|May 5, 2007
One Lap of America: Project One Lap - Update #4
I had a tough time falling asleep last night, couldn't turn my brain off. Finally nodded off around 1am. Up at 6am, got the car packed and headed out to Tire Rack for the wet skid pad. Made a bit of a rookie mistake tho, they weren't sending people off till 8am or so, and we're starting mid pack, so we coudld've gotten to the Tire Rack 2 hours later than we did and gotten some more sleep. Ooopsss. We ended up sitting around most of the morning and didn't run till around 9:45-10am. Kasim suited up and did a good job on the skid pad, then it was time to pack up the car and head over to the oval track about 10 minutes away.
That was kind of a free for all, you just paired up with a car about your speed and went at it. Kasim did a nice job, very smooth. Then it was back in the car for the 110 mile drive to Autobahn country club. I caught some z's in the back seat, while Kasim drove to the track. We had a little trouble getting there, missed a turn and had to GPS to get back on the freeway. Then we didn't believe the GPS once we were close to the track and followed the One Lap route book instead. Which would've been fine, except the one crucial road sign couldn't be seen from the way we were going! I called another team that was already at the track and we figured it out...
We got there plenty early, as the members (Autobahn is a country club track) were still running. So we emptied the car and had a nice lunch at the track. Then we walked the track, which is an interesting, flowing track. Looks like fun! I gridded with our buddies in the 330i behind me. We tried to get a group together that hadn't been to the track before, so we'd be a little more equal. In front of me were an SRT8 Charger and SRT8 Magnum who'd been on the track before, then 2 Lotus (Loti?) Exiges. Off we went!
I did as fast of an reco lap as I could, the track is much shorter in a car! I'd caught the Exige ahead of me after about 1.5 laps and was trying to setup a pass when I hit my brakes and the pedal sank to the floor. The car still stopped, but it wasn't very confidence inspiring, and the pedal didn't get any better when I tried to pump it up. Oh well, out here now, gotta drive! I started to take more inside lines on the Exige, remarkably I was much faster than him in the corners. I finally pushed him outta the way and passed him right before my last time down the straightaway. Woohoo!!
Then it was packing the car back up and starting our drive to Mid America in Council Bluffs Iowa, a little over 400 miles away. We stopped for gas just over the Iowa border and had a quick McDinner with the BMW guys. The cops are out in force! Luckily we have friends about 40 miles ahead of us texting us the cops location. Unfortunately the BMW guys still got nailled, we passed them a little while ago, but heard the good news that they got a warning, for doing 75 in a 70! Ouch...
We hope to roll into the hotel around 11:30-midnight. That'll give us a full nights sleep, as we've learned our lesson and won't be arriving at the track super early. Kasim knows Mid-America very well, so I'm going to let him run the track all day tomorrow. We're going to check our rear wheel bearings and bleed the brakes and see if that brings them back. We have another set of pads, but they're street pads and won't really help us out very much. Luckily the Stoptechs use a very common Porsche pad, so if that's the problem we should be able to get a set pretty easily.
More updates and pics tomorrow!