Something always goes wrong — always. Luckily, this time, it wasn’t a big deal. Here’s a photo of our peachy little setup at Buttonwillow Raceway, out in Middle-of-Nowhwere, California. Overall, it was a great experience, and we figured a new way to communicate between drivers and the “pit crew” (if you want to call it that). By pit crew, I basically mean me, and the fact that I didn’t enter this event — so I was sitting out watching everyone have fun hahah.
It all started on an unsuspecting evening. I thought I’d just come over to Jex’s place to slap on a Dreamer Soul Banner Sticker for a little representation at the track. I figured, “Okay, I’ll put this on, and then I’ll see what Jex is up to before I go home and pack while I wait for him to catch up. But NooOoOoOooooooo…..”
The front calipers on the Miata were bad. Jex went through the trouble to find a new pair of remanufactured calipers, just in time for a Friday evening installation. Well, one was fine, but the other had a leak in it — super fantastic! So, after calling all the Autozones and Oreilly Autos in his and my neighborhoods, we learned that no one had them in stock. Apparently, front NA Miata calipers are a special order item ONLY. Thanks to genius Phelps at the Oreilly in Alhambra, we wasted about an hour making a trip there for nothing.
What else to do… but to pull off some frankenstein operations. So, by taking Jex’s old caliper and swapping in the piston and seals from the remann’ed caliper, we were able to create one awesome working caliper. But by then, it was already about 11PM or so. After some quick fast food, we headed out for the motel by the racetrack, just in time to knock out at about 2:30am.
After a great 4 hours of sleep, it was time to head to the track. It was a bit cold, but it warmed up later in the day.
Here’s a quick pick of the starting grid with my potato phone.
One thing I learned is that it’s quite easy to use cell phones for communication between the driver and the pit helper (me, this time). By getting on top of the balcony, I was able to give Jex updates on his opponents throughout his sessions. I was also able to see his speed through most of the turns. And also, compared to using actual walkie talkies, cell phones pick up much less car and wind noise, and it has the added benefit of being on “call” 100% of the time, so no need to depend on vox functions or pushing buttons to communicate. It might be something to consider for our next events at Willow Springs — if there’s reception, that is.
Also, one thing cool about Speed Ventures is that they allowed passengers. Jex must get more used to his Miata and the fact that it can corner much faster than his Subaru! huahahaaaaaaa next time!