Amazing what a few hours of sun can do!

This event proved to be an extremely interesting one. For starters, a grand buddy of mine was having his engagement party the night before, and I was definitely not going to miss that. But, that meant staying up way to late partying and random games before not sleeping on a bed. Waking up the next morning was not easy. Typically we would go out for a fantastic breakfast at Horizons the next morning. Not for me though. Because race car.

More like because monsoon. It was raining extremely hard the next morning. I shuffled out of my buddy’s Dad’s place before sun up to be greeted with buckets of nature’s own H2O. This of course made the extra long drive to the event not very relaxing at all.

Not the prettiest conditions. But they can be the funnest.

Not the prettiest conditions. But they can be the funnest.

The rain didn’t even let up once I arrived at the event. Everyone was just cowering in a train shelter hoping this ridiculous wind and water would go away. Lou, from AllAboutImports decided to let us use his massive cargovan for the day. Without it, the timing equipment surely would have perished in the harsh, not-electrical-friendly conditions.

Eventually the rain died down enough that we could start the event. The turnout was far less than normal. Which is expected, as the forecast was terrible.

Dark clouds can't stop the smiles.

Dark clouds can’t stop the smiles.

Why didn’t I skip it? If a competitor is able to win their class 5 times out of the 8 total events, they are eligible for the shootout at the end of the year. At the time of this event, I had 4 wins. And with the threat of new FRS/BRZ cars coming off the break in period, I knew I had to get my wins while I could.

And wouldn’t you know it, one of those cars decided to turn up for competition. On wider, non-stock wheels and tires. Uh oh…

Almost needed an oar.

Almost needed an oar.

I skipped breakfast with friends for this. I wasn’t going to take this lying down. Never admit defeat!

And so the back and forth began. During the morning I initially was disappointed that he was ahead of me. A friend of mine said he had the solution to all my problems. “Just go faster.” He said. Simple! My BRZ competitor was in a different run group. So as the day went on, the course dried up, and we traded fastest times to and fro. Unfortunately for him, having to run after his group every time, the conditions favored me. And I most definitely used that to my advantage.

Amazing what a few hours of sun can do!

Amazing what a few hours of sun can do!

Eventually, “It’s simple! Just go faster!” became the phrase of the day. Often shouted at me as I was about to stage. Thankfully I continued to do so run after run. I eventually went to fast for my power steering. Which decided in the middle of a run to throw it’s belt off in protest of my quickness. (In actuality the belt was probably wet and slipped off after a puddle splash) I ended up finding the belt intact sitting on the engine bay undertray.

With such small run groups, paddock time was tight, so I opted to run the last 2 runs without it. It took some getting used to, but it seemed to only affect me a bit during turn in as my arms would be used to far less resistance. Though it did mean I could feel the weight coming and going from the front tires. During turn in I’m often braking which puts a significant amount of weight on the front tires. And thus effort was significantly increased. What I wasn’t expecting was the sharp decrease in effort when transferring weight rearward. When the steering was powered, the difference between these two scenarios was much less pronounced. Did I like it? Not really. But I hear proper non-power steering cars (and properly de-powered cars) feel better than a car that has had the power steering system.

Thanks to the conditions favoring my run group, I was able to defeat the BRZ and wrap up my championship early. Making the trip completely worth it.

PITL A Class Champion! Bam!


Link to video

To see all the runs I recorded that day, head over here.