Saturday, May 12, 2012

Highs and Lows

The drive from Hastings to Brainerd Wednesday night was a long and tedious one. This was another 600 mile journey and most of it was through Minnesota on two lane highways with 55mph speed limits. Obviously we couldn't afford to drive 55mph the whole way so we traveled at a rate slightly greater than the posted speed limit. This led to encounters with local law enforcement. We were pulled over once but not ticketed, the officer seemed mostly curious about what we were doing. Later on down the road another officer flashed his lights at us, apparently requesting that we slow down a bit. We obliged and made it to Brainerd receiving any more attention of that kind. Near the end of the drive the car started making a really bad rattling noise.

When we arrived at the track the next morning the first order of business was to find the source of the rattle. After tearing apart the trunk we could see that the nut that affixes the shock shaft to the mount was no longer doing that. We re-installed it and carried on with the events for the day. 

Four different competitions were to take place at Brainerd. The first two were roadcourse time trials, one on the historic Donnybrook Circuit used for TransAm 40 years ago and the shorter course used for SCCA club racing to day. The long course was intimidating with two extremely high speed sweepers, think Daytona without the banking, they're supposed to be flat out well over 100mph. We weren't confident enough to enter at over 100mph. The shorter course was more suited two our car as it doesn't use the super long straight. Corner 1 was a lot of fun and people watching from the bridge cheered our car on as it slid sideways through the corner. This turned out to be one of our best placing road course events at 44.

The remaining competitions were low ET and Bracket racing drag competitions. Oddly we did better in the low ET than Bracket racing due to being unfamiliar with the operation of the Christmas Tree.

When it was time to leave Brainerd our car wouldn't start. We received help to push start the car and drove it to the local Napa hoping we could replace the battery and continue on. After replacing the battery the car still wouldn't start and the Napa people told us we could pick one up in Minneapolis which we would then have to figure out how to install in the morning at Road America. Just as we were about to leave a guy came by and said he could fix it down the road, it happens that they rebuild starters and alternators all day long. These guys were great and know their stuff, we were back on the road an hour later with a fully functioning car. If your starter is on the fritz don't buy a cheap reman, have these guys get the original fixed up and you'll be back on the road for another 160k mi and it may even cost less that the reman.

No comments:

Post a Comment