Yup. I totally did it again. (Thanks for the pic Lucas!)

Whether I was prepared or not, the last event of the series was going to be one to remember. I was excited to see a long time friend, who was going to be in town on his eastern Canada/US trip. The last we saw each other, he was doing a similar trip about 5 years ago. And back then I happened to be doing the same thing when he was in Ontario. What are the odds! I was keen to show him how much faster I’ve gotten after 5 years of slalom experience.

Friend Lucas getting to experience the 240Z.

Friend Lucas getting to experience the 240Z.

Of course, there would also be the inevitable shootout. And before that, the knockout round. I’d be lying if I wasn’t apprehensive about it. Lots of pressure there. The entire day leading up to it was nerve wracking. But the minute it was time to make it count. It was business time.

Lets not get ahead of ourselves though. It was freeeeeezing. Super cold. We could all see our breaths in the morning. It really isn’t often that we race in these conditions. As a result, the tires limited traction in the lower temperatures was catching a number of people out. Always remember, rubber gets harder when it gets colder. Harder rubber means less grip! It was pretty amazing to watch cars on race compound tires spin their cold rubber off the line finding far less traction that normal.

Cold weather brings out the funny hats.

Cold weather brings out the funny hats.

Thankfully my street tires weren’t affected quite to that degree. But there was less grip than normal. I couldn’t really tell how much on the first run as my power steering belt popped off immediately during the first run. Thankfully I was able to get that back on with the help of some of my competitors. With that back on I went looking for time.

Yup. I totally did it again. (Thanks for the pic Lucas!)

Yup. I totally did it again. (Thanks for the pic Lucas!)

There were 4 FRS/BRZ drivers this event. And I was determined to beat every one. I pushed pretty hard trying to catch them. Unfortunately due to the threat of rain, we called the event early with two runs to go and moved to the shootout. This ended the fight prematurely with me just behind the fastest BRZ. Which happened to be on non-stock wider and stickier rubber. Chasing the BRZ meant I worked all the way up the fourth overall. Which is dang fast for a stock Miata.

I'm going to have to get used to fighting these cars.

I’m going to have to get used to fighting these cars.

But with that cut short, it was time to crown the overall champion. This year, even more drivers were in the running for overall. So once again, there needed to be a knockout round. Last year, we ran the course, and the 3 people closes to their fastest time without going faster moved on. Last year I moved on, but lost in the actual shootout. This year was a bit different. The organizers modified the course in a few places. And without being able to walk it again, we were told to go back out in our own cars. The two drivers who get closest to their original time, or improved the most, would move on to the shootout. I went first. And matched my time to the tenth of a second. On my second run, I actually improved by over a second! This was enough to put me into the lead and keep me there while everyone had their second runs.

Running to the stop box.

Running to the stop box.

There were some rumors throughout the day as to what the shootout car would be. A popular thought was that since we’re sponsored by Scion, we would get an FR-S to use as the shootout car. Much like last year, where our sponsor was Scion, and we were given a Scion tC to race.

However, that was not the case. Instead, for some reason, one of the competitors showed up in their winter car. A RWD E30 BMW 325. In all seasons. That would be our championship deciding chariot. It was red. I suppose that helps. It did have an LSD. And a manual transmission. And those things really help. I’ll be going into more detail into how it drove in the next post. SPOILER: It was so much fun.

I won the coin toss, and as per normal with the winner of the coin toss, I made the other guy go first. Unfortunately for him, he hit a pylon. My turn. No cone! Decent time to boot. My competitor, to his credit, was pushing pretty hard. But through one of the turns he went wide hitting a cone. Handing me the win. Woah! PITL drivers champion! The owner of the BMW was OK with me taking my second run. So I went for a victory lap in the BMW. Sideways.

Powersliding is the best!

Powersliding is the best!

After the weather turned sour, a bunch of us decided the perfect end to the event, was a random sushi buffet that was near by. Much fun.

Absolutely rad day. Got to hang out with an old friend, have a sweet battle with the FR-S/BRZs, and won the drivers championship. Fantastic! But to be honest, even losing is ridiculous amounts of fun. PITLers are the funnest dudes to race with. On to next season!


Link to video

To see all the runs I recorded that day (Including my shootout runs) head over here.