My 1st event write up. XDC Rnd 1 Irwindale

This is my first attempt at blogging/writing about my experience at an event. So please leave comments in regard to the material here:)

Well I want to first off start by thanking God. He kept me safe through my 1st XDC experience. I also want to thank the guys at Millennium Motorsports. They put in a bunch of time prepping the car for the event. I also want to thank Stance for giving me the suspension parts necessary to get my car back together so I could run the event. I also had to make a call to Planet Miata and to Alex of 2ndchanceroadster.com. They hustle parts out to me. Damn, I mean Alex even drove and met me halfway!  This was the first time I showed up to an event with my new Scoot2 hood by Chaser Aerodynamics. It was looking fresh with the dope paint by PAC Autobody. I think it gave the car a lot more mean, which my cute little car needs 😉 As usual Turbo by Garrett kept the power coming and that power was controlled by AEM EMS, tuned by Road Race Engineering. No hiccups with power or performance. Without a doubt, my ACT clutch and flywheel were holding the power through my drive train. Traction and smoke were no problem with Falken 615K and my Energy Suspension bushings kept things together and let me know what the tires were doing out there. BEGI kept my engine cool with their coolant re-route, and the abuse I put the engine and drive train through is welcomed by my Torco lubricants.

I also want to give a huge shout to all of the photographers for coming out and taking the time to take shots of my car.

Thanks Pure Street Photo

 

Sick shot by Matt Chandler of Canibeat

Now, I am thinking that sounds like a bad ass list of awesome!!! Well it is. I had one small issue none of those awesome people or products would be able to prevent last weekend. My power steering system continued to throw/shred belts. Now I am not going to get into what could have caused this. There are a lot of things it could be. I spoke with a lot of knowledgeable people about it and many said they have had and/or seen PS issues on drift cars. This same issue caused me to wreck last season at Round 7 of Formula Drift at Irwindale. This issue coming up again really made me angry. I am sure many of you reading this can definitely understand being completely pissed off at such a chump issue. Anyway, moving forward I believe I have come up with a solid plan. Thanks to the suggestions of Taka, BMI, and many others.

Dudes in Miatas get chicks!! LMAO

So, I said all of that to say this ha ha ha- Friday at practice I went in very confident. I felt good. I love Irwindale and always have fun there. I can ride that bank the way it should be and that was the plan. I got in about 4 laps and was just feeling it out. In October I had wrecked pretty hard there. So I was making sure I was ready to go full balls. I got comfy and went for it. 1st lap was just ok, but I felt good and knew I could put it down, get into 4th, clutch kick and I am on the wall the way you should be. Oh $#*! Wheel goes all over again.  No power steering.  I am completely irate at this point. I go into the pits and let the team know what’s up. Practice has been going on for a while now and a break would be coming up. I get to the pits and everything seems to line up. It could be anything.  By the way, there is a new rack, pump, bracket, and belt in place. So I am dumb-founded. Greg takes the pump up to Road Race Engineering to well a guide on the pulley to keep the belt in place. He got back and the pump was on with about 30 minutes left in the last practice session of the day. I get out there and push about 70% and everything was fine. I am feeling good. I get right back in line and go again. I push 80%. It’s all good!! So then I say eff it. I am going for a real solid run. Feeling good, gunning down the straight I go into 4th gear, as I clutch it for the kick I see what appears to be black strings coming through the vents on my hood. A quick thought in my head was wow, ran over some delam or something, then OH  $^%&!!!! I realized it was the power steering belt coming through my hood. So I just eased off the throttle and hung my head in rage/embarrassment/frustration. This wasn’t going to work. That’s all I could think. I didn’t have a solid run I was happy about ect..

 

Everything Drift showing some love

Chatting with Kyle Mohan, a Mazda guy and fellow Formula Drift driver..

Well, after swearing, and talking to others we decided to de-power the rack and try our luck. Well, that plan was ridiculous. I don’t know if we did it wrong or whatever. I can tell you this, strength does not matter on the bank or in transition. It was a nightmare. I did a couple runs in practice. I can go into a million issues I had while driving the course. I will save you the whining.

Super gangster shot by Larry Chen

Qualifying comes around. I was pissed and not feeling good about the situation so I got in the 1st run group to get it out of the way. My 1st run I gave it about 80% and went through the course. It was a sloppy run and I wasn’t happy with it. I go again and try for like 89% .  The run is pretty dumpy up to the start/finish line. I tried to gun it and had it to the wood going into the smaller bank. That didn’t work out and I spun. I just couldn’t seem to hold the wheel where it needed to be, break and shift.  So that is a fat zero for me. That will always piss ya off. Ha Ha Ha!

 

Rad shot from Dave Karey's gopro inside Dave Briggs' car

OK, so we go to the driver’s meeting. I am ready to not hear my name. Well I did, 15th qualifier! I am def not happy with that, but I get to drive more. I find out I will be driving against Dave Briggs. I knew he had a solid rep and rocked it last year. So I knew this wouldn’t be an easy match for me. He had some mechanical issues too but he seemed to have fixed them for Saturday. I introduced myself and then we were off to tandem practice. We ran together 2 or 3 times and I am sure he could see I was all over the map.

Then we lined up for the opening ceremonies. Always cool. I always try to fire up the crowd!!

Thanks Firm 400

 

Good shot. I was pointing at my family and then saw John there 🙂

Flex for the fans... Too funny

My follow run was horrible!! I mean Drift Day 101 trying to tandem. I lost my wheel on the bank and never got it back to where it needed to be. I think I even pulled off the course I was so frustrated. I don’t think anyone took a pic of that mess LOL.

When I was in front I just hope to be as smooth as possible so he could drive behind me and not fear I would totally mess him. That run was dumpy too and Dave did what he needed to move. I spoke with Dave afterward and he was cool about it and I apologized for the sh*!  show I put on.

 

Dave Briggs preparing to creep right in on me

Getting closer

Dave winning. He def deserved it.

I am stoked my bud Chelsea won. He is a good buddy of mine and I like to see him do well. He is a helluva a driver.

Anyway, after getting over myself we packed up. I said my good-byes to whoever was around and headed home. I was beat. There were many late nights spent on the car. I couldn’t wait to see my family.

Me, Ernie Soliz, and Peter Lysakowski of Torco at the end of the night

I left the car and trailer as is for the morning. Then my favorite little guy helped me unload it. I got all the stuff in the garage and I am waiting to get the car back to solid working order.

He rolled that up the driveway by himself!!

Hudson shooting me with his nail gun 🙂

Soon the car will be at John’s Superior Performance http://www.jspfab.com  for a new turbo manifold and down pipe for my new Garrett turbo. I will have pics up as soon as that happens.

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