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NASA High Performance Driver Education (HPDE)

My big deal of the decade, several decades, and in particular this year was two days of flat-out driving on a road racing course. I share my journaling of it with you here. I spent last weekend at the Utah Motorsports Complex (UMC) on and around their road course. It was created by a local tycoon to exercise his vast collection of vintage race cars in the company of fellow enthusiasts. In other words, a track facility developed by an enthusiast FOR enthusiasts. Most of us were built for something; having unique strengths and interests where we are slightly or noticeably better than most. My natural exceptionalism seems to be high performance driving. Though life did not hand me […]

GooGoo hates me

– and the feeling is mutual The tale I am about to tell is more likely poor programming rather than a targeted assault, but I do understand that I am an enemy of The State though a very minor one. Aggravating, punishing or destroying me is always a possible motivation for anything they do… and make no mistake, the people running The State work for the same bosses as the mega-corps do. The Tale During the mad-dash lead-up to my Utah Motorsports Campus (UMC) holiday, I ignored that my body was tired and achy. I had an agenda, financial commitments, emotional investments, and schedule that simply did not have time built in for petty distractions such as those. I […]

Track Time bug keeps chewing on me

While I was not crushed by the GT50 bleeding oil all over my March Madness High-G track time weekend, that itch requires a little more, or higher quality scratching. I am returning for a rematch April 23rd and 24th. My Honda CRX “exploded view” from its reconstruction is somewhat emblematic of the way I have been operating. I reorganized my To Do list over the last few days. Instead of a pinch from this bag, one from that, and some from another, I put the bags in order. Perhaps a little more focus will deliver satisfaction of getting stuff done and off my list faster than I add it. First things first. My prior track time pleasures were all […]

March Madness

That is what the National Auto Sports Association (NASA) called their Utah Motorsports Campus (UMC) March 25-27 track event. In a pell-mell rush, I got myself, my gear and my car down there for some quality track time. The video on the right is a narrated slide show of selected photos from that trip. First the bad news: The newly replaced rear main seal in my engine leaked oil onto the new clutch disc so I could not get much of the acceleration from my engine to the pavement … and was quite distracted trying to feather the throttle enough to keep it together during my first and only turn on track. The Utah Motorsports Campus (UMC) Outer Track […]

Gone RACING

I recently posted Gone Fishing using that phrase as a metaphor for my particular breakaway from the normal, everyday life. Here I use a much more accurate title. Racing is most accurately described as a competition wherein one tries to go faster than another. I will not be in a competition, but rather just running the track as fast as this man and my GT50 machine care to go – which is a whole bunch faster than normal people would drive within their comfort zones. I expect to get my ’87 Honda CRX around 115-120mph in the straight between TURN 15 and TURN 1, before braking hard for a corner likely to require me to be going 35-45 in […]

Gone Fishing

Normally clear studio surfaces speak of a cluttered life I am pulling out of my garage in one week… heading south to Utah Motorsports Complex for National Auto Sports Association’s March Madness. I am transitioning from The Beast to a much nicer, newer Z-71 optioned Suburban, The Z-Wagon. The Beast had an antenna farm on the back 1/3 of its roof and capability of running half a dozen amateur radios at a time on numerous different frequencies. I am putting some time, thought, energy and money into adding one multi-band radio to The Z-Wagon. Additionally there are numerous mechanical fix-ups that go with replacement vehicles. I initiated and had to manage a local emergency-preparedness radio exercise I called “Light Up […]

unfettered, con-brio driving

I have registered for “March Madness” March 26th-27th in High Performance Driver Education group 1 (HPDE 1), which is the only option for drivers who have not driven with NASA previously and who do not possess a race car driver’s license. In this group we have an instructor who shows us the track in their car, then rides along in ours making sure we understand the rules, the track and how to drive where there are no speed limits, overtaking only where allowed. At some point along the way, first timers shed the ride-along added weight, but are still watched a bit for adherence to expected norms. Early March 25th, I expect to unload into Garage #7 which I reserved […]

A Car Guy and the Sports Car Olympics

With a little help from my friend I produced a series of animated interview videos discussing sports car competition, the life and times of a G-Force-Junkie, a car guy and the joy of sharing times with other car guys. My wife really enjoys how enthusiastic I get when telling tales of the fun and excitement I have had whilst driving infernal-combustion-propelled vehicles. While of no interest to Yogis, meditators and poets, Car Guys and motorcycle buffs will get it. Sports Car Olympics 1 of 4 – Funkhana, venues, autocrosses I discuss the Funkhana, a competition that took place only at the Olympics, plus a bit on Olympics venues and autocrosses Sports Car Olympics 2 of 4 – Concours de Elegance, […]

The blessings of a few hundred Gs

Today uncountable Gs definitely brought a smile to my face, a spring to my step. Organized crime (private sector) movies taught us to use Gs when referring to thousand-dollar bits. A hundred Gs is $100,000 in that parlance. I am abusing the pun here. My semi-retired Honda CRX race car was scowling at me from under its coat of dust. We hadn’t flexed our muscles in a very long time and the rapidly approaching winter threatened to add another 6 months to that streak. Heck, world events could add “forever” to it. Today I was harrumphing my way around the estate mulling over my impossibly long list of pre-winter chores when the CRX suggested we do something JUST FOR THE […]

Driving lowers intelligence … of Brits in this study

A study just completed of more than 500,000 Britons who were between 37 and 73 years old found that those who spent hours daily driving had a lower average intelligence than those who did not drive. These people also exhibited a faster cognitive decline than those who did little to no driving. These findings are similar to those who watch television for more than three hours a day. Researchers have found that sedentary behavior, such as sitting behind the wheel for hours at a time, can steadily reduce intelligence. If driving does not actively engage your mind, You are doing it wrong! Of course doing it right without the assistance of a Valentine One electronic warning device exposes good, active, […]

feeling liberated

I am very definitely not average in my appreciation or abilities in the universe of driving. I was racing and more importantly, understanding motorized vehicles and their performance capabilities as a rug rat. I read about auto racing, designed and built race tracks, and I raced various vehicles around them before normal kids went to first grade. I resisted thinking that my skills or nature made me an exceptional driver for decades in spite of ample evidence to the contrary. I regularly out-performed people in superior equipment as well as consistently achieving lower lap times than they did in their own vehicles on my first drive with unfamiliar equipment when they offered me drives in them. Seven decades into […]

Cadillac, Snopes, CNN – their similar stories

In the 1960s, the name Cadillac was synonymous with opulent luxury, state-of-the-art, innovation with little regard to cost and people who could afford “the best”. My Dad was attracted to them for all of those reasons. He bought 1-year-old Caddies at auctions and sold them six months later for profit. They were 19-feet long, weighed 5,000 pounds, drank gasoline prodigiously, with interiors opulent and comprehensive in luxury appointments. Power windows, 8-way-adjustable power seats, automatically dimming headlights, full-six-passenger seating, huge trunks and always serving as test beds for the latest innovations from General Motors. Drivers were separated from the roads they traveled by the mass surrounding them, a ride that numbed-out road imperfections, and heavy sound insulation that isolated the […]