42nd Overall 14th in Class!

Ewan and I are stopped in an InNOut on the drive home so I don’t have time for details. We had a good day and we finished in 42nd overall and 14th in class.  Jason had our fastest lap, I think a 2:22.

It was a great race. Buttonwillow is really technical and really fast. It was an all 3rd and 4th gear track. Our car held up through abuse including me going off 4 wheels off once, two-wheels off a second time (taking a hard bang on the front left tire/wheel reintering the track) and a on track crash involving us and Kevin’s (Aventari’s) car that sent both cars spinning into the dust.  Yes that’s right the two 93 Accords managed to swap paint on track.  d’Oh.

The crash was a bit of a mystery at first, both drivers thought that a third car had been involved, but review of their video and ours showed that we banged into each other. They got the worst of it, lost 30 minutes on track at the end of the day and had to spend 5 hours fixing it. We got a mashed drivers door that we were able to pop back out and about 10 pounds of dust coating everything inside the car.  I apologized to them and they apologized to us.  No one is angry ( I think, I hope, it didn’t seem like it ).

Kevin’s car and his drivers are fast.  Really fast. I believe their fastest time was 11 seconds faster than our fastest. Before the unfortunate incident they were about 14th overall and I think either 2nd or 3rd in B class! A phenomenal race for those guys they deserve congratulations!

Day One in the Bag

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It wasn’t nearly as hot as yesterday.   I drove first.  After a year of working on the Minnow and then not getting to drive it and then since late March on this car I was gonna get a chance no matter what.  I didn’t do all that well.  I went off course on the first full green lap.  Got a black flag for that.  My lap times were not all that great.  My fast was about  2:35.  I did do one thing really right.  In turn 1 I noticed a clunk when I transitioned from the gas to the brakes.  I heard it a few more times as I went around the track, so I slowed it down and didn’t get hard on the brakes and brought it in.  One of the caliper bolts had come out!  The guys got it replaced pretty quick and after that it was fine.  About 1:20 into my stint I put two wheels off and went in to self report.  The left front has had a slow leak ever since.  I got away without a penalty for that one, but decided to go in.   With the two offs and the repair I finished the drive in about 90th place out of about 112 cars.  Dang.

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The cool seat that I spent so much time making was almost too good.  I never ran it for more than a few minutes at a time.  It makes your back crazy cold.

Tedd was next.   He beat my fast lap by about 10 seconds.  He got a black flag for passing under yellow.   The motor is holding up well.  It doesn’t seem to use oil, and the oil still looks pretty clean!

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Then Dennis was up.  I’m probably not being fair but I don’t remember his drive much mostly because I was gone.  We need a tow dolly to get the car home.  After my drive I started calling UHauls and found one in Delano that had several.  It is about 30 miles across a grid of roads across agricultural land.  I was probably gone for about 2 hours altogether.

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Jason was up 4th.  He’s fast.  He set our fast lap so far of a 2:22!  I don’t know where he found that much time.  He got black flagged once for a crash that happened in front of him and that he was not involved in at all.  Lucky the judges believed him and let him go without a penalty!  He stayed out an extra half hour but came in after another crash happened right in front of him.  At the end of Jason’s drive we were in 50th place!  Steady, clean, and fast.

When Tedd took over for the last 45 minutes of the day.  On his first lap out he got in a crash in the long right sweeper turn with someone that hit him on the left side and knocked him into the inside of the turn.  The car was full of dust.

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Tedd looked like he’d been running the Paris-Dakar Rally.   Somehow we got through again without a penalty.  So we have two.  Our neighbors that are driving another 1993 Accord were also involved in the crash.  It is not clear to us if there was a third car involved.  I tend to think it was just the two of us.  We finished the day in 64th I think.  The had to wrench on the car the whole rest of the day.  I really hope they get it back out in good form.  They had been in 14th overall and in second in B class!  They are a good deal faster than us.

So we worked until dark cleaning dust out of the car.

