Wednesday, May 22, 2013

First race of the year... I'm a little rusty.

I was really looking forward to my first race of the year in the Civic. I went to the track Sunday for the practice day and I was quite satisfied with the car's performance, although the transmission was grinding when I shifted into third gear and the exhaust hanger broke at one point, forcing me to use safety wire to hang it back up. I had some wheel to wheel contact with another race car as I was trying to pass him before the bus stop. I dented my fender and wheel. The other car had no apparent damage. The BFGoodrich tires did not have a ton of grip, but they were quite predictable.

On Sunday, there were 22 cars running in my series, the Super Production Challenge. I knew it would be extremely tough to finish in the top five or six cars, as Pat had done a few weeks earlier driving my car at Sanair. I set the 8th fastest time in the morning practice, but only managed to qualify 13th, as the other drivers shaved off more time than I did from one session to the next. My exhaust pipe was now almost completely broken, but Choo helped me secure it in place with some hardware I had bought at Canadian Tire.

There were to be two 10-minute races, followed by a 35-minute long feature race. In the first race, I did OK, but on two occasions I was passed on the start-finish straight due to having trouble shifting into 3rd gear. I re-passed one of the drivers, but not the other. I finished 11th in the first race.

In the second mini-sprint, I was running 11th when I had contact with the same car as the day before! There had been room to pass at the entrance of the carousel, and then the other guy shut the door. All I could do at that point was slide into his wheel. This really mangled my wheel, but I made it to the end of the race, in 13th position.

Luckily, I had a spare wheel, although my tires were looking quite second-hand. I headed out for the final race in 13th. The race was mostly uneventful. I had a small contact with Alex Lapierre's TSX entering the bus stop in traffic. I did not drive a great race. I had little confidence to aggressively pass rookies after they constantly closed the door on me. I just wanted to finish the race with the car relatively intact. A few times, the car would pop out of gear in 3rd. At least the exhaust was holding together. I managed to hold off a K24-powered Civic behind me, but I could not pass the Golf that had been running in front of me for the last few laps. I ended up in 13th position. I was disappointed that I had not managed to catch and pass the drivers ahead of me, as they were within sight at the finish. I really hoped I would do better than this at my home track, but I just wasn't patient enough and allowed myself to be taken over by the red mist.

On the brighter side, at least I finished every session and managed to bring the car home more or less in one piece. I will need 2 new tires, a new exhaust, and a new 3rd gear synchro, before the next race.

The car at home
Here are some photos from and Montreal Racing:
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And here is what I did to my wheel:

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Civic ran well in its first race of 2013

Pat managed a pretty decent performance in the Civic at the first Super Production Challenge event at Sanair last weekend. He came in 6th in the first race, 5th in the second, 6th in the third, and 10th in the enduro, which he completed three laps down on the winner due to an electrical issue.

Here are some photos from

All in all, a solid performance, considering our car is 500 pounds (!) over the minimum allowable weight. The team now sits in 8th place in the championship after one event. The next race is May 20th at St-Eustache, where I will get my first race drive of the year. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Finalists, but not champions.

The Diamonds gave it their all, but only in the second half. They were unable to come back from a 24-point deficit, but at least they lost by less than 20. Here is a team photo. As you can see, the boys are not overjoyed about their silver medals. Still, it is a good result for a school that did not even have boys last year.

The whole family will be heading to Calabogie this weekend for the second AISA school. Pat will be driving the Civic in the first SPC race at Sanair on Saturday. As the series uses short qualifying races, there will be six races in total for Pat... lucky guy!

Jules borrows a sun hat at a picnic in Lafontaine Parc
Cool cars spotted:
New BMW M5 (Frozen Silver)
E39 BMW M5
E24 BMW M6
E30 BMW M3
Alpina B7
Nissan GTR
Ferrari F430
Tesla Model S
Mercedes 280 SL (1960's)
Mercedes 500E
Porsche 997 GT3
Porsche 991 Carrera S
Lamborghini Gallardo