Getting Your Life On Track

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Turn 4 and 5 at Mosport International Raceway in Ontario, Canada.  Just beautiful!

 

 
 My friend Dave has an amazing shop at his house.  I have learned a great deal from him.  That is Flat Stanley, btw.  Do a search for Flat Stanley if you’re haven’t heard of him!

If you are a driveway mechanic, then this will be beneficial as you learn more about your car and you do your own maintenance. Learn everything that you can about brakes and general maintenance. I have not gotten to the point where I can take my personal mechanic to the track with me nor can I afford to take it in to the shop every couple of track weekends to ensure that everything is up to par. I have learned to do as much basic and intermediate level wrenching as I am able to accomplish. I am also indebted to friends who are mechanics and who enjoy sharing their expertise. A local high school tech class also helps me out with small projects. I have also benefited from checking out the local auto wrecker’s pick and pull yards. Everything from body panels which I initially told my wife would be an insurance policy as my children were learning how to drive – a statement she often reminds me of as she brings up some of my track episodes which involved remodeling my pride and joy. We all hope that it does not happen, but it is almost inevitable as this is a high speed sport with all of the inherent risks.

Inevitably, you will have an incident.  We all hope that is doesn’t happen, but the risk is always there in a high speed sport such as this.

My daughter and I are now driving courses faster than I thought possible in my economy car. That has caused me to open up my wallet to purchase a roll bar and this past winter Bell SA helmets and a DefNder neck restraint system. This provides the knowledge that as we are rapidly racing around our favourite road course that we are doing so with a solid sense of security.

 
 Helmet, driving suit, neck restraint–all are items that you should consider necessities.

Traveling at an average speed over 80 miles per hour around a ten corner road course like Mosport is one of the most thrilling experiences around, but not one that you want to experience in an unsafe manner. We have also moved from participating only at lapping days and performance driving schools to the CASC-OR SoloSprint series – a timed event on race tracks that does not allow passing anywhere except on grid row. Our car is placed in a specific class but we also get to compare our times with the overall group. You may also have the opportunity to go out with another driver. Take advantage of that as you may both learn something and get the horsepower fix that you may be lacking.

In case you are wondering, none of the stickers is permanently affixed to my car. I am a firm believer that my street car should be as plain as possible. However, on the track that is when I make use of every sticker that various manufacturers have sent to me when I have purchased their parts. I even have a couple of local firms that provide me with a discount as I display their logo.

After several years of tenting and hauling everything that I needed in my car, I have purchased an RV and I now four-wheels-down tow my car to the track. With a few modifications – like a tire bar – I can haul even more gear around with me and have the comfort of sleeping in a bed rather than on the ground.

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