Tedd, Dennis, Ewan, and I had dinner and Dennys.  It’s the only place open late in many miles.  So that was our third meal at Dennys.

Time to go to bed soon.  Racing starts at 9am tomorrow.

So Hot

I worked on the car all day at the track yesterday. I got the fire system installed. I got the cool seat working. Ewan discovered the damage done by the tow bar. We won’t be able to use that again. I also adjusted rhe clutch over and over. It was engaging way too high. It was very sensitive and very hard to reach. In the afternoon the line at tech got shorter. We sailed through that. BS inspection put us in B class with zero laps.

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It was so hot I drank about 2 gallons and didn’t pee until after dinner.

Drivers meeting is a 9. Race at 10.

We’re Here

We got too the track at about 7:30. We got a spot right by the front straight and with a bit of shade! We’ve gotten the fire bottle plumbed in so we can pass tech now.

Ewan and I are having an early lunch at a burger stand in the town of Buttonwillow.

Race Countdown

The race is almost here!

I’m going to work from home tomorrow and as soon as Ewan gets home from school we’ll drive over to Tedd’s, hook up the car to the van and tow it to buttonwillow.

The drive is going to be pretty arduous.  We’ll be in rush hour traffic for quite a while and we’ll be finishing the drive in the dark.  Traffic moves pretty fast on I-5.  I’m planning to find a nice slow semi and tuck in behind for the long haul.

There are still a few things to complete on the car.  I have to wire the cool-seat into the car.  That should be pretty easy. I have to plumb the fire suppression system.  That might not be so easy.  I could also spend some time finishing the splitter and spoiler, but I’ll probably ignore those in favor of doing the safety stuff.

 

An Eventful Week

Tedd towed the RBG (or should we call her Ruth) up to Mitch’s Muffler Works shop for Mitch to install a new harness bar and a tow bar.  I didn’t torque the lug nuts the last time I put the wheels on.  The left front wheel came off just as he got to Mitch’s.  The rotor is a little chewed up and the wheel/tire mashed up the fender.  The lower ball joint has no sign of contact with the ground.

I arranged for Miguel at Golden Gate Collision (right next to Muffler Works) to pull the fender out and he did an excellent job on the cheap.  Thanks Miguel!!!20180916_111932_hdr

Mitch did get us a new harness bar and did the tow bar mounting points the right way.  Thanks Mitch!!!

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Saturday was Ewan’s birthday party.  We went to Driven raceway in Rohnert Park.  Fun.  I’m still sore.

Sunday Jason and I worked on the car.  We mounted the fire bottle and installed the pull cable for it.  We adapted (cut with a sawsall) the bumper cover to fit over the tow bar.  And we experimented with mounting locations for the cool seat cooler.  It looks like the splitter mounts we spent all last Sunday on will still work with the tow bar in place.

Tedd needs two new tires for the tow van.  The two on the south side (the way he parks it) are dried out.20180916_111618_hdr

 

Splitter, Odds, and Ends

Jason and I worked on Sunday to install the splitter.  I used flat stock bolted into threaded holes already in the body to support it.  We still need to add the air dam above the splitter and below the intakes.  Now I have to make a rear spoiler to balance the splitter.  Lucky that that is easy.  This is probably superfluous, but Buttonwillow has several high-speed turns and the team consensus was that the Minnow was steadier through turn 1 at Thunderhill.

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I got the fire suppression system yesterday.  Very cool.

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I also received the cooler and dish drainer for the CoolSeat.  I should post a photo for the seatback heat exchanger.  It was a huge amount of hand sewing effort.  The cool seat system will have a sump pump modified for this application in an Igloo cooler.  We’ll fill the cooler with water and ice.  The pump will pump the water through an array of tygon tubes in the heat exchanger which will be between the seat and the driver’s back.

Tedd just towed the RBG to Mitch’s for the harness bar.  We are hoping that the nice stainless exhaust piping with catalyst attached and a terrible fart can (the stuff that came with the car), will encourage him to do the work.