June 15: Autocross school!
Here at BDR, we strive for ego-less driving. Or at least, pretty much ego-less driving. One should always be comfortable with the idea that they can learn more. So, we try to keep our skeeulz sharp by going in for some formal instruction every once in a while. So, using the winnings from last year’s Crossroad Racing Autox Series, eight members and one fiancee attended a WDCR Autocross school at Ripken Stadium.
The new Courtyard Marriott on Long Road was an excellent staging area. The rooms were really nice, and only $100 with the AAA discount. After some Yuengling and a few hours of sleep with some questionable sleeping arrangements, everyone awoke to do battle with themselves. Oh yeah, and John can’t use one of those automatic wafflemakers to save his life.
The instructors were Brian Garfield and Greg Olsen, with Craig “Benevolent Dictator” Garfield operating as the safety steward.
After clearing some large, random hunks of turf off of the driving surface, the school began. One group ran the slalom while the other ran the figure eight, then vice versa. The second half of the day was devoted to a fast, fun ~50 second course that used 3/4 of the Ripken lot. If only they could all be like that!
There were a few notable victims on the day:
victim one: The MR2′s coilovers. After hearing a noise in the slalom drill in the MR2, Slava switched to his hot-spare Miata to finish out the drill. Upon further inspection, the swaybar bracket had disconnected itself from the strut at the welds. With the Miata as a spare, and with some fun ride-swapping, everything continued on just fine. Do I smell… strawberries?
victim two: Kevin’s brake quasi-ducts. Apparently if you hit enough cones, some stuff starts coming off the bottom of your car. For Kevin, these were the brake ducts on the underside of the car. No biggie really.
victim three: John’s gas tank. “Oh, I can run with the light on”, he thought. Whoops. When it came down to the very end, the WRX was verrry low on gas and fuel starving in any hard corners. The school was not lacking for seat time, with about ten slalom runs, 10-15 minutes of figure eight drill, and then at least ten runs on the course.
The Ripken lot is definitely much better for these schools than Harry Grove. if you get a chance… do it!
June 16: BBQ!
Slava and Mei invited most of the universe over for a BBQ at their place in Frederick. There were serious cookies and serious’er brownies, as well as funeral cake. Dan finally got to take a day off. It turns out he IS alive.
Unfortunately, Dan did not bring a TIG welder with him. (Why do we keep him around, exactly?) This would mean that Mei and Slava would have to run the Miata instead of their more thoroughly prepped MR2. It would also mean that “You’re the best” would not be played in grid.