Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Roll Call in the Sleep Inn Parking Lot

2 Miatas (including mine)
3 Z06 Corvettes
1 E30 BMW
2 VW R32's
1 2007 MINI Cooper S
1 Formula Ford
1 Dodge Viper
1 Porsche 911 GT3
1 Porsche Cayman (no badging, but it might be an S)
2 Ford Mustang GT's

I'm down in Danville for 2 days for a HPDE (high-performance driving event) put on by TrackDaze. It's 2 days on the track at VIR, where I've driven twice before, but the difference is seat-time with an instructor and the right to pass slower traffic.

I'm super jazzed about it!

I got down here this afternoon around 4pm and headed over to the track to unload & prep the car. Swapped the wheels, mounted the cool-shirt's cooler in the boot, and ran all the electrics that I'd need for the event.

Then it was time to hob-nob. First up was a guy in another Miata, and from the looks of his car, he knew what was what. Evidently not: he bought the car already prepared and had a look of trepidation when he got close to mine. He must have asked about every single component of my car. It was cool, though, to see the enthusiasm and curiosity that only comes with being new to this racing thing.

Then I spent some time with Ashley (of RiverCityMINIs fame) and his buddy with the 944. Yummy cars... Eventually my eyes settled on a familiar looking vehicle: an E36 M3 that I've seen several times behind Mr. Kimmelshue's house. The fellow unloading it didn't look familiar, though, so I introduced myself. It turns out Chris is poison for other people's wallets, too, as this guy got into track events after talking to Chris.

Anyway, the guy couldn't have been nicer, but while he was releasing the tie-downs that held the car onto the trailer, we were probably flapping our yaps just a bit too much, because he forgot to put the car in gear. When he let the last strap go, the car just started rolling. Both of us had a moment of "hey, is that supposed to happen" before panic set in. I foolishly tried to stop the 3000lb+ car by pulling on the A-pillar. No dice. Then I figured that since the car came with brakes, I might as well use them. I dove through the window (the car was still about a foot or so of the ground) and cranked the emergency brake. 5 feet later it stopped, but it could have been much worse.

15 minutes later, we saw what "much worse" meant. There were a number of cars in line to be tech-inspected. The last two were a Cobra and (I think) an R32, in that order. The guy with the Cobra hopped in, fired the motor, put it in reverse, and slammed the R32, to the utter amazement and stupefaction of at least 10 onlookers, including the R32's owner. Yikes!

Hopefully, that's the worst I'll see this week, but horsepower and adrenaline are closely related, so wish me luck...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

looking forward to seeing some photos!