June, 2006

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Two-month update

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

Haven’t updated this blog in a couple months, partly because I’ve been busy, but mainly because with the Evo at the shop getting a rollcage built (yes, it took them two months) there hasn’t been much new to report about the car.

  • Just before getting the cage built, I took the Evo out to the track at Thunderhill and ran my first time trial competition (basically just timed laps). Won the class, setting a new personal best time of 2:06 (running the “over the top” configuration with Turn 5). I’m sure the car still has a few seconds left in it even with this relatively low level of power.

  • With the Evo out of commission for so long I ended up taking the Miata out for three back-to-back track days at Buttonwillow Raceway and Reno-Fernley Raceway. The new four-mile track configuration at Reno is pretty fantastic. We didn’t get to run the full course for many sessions but it promises to be a highly interesting technical driving challenge in track days to come. You can view one of my laps of the new track at Google Video or YouTube.

  • “Picked up” a pickup truck to use as a tow vehicle. Ended up going with a 1999 Ford F-150 5.4L V8 Triton XLT Supercab (whew) with tow package, and I’ve upgraded it with a number of “tow-fast” bits. 8700 pounds of towing capacity should suffice for the foreseeable future.

  • Along with the truck of course comes the trailer. I bought a custom-made 18-foot open steel-deck car hauler.

  • Got the Evo back from Bugformance last week. Cage is done—over a hundred feet of steel tubing and about thirty points of attachment to the car. The car is probably about 150 pounds heavier than before but now that it’s a dedicated race car, I’m taking out more and more items no longer needed, such as the heater and ventilation system, roll-up windows, etc. I’ll have photos up soon, as soon as I’m done the last few bits of painting on the interior of the car.

  • I’ve accumulated a large pile of new parts for the Evo that I’ll now install now that I have the car back; notably an updated turbocharger that should allow the engine to make quite a bit more horsepower, and a new front big-brake kit from Racing Brake.

  • I’ll be going to Montreal this weekend to watch the Grand Prix du Canada Formula One race. Should be fun!

  • Next track day will be at Thunderhill, July 8-9. As usual it’ll be a mad rush to get the car ready in time. That’s racing I guess.