Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring Is Here!

Hotshoe and I have come to regard our club's Indoor Driving School as the official advent of spring. Members are incentivized to "work" it with conga line laps in our street cars behind an experienced wheel-to-wheel racer (in his street car).  That's a chance to recalibrate our brains from snow and ice to normal braking points and heel-and-toe downshifts.  It has become our tune-up for our spring Tail of the Dragon run.  And a chance to reconnect with our gearhead buddies who race or work race events.

After 16 laps of Blackhawk Farms, speed-limited to 50 m.p.h. but with the corners taken at 7-8/10's, I returned home to catch the last four hours of live-streamed Sebring.  It's a reality-check to push your own street car (and yourself) hard and then watch GTLM BMW's, 'Vettes, Ferraris, and Porsches corner dead flat at over twice your speed.  Long before I joined this sports car club, Sebring was the signifier of spring for me.  For some, it's baseball training camps.  For some, it's Daffodils or Dogwoods.  Once a gearhead, always a gearhead, I suppose.

Kurt Vonnegut working on a novel, or maybe an English Professor working on a
lecture, right?  Actually it's Scott Durbin, my club's President, setting up the vids
and slide show for the morning part of the Indoor School.  Scott knows whereof
he speaks: he took a Formula Ford that was an also-ran before he owned it to
the sharp end of the grid and a club championship.

John Saccameno, Scott's co-presenter in the morning session, holds forth to the assembled multitude (about 30 newbies).
John is also an excellent journeyman driver who's lovely Alfa GTA/GTV has appeared in this blog more than once.

Run Whatcha Brung I: a sample of the daily drivers owned by people who show up at the Indoor School, interested in
High Speed Autocrossing: a late-model Mustang, a BMW Z, a Chevy Cobalt, a Porsche, and all manner of Japanese

Run Whatcha Brung II (not the trucks...).

Run Whatcha Brung III: a C 3 Corvette, a Chevy Vega-Cosworth, and a Miata.

The Vega-Cosworth caught Hotshoe's and my attention.  Hotshoe owned and loved one; I've always thought that it was one
of the lovely cars that General Motors did when John DeLorean was President.  This one has had its problematic o.e.m.
fuel injection replaced with one huge side-draft Weber carburetor.

Ahead of its time: if the Vega-Cosworth had been done right in the specification and assembly quality departments, it
could have preceded the Golf GTI as the First Hot Hatch.

False-gridded for conga-line laps of Blackhawk Farms, surrounded by my fellow Run Whatcha Brung-ers (a corner of the
purple Dodge Challenger, the late-model Mustang, a Triumph TR-4, and the Vega-Cosworth are in this shot).  My line's
leader was driving the Infiniti G-35 in front of me, and he did know the lines around Blackhawk Farms.  This old dog
learned a couple of new tricks.

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