Monday, May 11, 2009

Parking Lot Repairs

A brief bit of catching up: I sold the Mercedes. It was an awful car. It was stately and beautiful, but painfully (painfully!) slow and problematic. Daily commutes tested my patience. Not a day goes by that I'm not glad it's gone.

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The Windy City Miata Club autocross comes highly recommended by Sean, the guy I bought my Miata from. I went to their first event this weekend and brought my friend Mike with.

(Pictures courtesy of Bill, my instructor at The Learning Curve.)

Lined up for the first run
Mike is riding shotgun.


Coming around the first carousel


And a hard left around the second carousel.
Notice how, even with stiff springs and shocks at the highest settings, she still leans pretty far.

All in all, it was a great time. Running with the WCMC is better than the SCCA in that you get a lot more runs in a day, and they're a little more lax about the rules. You can, for example, have someone ride with you who isn't registered as a driver for the day. They just have to sign the waiver.

The people are really cool too, though as with any group of people, there's a few douchebags here and there.

So, I finished my 5 afternoon runs, handed the car off to Mike, and went out to corner 3 for cone duty. A few cars go by, then Mike goes, far more controlled and stable than he was in the morning runs (and not lost among the cones). This turned out to be his best run of the day.

And his last.

About a minute after he went by, I heard a call on the walkie-talkie: "Alan at corner 3, come to the grid. Alan at corner 3 to the grid." Well shit.

I sprint off the track and across the parking lot. As I approach the grid, I see the hood up and people gathering around my car, and I see a big puddle under it. These words keep repeating in my head:
"Please don't be oil. Please don't be oil. Please don't be oil."

Once I'm close enough, I see that the puddle is bright green. A relief.

The Miata radiator has plastic ends on it. It cracked where the plastic meets the aluminum core, apparently all the way across the top. A few guys help me push it off the grid and into the parking lot. Sean lends me his tools, I call around to area parts shops, and Sean's brother Aaron drives me to a Pep Boys in his NC Miata.


(My picture, cell phone.)
I changed the radiator in the parking lot, collected my prize for winning in my class, and went home. The prize, by the way, is a glass beer stein with the WCMC logo on it. Mike got a ribbon for placing 3rd in class. (No, we're not that awesome at racing; it was the novice class, and the car is pretty fantastic.)

1 comment:

  1. Nice! My car is getting fixed for a easy 300$. the whole steering rack is being replaced! I should get it back today. I realy want to race it but im afraid ittl fall apart.

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