And the madness has begun to set in…..
OK so I am now 3 events into the S2K challenge and about 6 track days into the new year and the insanity is increasing. Suspension has been modified (or as much as I can in my class), Honda alignment recommendations have been tossed out the window in favor of what has colloquially come to be known as “Man Camber” (as in anything less is for women and children). I have upgraded my brakes, then melted them, set them on fire and upgraded them again. I have abused tires in a way that should be a violation of the Geneva convention, and most importantly, I have now been off-track at every racetrack in southern California and I have been sun-burnt, wind-burnt, and had torrential rain dumped on me in a convertible; but what does all of this actually mean?
Well for one it means Ive got at LEAST a dozen more track days to go this year (and about 7 more of them in competition). This excites me and my alignment and tire guys, but doesn’t thrill my girlfriend or my wallet.
It means I need to start thinking ahead on tires more since it seems whatever the hot tire of the year is, is perpetually sold out (I’m looking at you Hankook RS-3).
Most importantly it means many more humbling learning experiences lie ahead for me, since you see, I don’t really get back to a track I know reasonably well in this for several more months, so this means I get to turn up to tracks fresh faced and optimistic, only to have any hopes dashed mere hours after arriving as the cold reality of learning a track sets in. This is really the whole point of doing this though since nothing motivates me like competition, and doing this not only has lit a fire under me to bring my game up, it has forced me to seriously evaluate everything I ever thought I knew about driving. I would like to think I am no newbie on the track, I have been at this a few years, I have done wheel to wheel racing (OK it was LeMons so we will call it busted ass semi-round-wheel to busted ass semi-round wheel racing) and a racing school, so while certainly not new, I have decided to put my neophyte hat back on and start absorbing because these guys are fast, much faster than I am and I could stand to learn something if I can manage to shut up long enough. Only time will tell if that happens but until then I will keep my tinfoil hat on and keep trying to channel Ayrton Senna in my spare time.