29 Sep 2013

Went to the local last-Saturday-of-the-month car thing and driving to it, learned about how cold weather affects Midlana: the engine makes more power due to a denser charge, being turbocharged, the intercooler works better, which means even more power, tires don’t stick when they’re cold, and with the straight pipe (for the upcoming trackday) it’s even more power. Result: wheel spin on-demand in second gear, which is good to about 75 mph). Good to have safely become aware of this trait!

There were maybe 70 cars at the event, most slightly customized Porsches, BMWs, and Audis. And then there was this Nissan 240SX, notable only by its large rear tires. With the hood up you can see why; a stock LS engine is around 400 hp, and with that ginourmous turbo it’s probably 600-700 hp. Very nicely done sleeper car! And no we didn’t “do anything.”

My brother advised me to reserve about 15 minutes for getting into my race gear and into the car; yup, he wasn’t kidding. Good to know how far ahead of time I need to start “the process” at the track. Related to this was discovering just how close I cut it for clearance to the roll cage. There’s several factors at work here: the helmet obviously has a big fin on it, I’m not belted in, and I’m slouching a bit. What it means is that it <em>just</em> clears when the belts are cinched down. As long as I keep my head back it’s fine, but looking down at my seatbelt buckle results in a “bonk” if I’m not paying attention.

Somewhat related, my wife was up to no good in the car and it was pretty funny how much headroom she has!

Speaking of sketchy traction, there’s an excellent YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jF__B1xpJY of a very good driver circling Goodwood this year in an authentic Ford GT40, on a wet day. It’s very impressive how he can go lap after lap right on the edge. Many drivers can pull this off for a few turns, but not likely for this long. Another Goodwood video is the 1950’s sedan event, just like how they used to race – very entertaining, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXb243vn0jY. I need to go to a Goodwood event at least once.

Got the first fifty pages back from the copyeditor and it’s another harsh wake up call regarding poor grammar. It’s a long painful process; every single page has multiple issues, but such is life as an amateur writer.