Tuesday, September 06, 2005
I was really excited last week. Finally got nice 17" wheels and tires that Monday for the Celica, got the body all fixed up the week before. The office closed early on Friday, so I spent the afternoon washing and prepping the car for the weekend. When I left Moncton on Saturday, the Celica looked awesome!
Jody and Tylor drove up from the Island. Tylor was heading to Freddy to visit friends and I invited Jody to come up for some D&D and racing. Spent Friday night and Saturday afternoon hanging out and playing some D&D. My sister and her boyfriend had invited a bunch of people to crash at their place for the weekend, so we decided to take off for Freddy Saturday night; avoid overcrowding at my sister's house, dump unnecessary weight in the Celica, and get more sleep via the shorter commute to the event venue. Fitting everything into the Celica was quite a feat. 4 race tires, my racing gear, folding chair, D&D books, air mattress, air pump, bedding, and the usual stuff 3 people need when they go on a trip. I don't think I've ever had the Celica that packed before and on the drive to Fredericton the car didn't handle like it's usual self. The Celica felt like it was firmly planted on the ground and didn't respond to accelerator input. I got Tylor all excited about getting a ride in my car at the regionals, however I didn't hear from him at all after I dropped him off so I guess that's his loss.
Got to Sunday's event at a decent time. It was a good thing as it was the first time I was running R-compound tires and the logistics of swapping tires, lugnuts, and managing 3 sets of wheels locks takes a bit of preparation. I ironed out most of the problems and the change over and back on day 2 was a lot better. I wasn't the last person to leave on day 2 anyways :-p
R-compound tires are awesome. I've been doing pretty good on street tires, getting within 2 seconds of Greg and as close as 3-4 seconds on Kevin, the guy I'm actually competing against. I've been getting progressively better all season, by seconds at first (mainly from being bad), to fractions of seconds. R-compounds are great, but if you can't drive well, they're a bit of a waste. You'll see somewhat better times, but you're more likely to destroy the tires a lot faster. R-compounds don't teach you how to drive (so I've been told). The first time I saw pictures of my car actually competing at Slemon and saw how close I was getting to pylons, I was like "WOW!" Greg designed the course on the first day. A nice tight course and I really could feel the difference in grip with the new tires. I wasn't expecting an overly great improvement on my first event with them. Greg was downplaying it and told me I'd have to get used to them and all the grip I'd get from them. I was actually thinking of saving them from the event after Fredericton just to get used to them and surprise Kevin on his home turf. I'm glad I didn't. I was 1.2 seconds behind Kevin on day 1 and he managed to sqeeze a 0.7 second better time on his last run on day 2. I was faster than Greg on both days though (2 seconds on day 1, 0.5 seconds on day 2). Overall, a better performance than I was expecting, and I'm just waiting to see whether I can get a win over Kevin in October.
After the first day, I took Greg and Jody on a fun run. Greg to show him how good I was in the Celica. Jody to show him what Solo 2 was from inside a car. I got some positive reactions from both. Greg: thanks for the compliments on my driving skills. I'll see how well I do at the nationals next year.
Sunday evening, Jody and I met up with Tyler. Went for some Chinese buffet at Jubilee and then over to Tyler's place to hang out and play some D&D. It was fun and relaxing. We were up pretty late, those Sobe Arush energy drinks were great at keeping me conscience while I was driving.
Fun quotes from the weekend!
Morning after first event:
Greg: "Since you didn't get back before I went to bed, are you going to start the trash talking now?"
Ming: "No. I think the results from yesterday speak for themselves."
After the second event:
Greg: "Congratulations. Now get out of my house!"