Friday morning Ewan and I loaded up his Volvo with race stuff and drove to Tedd’s. Lara picked us up and shuttled us to the Uhaul office. There we picked up the truck, a new F150, and trailer. Can you believe that when you rent a tow vehicle and a trailer, the hitch is not included? The truck came with only 1/4 tank and the usual warning that if I returned it with less they would charge me $10/gallon. I wasn’t too happy about that.
At Tedd’s I had to figure out how to back the trailer into his driveway, so we could get off the road while loading up. On my first try I decided that there was just not enough room. But then I decided that by using a bit of lawn I might squeeze it in. It worked! We filled the bed with all our race stuff, and got the car on the trailer. The car rides way too low to drive on, so we had to jack up the tongue so the car wouldn’t bottom out at the top of the ramps.
Then we pulled it out, parked Ewan’s Volvo in the race car spot, and headed for a gas station to fill up. Though we were at Uhaul as soon as they opened, with the loading and the drive, we got to our motel in Monterey at 3pm. After checking in we ate at the Denny’s down the road and then arrived at Laguna Seca at 5pm just as they opened the gates.
It was dark by the time we unloaded the car and the trailer. I took the car to tech and passed inspection with no difficulty. That was the last pass I made that weekend. They gave us about 20 stickers from “sponsors” that we were required to put on our car. We must be real racers now, because we have sponsors. I thought that sponsors were supposed to give us money or parts or at least moral support. These just gave us stickers.
Since Tedd had to stay home and take care of his Mom, Jason recruited a friend of his, Danny to drive with us and pay a share of the entry fees.
We arrived early on race morning to check the alignment and tire pressures. We had to adjust the toe before heading to the driver’s meeting. The owner of Lucky Dog, Kathy, is long winded. It went on and on. At 9am we lined up the car for practice/qualifying. We each got three laps by 9:40 and at 9:50 Dennis was in the car for the rolling start. He did pretty well posting a 1:58. At some point he came in complaining of power loss under throttle. I went next and had several laps in which I had bad power loss heading up the hill to the corkscrew. I kept deciding to stay out one more lap because I knew there was little we could do about it. Eventually it cleared up and I got about 2 laps before the car started shaking badly under acceleration. I limped back in and they tightened some things in the front left suspension and told me to go out again. It was immediately obvious that it was worse, so I limped around the track and came in. This time I got out and put on some gloves and grabbed the axle and it was loose on the inside cv joint, it was also hot as hell. So we rolled it back into the paddock and replaced the axle. Unfortunately the spare axle we had was for the right side so we had to send Danny to get a new one. We got that replaced and by then it was Danny’s turn. He said he had fuel starvation nearly the whole stint but he did get a 1:55. I was concerned that he would push the car too hard, but he didn’t really get the chance to. Then Jason was up and he had a perfectly clean drive and set a 1:53! With all the lost time we finished in the bottom 10.