Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Back from Thunderhill - we finished!

We made it back from Thunderhill last Sunday evening and unpacked everything on Monday. The weekend was great. In bullet-point format:

* incomplete cage welds result in four passes through tech inspection plus a lot of on-site welding on Friday once through tech inspection, judges rule our car a mega-cheater and give us a 1200 lap penalty!
* we emblazon our ride with “-1200″ and get ready for Saturday driver’s meeting at around 9:15am Saturday, basically don’t drive like a dick
* I’m first up (Peter), so first time in car on track, first time at Thunderhill, first time in wheel-to-wheel racing, first time racing on four wheels, etc.
* yellow for awhile, then green, crank out some laps
* about 1h15m later come in to pits, 17th place, but pinhole leak burned in heater hose from whacking against the manifold under acceleration, car ran great
* fix leak, put in new heat shield, Tim goes out
* drives around in circles, then loses it in turn three, goes off-track, gets black flagged
* Tim comes into the pits for reckoning, gets to follow the old VW bus around while we throw oranges at him
* Eduardo drives and sets a fast lap
* Brent drives and sets a fast lap
* Dinner with the Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys - thanks guys!
* Sunday driver’s meeting at around 8:30am
* Scott out on track first, does some good laps
* Zandr out on track, gets T-boned by RX-7, towed in
* We fix the coolant leak by joining tubes together with a socket, then notice giant oil leak
* Fix giant oil leak by shortening oil return hose, then Jim? from Saab team goes out
* I go back out, after about 25min notice big puffs of blue smoke under acceleration and ride it in to the pits oil return line is melted, scrounge up new tougher hose but not long enough so have to sleeve with the casing of an aluminum pen, tighten bolts to turbo
* Tim goes back out for a bit, but then back in with turbo loosening problems
* Eduardo goes out, sets good laps, back in and we have to tighten seat
* Brent goes out and finishes up the day
Totally a blast, thanks to everyone for a great time. See you at the races!


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Getting close, door bar, steering extension, etc.

Ok, we’re getting pretty close. All of the driving gear has arrived and yesterday we did a big push towards getting the car finished. We were able to get a door bar welded in, fit and bolt in the seat, extend the steering column back a few inches, drain the coolant, mount the fire extinguisher, and paint the numbers. Remaining items include finishing the electrical cut-off (need cables and wire to run iginition (blue) interrupt), a new battery, and getting supplies ready for transport up north. I also re-installed the windows so that we can run with the hardtop and heater on if we actually drive off-track for any reason.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Roll-cage is drilled and ready

Just got done using my cool new 90deg angle drill. It is super low-profile (I’ll get a picture next time I’m at the shop) and I can drill holes in hard-to-get-to areas. Specifically, the front and rear stays for the roll-cage were kind of hard to reach, but with the new drill it wasn’t so bad.

I also taped up the lights and mirrors. We still have a list of things to do, but it’s slowly getting knocked out. Race is coming up faster every day it seems (Dec 27th/28th).

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Roll cage padded, windows out

The last couple weeks before the big race are upon us. We’re going through the checklist for the race and hopefully will have everything more or less ready by the 26th Dec. We have to drive up to Thunderhill that morning, do an inspection, then race a little over the next couple days.

Today I put in the roll-bar padding and made a list of things to buy and fix. I also pulled out the side windows (super easy on a Miata) but am waiting for a ruling on the side windows if I can just tape them up.