'm not a high level autocrosser yet! I had a good time, but I don't plan to continue to run these events much. 65$ for 6 minutes of racing is just not worth it.

On Sunday, we hosted a lapping day at St-Eustache. It was supposed to rain in the morning or afternoon. It rained the entire day, non-stop. Luckily, Pascal St-Cyr had brought some Toyo RA1's which we put on my car. We then split the track time and had a ball. Despite the 800 lb/in front springs and 1000 lb/in rears, the car handled predictably and well in the wet with the shocks set at full soft. It was a fun day over all.

On Monday, the weather was dry. I mounted some old Hoosiers on the car and went out for a few laps. The tires felt pretty dead, but I still managed a 1:03.88 on a clear track. I then swapped cars with Oktay and did a full session in the S2000. It's really a great car and fun to drive. I didn't push too hard as I'm no rear-wheel-drive expert. Still, I could see the car's potential. Oktay hopped out of the Civic smiling. He had managed a 1:04.9 and was smiling (and sweating). Surprisingly, he mentioned that he found the car physically demanding to drive. Most people say the opposite. JP went out for one session and corded one of the dead tires. For once, he didn't beat my time!

Thanks to JAG for the great photo!
I have been quite busy with my running training as well. I have managed to stay on schedule, running three times a week. Yesterday was a killer, with 10 30-second intervals, which Nico had us do all uphill in 28-degree heat. On Saturday, I will run a short race on Mount Royal with Val (5 miles) on the same trail where I do most of my training (chemin Olmsted). There are no car activities planned this weekend.

I bought a wiper and windshield washer bottle for the Civic and managed to procure a front bumper beam as well. The car is 95% of the way to being SCCA legal. I just have to see if we will attend any SCCA races this year or not. To be continued...

Cool cars spotted:
Dodge Viper SRT10
Maserati GT
Maserati Quattroporte
Lamborghini Murcielago
Ferrari 360
Ferrari F430
Ferrari 550
Bentley Continental
Audi RS4
Audi S6
Audi S5
Audi R8

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