In preparation for the event, we switched the car from its Bonneville straight line setup, adding negative camber to a setup similar to one used in road racing but with slightly less negative camber and no toe out. A Jim Wolf Technology super light aluminum flywheel and an experimental clutch were also installed. Two weeks before the event we shook the car down at Streets of Willow raceway making some changes to the shock settings, figuring out the optimal tire pressures, bedding in brake pads, scuffing in a new set of Toyo RA-1 race tires, making sure that the car could corner well and the cooling system could work well for longer periods of time in hot conditions.
|On the road with our Nissan Titan packed full of tools, spares, supplies and luggage. We were pretty close to maxing the trucks GVW out and the Titan struggled in the heat|
We packed up the Nissan Titan tow rig with extra tires, a spare clutch, transmission, axles, tools, other spares, snacks and luggage. With the Titan groaning under its max GVW, we got an early start, leaving on a Thursday morning, hitting the road at 0 dark 00 to try to beat LA’s traffic and the heat of the desert. We had a Mandatory press conference we had to attend in Las Vegas at 11:30 am.
|On the road with MotoIQ!|
One of the interesting things about the Silver State is something we started to call the dog and pony show. There are many press conferences, meetings, parades and shows during the 4 day event that the attendance for is mandatory.. It seemed like we were rushing from one mandatory event to another for all 4 days. The first one was a qualifying lapping event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a requirement that was waived because all of us are licensed NASA racers and Instructors. However we did have to get to the press conference.
|Overheating and stuck on the side of the road on the car killing Baker Grade. Fortunately we are carrying all sorts of tools and stuff to fix the issue which was cause by low fluid levels and really high temperatures|
Our stay on schedule plans started to go amiss as we started to climb the infamous Baker Grade to the high desert. The differential and transmission temp on the overloaded Titan started to soar toward the red zone, we slowed our pace and surfed the temp gauge but near the summit with our temps pegged out, we had to stop due to concern of permanently damaging our drivetrain. We pulled off at Halloran Summit at the top of the Baker Grade and searched for any reason why our temps were so high. Not finding anything obvious, we sat and waited for the truck to cool and once it did drove on to Sam’s Town Hotel in Vegas and the press conference.
|Sam’s Town Hotel, the first stop of the dog and pony show. No Annie doesn’t own this nor do any of her relatives|
Arriving late we, could not find the press conference and barely noticed a train of cars heading out of the hotels parking structure. We followed this caravan out of town and toward Ely Nevada, the official headquarters of the event. Somewhere in the middle of nowhere is the town of Ash Springs where the first of many drivers meetings were held in a picnic area by the main gas station in the tiny town. Here we were instructed about some of the many hazards and procedures of the event. An event like this is a pretty complicated undertaking and there are many things to remember. After the meeting we picked up hwy 318 and took the course backwards toward the start line and Ely.
|We arrived too late for our mandatory press conference but no one busted us. We noticed a bunch of cars getting ready to pull out of the hotel parking lot and joined the the group out on the way to Ely|
|Just out of Vegas on the way to Ash Springs, the train stopped to get grouped up |
|Annie takes a break from trailer driving|
|Stopping for gas in Ash Springs|
|The first of many mandatory drivers meetings took place in Ash Springs. We were briefed on the many dangers of high speed driving on the highway|
Annie signs the role sheet at Ash Springs
|On the way to route 318 we pass the road going to area 51. Fortunately we did not get abducted or anal probed|
|Scary Narrows, look at the lack of run-out and what you hit if you go off!|
|On the way to Ely, we pass the entrance of the Narrows, the technical part of the course|
|At the exit of the Narrows we attend another drivers meeting on the hazards of navigating the narrows at high speeds. This is our third mandatory event so far today!|