This was my tune-up event for East Coast Champs. I got faster, so mission accomplished, and I had lots of fun. On the downside both my car and my nose got a bit beat up.
My trailer got a flat heading for VIR. Geeze I go thru a lot of trailer tires. I’d kill for a reliable TPMS system. To my good fortune, Phils Tires was able to replace my tire at the track.
Friday I linked up with “Coach” Al Taylor for some sessions. He showed me what I was doing wrong at Hog Pen and the Uphill S’s. I had been particularly awful at Hog Pen.
The most entertaining thing that happened on Friday was that Robert Grace’s coachee got sideways right in front of me near pit-in. I was heading right for Robert’s door at ~75mph. I stood on the brakes to avoid tboning them. I’d like to be able to amuse everyone with a tale of seeing Robert’s eyes as wide as saucers as my front bumper approached his door at 80mph, but I’d have to say that I didn’t really note any alarm from him. I try not to be an exciteable type, but Robert totally has me beat.
Saturday’s race was kinda chaotic. We had a standing start and to my complete mortification I stalled the engine by dumping the clutch too abruptly. I was lucky as hell that no one smashed into me from behind…wtg everyone. The first couple laps were a madhouse of 2 and 3 wide thru turns, with e36’s adding to the chaos. I didn’t get a single touch tho. Everyone was trying hard to give each other space.
After a couple laps someone got sideways at the top of the Downhill S’s and I had to go into the grass to avoid. Matt Herd was right behind me in the rally-cross. We had fun watching that video. Some laps later Marrioti got sideways in the exact same place and I pretty much had to come to a complete stop to avoid tboning him.
VIR does this purple flag thing as an alternative to FCY. Everyone is supposed to slow down to 35mph. It’s an interesting idea because it gets the EVs out on to the track without waiting several minutes under FCY for everyone to catch the pace car and then slow down. It’s still kinda tricky tho. The purple flag doesn’t really grab your attention, and if there’s a flag station that is not showing purple, that means green track. But the stations aren’t 100% reliable in flying the purple flag, so it might not really be a green track.
Some SpecE30’s contested Oaktree and I backed off a little to get a better run. I got one of them out of Oaktree and was going for the other. The first guy had seemed to wave at me, and the 2nd guy was definitely waving. That’s when I saw the purple, so I backed off and did not complete the pass. The problem was that I couldn’t remember seeing purple at Oaktree so my first pass might have been illegal. Maybe the first guy was waving at me because of the purple flag that I hadn’t seen.
We were early in the front stretch when I saw the Purple go down way up ahead at Start/Finish. I was in 3rd gear. I tried to downshift but hitting 2nd is so foreign to me that I hit 4th instead. In order to hit 2nd gear it has to be a planned event, if I just move on autopilot I will naturally go 3-4 and that is what I did. So there I am totally in the wrong gear and only barely accelerating. And I just stupidly furrowed my brow and wondered what was wrong. By the time I’d figured out that I was in 4th, not second, it was better to just stay in 4th. It was really a comedy of errors. I screwed up and then took forever to recognize what was going on. Most everyone else didn’t see the purple come down at all so I could have passed an ass-load of folks if I’d had my wits together.
There was too much chaos at the restart to let the guy by me that I’d illegally passed(?) so I waited until NASCAR and started waving guys by. The problem was that the guy I’d passed was no where to be found. I waved 3 SpecE30s by me and finally said “fuck it, I don’t where that guy is, but waving 3 cars pass me is enough” and it was game on.
I owe the MidAtl guys a lot for putting out the fine chow. That was really awesome. In contrast…what’s wrong with the catered chow at the awards ceremony? I’m about the least picky guy about chow around. Usually it’s just fuel and I don’t car much about the details. But the chow at VIR ceremonies is so bland it’s not worth the trouble of eating. I do recognize that it is kinda lame to complain when someone serves you free chow.
The saga of the nose.
Saturday night around 03 I got up to take a pee. I jumped up from my air mattress, walked out of my trailer into the darkness and somehow, I’m not exactly sure how, I went down. I caught myself with my nose. It hit a protruding AC power plug box on the next door trailer. My nose hit it so hard that it broke the heavy plastic box.
At the time I was kind of annoyed with myself for banging my nose, but I took my piss and headed back for my dark trailer. My nose was irritated with me and seemed to be leaking snot. After 10-15min of unabated leaking snot I turned a light on in the trailer to see if maybe my nose was bleeding.
There was blood everywhere. The inside of the trailer looked like horror movie. “Ah shit.” I figured that I just needed to sit up for a while so the bleeding would stop and then I could go back to bed. So I sat for a while but the bleeding didn’t stop. I kept figuring it would stop any minute so I just stayed patient. I sat in my trailer and bled for 4hrs. Around 7AM I got up and tried to clean up my face and chest, and see what I was dealing with. I used a little inspection mirror. To my surprise I found that I had a helova gash down the front and under-side of my nose. “Ah shit,” I thought, “that’s gonna need stitches.”
I went to the track medical clinic and waited for someone to show up. When they did, they tried hard to be helpful, but they said “you need stitches, but we can’t do it. You need to go off track to a hospital or clinic.” “Shit, the hassle just keeps getting bigger.”
I unhooked from my trailer, drove off track and found a clinic 20mi away. They stitched up the big gash as best they could, but didn’t want to attempt to put stitches inside of the nostril. They said that the blood vessels inside of the nose were too torn up to cauterize so I was just going to have to be patient and let the bleeding stop on it’s own.
I should have asked them about a neck tourniquet. I hate it when jokes don’t pop into my head until it’s too late to try it.
I missed Qual and I was kind of on the fence about doing the race. I felt fine, I just talked funny.
At the last minute I decided to go ahead and do the race. I rolled up a piece of papertowel and stuck it inside my helmet like a mustache to catch the occasional drip that just did not want to cease.
It was to be a short race. In lap 1 at the top of the S’s, there was some beat up cars. One was astride the track but I got around him w/o drama. Then on lap 2 in the exact same place, more beat up cars. This time tho, there was a bunch of blue smoke. My spidey sense tingled “fluids”. I slowed way down and tried to go by on the right. At the last minute tho, an e36 slide into my path and I had to go further right. At that moment I hit something slippery and I was done. I slide right off the track into the narrow strip of grass and headed towards the Armco. I wasn’t going very fast tho, so I really just tapped the Armco with my FL. My larger concern was that I was broadside in a very dangerous place. I had to get out of there immediately. But then I looked right and saw Paul Bacon coming towards me, not very fast, but on the same route I took. “Uh oh,” I thought “that’s bad.” I could see his car slip, I watched him lock up his wheels and then he slid into my right side. “Shit!”
Highly motivated to get the hell out of there, I backed up away from the steel barrier I’d bumped into, and headed back down the S’s. A purple flag came out in Hog Pen, and figuring it’d take the rest of the race to clean up the fluids, I said “screw it” and went into the pits.
Now, 19hrs after bonking my nose, the damn thing is still occasionally dripping.