What an amazing experience.
I have much love for that terrible, terrible car.
Here is my AAR. That's TACTICAL for After Action Report, or my hazing recollections-
First off, the fire at 8 miles was with me at the wheel. It was caused by a hot lead directly from the battery to the CD player. The 'trophy' was in the back and the lead was loose and grounded out under the trophy and battery box, filling the cabin with insulation smoke. I thought the battery exploded. I grabbed my sockets and took off the lead and she fired right up. I also decided i might want to actually put the bolt on the steering wheel. 2 hours later we were at the track without incidence.
Mad, crazy prep to get our theme shit in place and put our half baked NSA Car subcontracted to Cobra, or something through tech.
We got the whole car prepped with ten security cameras, numerous 'surveillance' warning stickers, NSA stickers, converted all NSF to NSA, and squeezed our ample frames into some stupid -I mean tactical-costumes that I brought along. Inspection was rushed and nobody cared about our awesome backstory, and then it was back to the garage.
We spent a LOT of time in the garage.
I took her out for the green Saturday, and was actually getting some racing done for the first hour. Does passing terrible pieces of crap count? Then the fuel issue started. We spent most of saturday midday doing all kinds of heroically conceived stupid shit from the mundane- fuel filter change- to the craptastic- removing the hood and ducting the ECU to cool the computer, with a dryer vent.
Finally, after dying, being towed once, and black flagged for.....dying...completely dead....beyond resuscitation...about to crack a beer dead...Ben wiggled the MAP sensor and it started. But even better, deleting the MAP gave a consistent throttle up to 4k on the tach. Sure it's only 4k, but it didn't stall and it was predictable.
So then we beat the shit out of it. After Dave and Ben did all the ill fated 15 minute test runs, Jason and Aaaron finished us out. Aaron did a heroic 2 hours to take the checker and suffered a terrible cramp.
That night some stuff happened that involved a finding a MAP, drinking, zebra bumping, dance floor Tebowing, jello shots and absolutely no spooning.
The next morning we awoke refreshed and ready to drive a fantastic machine with a new map sensor. Actually, we were mostly hung over. Dave Mills took the green so I could eat bacon and iburprofen before my wife arrived to be completely underwhelmed by 'racing'. And the replaement MAP sucked too, so we deleted it again and ran the rest of the day with a fuel cutoff at 4k.
I took second position for 1.5 hours, Jason followed with 2 hours, and Ben was supposed to take the checkered, but it was a heroic stretch. I stayed in my firesuit and at pit at 3:00, Ben tapped out. We had to pit in the garage everytime because it was leaking oil, everywhere. Even the floor pan, driverside. Getting out of the damn thing was slippery hell.
Bottom line, we finished logging 1:59 best lap and mostly low 2:00-2:10s. We logged 240 (?) laps and took both greens and both checkers. The cockpit changes were critical. Fxiing the pedals, steering column and installing the chiller box were awesome. Throttle fix and stabilizing the engine, and it really became a driveable, fun car. And we really drove it. By the end, the front tires were corded, and the final 20 minutes were an interesting, sliding time in heavy, crazy end of race traffic. I am just happy I brought her home. My wife took a ton of pics. I will probably dump them in a public photobucket account.
For a bunch of Lemons noobs, including a theater major who can't drive, and a team scattered across 5 or 6 states, we kept it running and presented pretty well, I think.
Thank you to the team- Ben Greisler, Aaron King, Jason Hiester, and Dave Mills for allowing me to ride with you guys and be a part of this, and thanks to all the help in the paddock, from Rally Baby and Mike Carr, the Lemons guys, NSF, Doug, our patient spouses, Sasha and Mischa. TACTICAL!
Live Like Dave