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Tuesday, 04 May 2010 11:22

We've arrived at gateway directly from Tulsa. The drive was rough, somewhere outside of Tulsa we lost a small tupperware from the back corner of the trailer!? Our aluminum jack was in there, and if that wasn't enough, we also had to swerve hard to avoid 3 deer on the I-44. Also, no hotel again last night, so we're feeling pretty beat. Will is especially bad right now, his caffeine pills have worn off and he's asleep at the table in subway right now.
I've been watching video of gateway's 'roval' track. It doesn't look too challenging, there aren't too many corners, and the whole track is flat except for the banked oval portion. I think it will be fast, very fast. And Iím a little worried that we may run of our gearing at the end of the front straight since we'll have a good run at it from the banked oval turns 3 and 4.

 

Only gets harder

Tuesday, 04 May 2010 07:26

Since the IC reservoir and hood vent mods the cars vitals are doing great. Turns out the on track performance isn't the most difficult aspect of this adventure. Tonightís transit stage covering 360miles has been the hardest yet on mind and body. After both Jon and I had a short and wandering stint at the wheel we called it and parked the car to grab a nap before continuing. Unfortunately we don't have time to check into our hotel now and will have to head directly to Gateway raceway.

   

Drags tonight

Tuesday, 04 May 2010 03:49

Can't seem to upload pics at the moment while we're on the road but will get those up as soon as we get to the hotel. It's going to be a late night since we just finished at the drags around 8pm. Why so late? Well Jon was able to get in to the quarter finals of the bracket races, the top 8 out of 68 cars! There was a bit of trouble launching the car off the line, just because the track surface was sprayed down the entire length with some grippy stuff (sorry, don't know the right terms for this drag stuff). The event was split in two so that first we ran for fastest |ET, then bracket eliminations with break out times that we specified. It was a one run chance for ET and I happened to bog the motor pretty bad on launch, netting us a 13.7s 1/4 and 111mph trap speed. Jon took over for the bracket eliminations and just focused on reaction times with a dial in of 14.0s. Jon's consistency paid off as he was able to run three 14.2 in a row. In the quarter finals, Jon was paired up with pro driver Jason Saini in the crazy Mazda 5 minivan/SUV, both with identical dial in times and the last pairing of the quarter finals. But, it wasn't meant to be as Jon red lighted by only 0.05s.

   

Giant Killer!

Tuesday, 04 May 2010 03:04

Overall a good day at Hallett Raceway. The drive down to Oklahoma was an interesting one. First time driving through Kansas and all we saw were flat grassy plains for hundreds of miles and a crazy lightning storm that lit up our entire windshield. We were warned about tornados in this region, but when this storm hit us, we realized we didn't really know what we're supposed to do if one happened to be chasing us down. "Hide in a ditch at the side of the road," someone told us earlier...we don't know if he was joking or not.

This would be the first night we'd both get sleep in the last two days after our last minute modifications following Road America and it was much needed. Pulled in to the Hampton Inn and Jon really raved about how nice it was compared to some of the last hotels we've stayed at. Not sure what the big deal is when we're just crashing for 6 hours ;)

We wanted to make this day count and arrived at the track early and with a list of things to check immediately when we got there. Having the bicycle helped a lot as I was able to make it around the course a couple times to take notes, autocross style, since we're timed on the first session out and no practice laps! I guess the idea with the cannonball is to drive the fastest on roads not necessarily familiar to you so this adds that element.

Hallett Raceway is a tight and technical race track with several short straights and nicely flowing combinations of corners. What make it difficult is that most of the turn in points are blind, you can't see what's coming up ahead until you're mid-corner and secondly, most corners are fastest with a late apex, requiring a lot of patience to resist turning in too early and running out of track on exit.

For morning session, we were gridded in 17th behind the same Porsche Cayman S Jon passed at Mid-America. I was sure to leave him an extra 5 seconds after the starter gave me the green flag. It was lucky I did because on our second timed lap, he had a big spin and stalled in the middle of the track. By the time I got to him, he was able to move the car off line and I didn't get held up. A pleasant surprise followed during lunch when we saw we were in 7th overall place for the morning session! 5th and 6th were a ways ahead of us but there was some fierce competition with just a few seconds separating our cumulative times with the next 3 cars. Now we know why Motor Trend blogger labeled us 'Giant Killers.' Our main Economy class (friendly) rival, Andy Hollis, unfortunately had a four wheels off track incident going over one of the blind crests in a complicated section. Thankfully he was able to drive it back on track safely but losing several seconds worth of time.

Afternoon Session was a bit of a crap shoot. My first lap turned out amazing as I was able to push the car more confidently, balancing four wheel drifts and hitting my apexes. I was determined to make an improvement and things were going well until midway in to my second lap. I caught up to the car in front, a Mazda 5. Weird, yeah, but it's gutted and turbo charged. Problems arose when it appeared he did not want to let me past and eventually lost 6 seconds during the lap I was following him. Fortunately, we still finished 7th in the afternoon, with possibly 5th in sight , if not for the hold up. That's nuts considering the company would be a couple of Porsches (GT2 and a Turbo 997), Corvette, GTR, and a heavily modified WRX Sti.

Vids to come soon. It's a bit slow uploading data using a tethered phone.

   

Top ten finish in the morning at hallett

Monday, 03 May 2010 16:54

Preparations paid off this morning, Will drove the civic to a 7th overall and 1st in class finish. Now we'll see if we can continue the success in the afternoon.

   

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