You don't have to tell us twice that an event is over. Before Jason Deinhart could finish announcing the conclusion of the event we were pouring some Crown Royal based libations over plenty of ice. My personal favorite is the Cherry Dr. Pepper and Crown and man do they go down easy. The ever ready and photogenic Taylor Wilson not only mixed me a proper drink he also told me the secret to the perfect pour in the red solo cup. “Two times around the rim and top it off”… I did give him a raised eyebrow when he first said it but then I realized what he was talking about and the drinks were perfect every time thereafter.
The other thing that decided to call it quits was the AC in the snail trailer and after sticking around for the awards ceremony we decided it would probably be a good idea to head to the nearest town and crash at a hotel. That town would be Blythe, California and I am pretty sure the state forgot completely about Blythe! Despite the desolation and desperation within the town we were able to find a place to crash and a decent place to eat! We immediately went back to the hotel, drug the cooler to the pool, and let the Crown flow! Sitting there I realized that I had had enough for the day! Without announcement I quietly disappeared back to the room and crawled into bed; luckily we had remembered to set the room AC unit to “frozen tundra” and the cold sheets were amazing! Not long after Reid appeared through the door and apparently we both had the same idea as he was soon growling like a wolf with a deviated septum. While the Snail trailer was quite comfortable, the tin fartbox did not hold a candle to the desert oasis that was our $79 special!
Sunday AM most of us felt very well rested and drug ourselves out of bed to partake in the fancy feast they called a continental breakfast. Reid and I looked like old traveling pros while we only allowed ourselves to eat boxed and fruit products while Jerome wolfed down some of the S.O.S. they were serving up. We all wondered if the local fare would afford Jerome the opportunity to visit the lavatory and we hit the road to test that theory. As we rolled out of the hotel we took a turn to find a gas station and what a wrong turn it was. I have never seen so many improperly leveled single wides in my life! The desolation was something out of a B movie and we all had a chuckle at the local's lawns. You could tell the affluent by their 5' x 5' neatly manicured grass patches and just after we thought we heard banjo's playing we found a fuel stop. We actually found TWO stations and we all had to make a choice of which to visit based on our observations. After looking at the signage from afar we made our selection and thought we would get to a more modern facility and boy did they have us fooled. What they lacked in cleanliness and modern amenities they made up for with good old fashioned business intuition.
This was apparently a full service station as the hand written sign in the window offered massage services at reasonable rates. I swear I saw Jerome check his wallet for singles when we glimpsed the sign… We stocked up on snacks for our hour drive back to the track and hit the road. I can tell you this; if you have not tried BBQ Pork Jerky you have not LIVED! I had been talking about it all weekend and I bought a bag to share with the guys which we promptly annihilated. I am somewhat of a Jerky aficionado and let me tell you, the BBQ Pork variety is tender and full of flavor while still having the dry chewy goodness of traditional beef. I have tried several brands and ALL of them seem to be able to get it right, either that or it is all made in the same factory and just placed in different bags… 😉 Any day that starts with BBQ Porky Jerky is bound to be a good one as even the weather felt much better than the day before. The high for Sunday was only supposed to be 102 and everyone seemed excited by that prospect. We also looked forward to running the track counter clockwise as some of the competitors who had run that configuration before complimented the track flow in the opposite direction. As we hit the paddock the competitors were milling about getting their cars ready.
Markos gasses up the WRX for the first session of the day. The battle between Markos and Alex in the Limited AWD class was very close despite the fact that Markos was on 340 tread wear street tires. Markos was within striking distance of the first place spot.
I stole Reid's pink scooter to cruise the paddock for some pics. and to talk to some competitors. I approached Eric from HRG and we talked about the Boxster build and specs. Despite the outward appearance this is a very sano yet mild build! Built for endurance and road races they have been doing quite well within the series that they run! Of course I asked them about placing my camera in the car and they were all for it so I hopped back on the pink scooter to grab my gear. While looking as cool as they come on said scoot I noticed not one but TWO Mclaren MP4-12C's pulling in to participate in the shift sector track day and after narrowly avoiding the side of the snail trailer while rubber necking I grabbed my shizzle and headed back to HRG.
?Checking vitals is an essential part of racing in EVERY class! The boys from Sportcar Motion/Godspeed Project take proper care of their machines! This Civic, piloted by Jason Lee, turned very respectable lap times all weekend long and even bested some of the Street and Limited Competitors.
?Two McLaren MP4-12C's showed up to run the Shift S3ctor track day on Sunday. It was amazing to see both of these machines on track where they belong as opposed to being parked in a garage as a trophy piece.
If you have ever read my Time Attack coverage before I hope that you have gotten a sense for how accessible all of the cars and teams are! Seriously, I just walk up and say hello and everyone I have ever met has been extremely happy to answer almost all of my questions and show me the car's technical bits. It is this very thing that has me addicted to the track and Time Attack world! I thought that the first session on Sunday would hold the fastest lap times of the day but apparently that was not the case. I honestly think it had to do with dusty track conditions and the GTA cars being the first ones out and sweeping off the track. Despite the less than perfect conditions the top cars were posting faster times in the counterclockwise configuration. Tony Szirka's hired driver Mr. Szirta went 1:50 and some change and right behind him was Eric Oviatt in the HRG Boxster. Very close in times once again but this time Tony had the edge. Travis was just a bit behind them in his Snail Performance WRX with a 1:56.00 and lots of drifting. Initially it appeared that the race tire cars had more of an advantage over the street tire cars in this configuration in the first practice session, time would tell if they could find grip and set down faster times.
?Tony was flying in the UMS EVO VIII all weekend. He stretched his legs on the front straight on Sunday. Kyle Schick was out in the GT-R to gain seat time and dial in the car and while the GT-R is a capable beast, it was no match for the speed of the UMS EVO on this weekend.
?Our budy Istvan (Steve) Klag was out on Sunday with his Knight Motorsport STi. If you forgot, Istvan was one of the brave souls who trekked all the way from California to the GTA event at Road Atlanta. Luckily for him Chuckwalla was much closer!