CRX Road to Racing – Part 13: Crash and Burn into a new season.

April 17, 2015

CRX Road to Racing – Part 13: Crash and Burn into a new season.

This post is going to talk about the first three weekends of our 2015 season and where we are right now.

To prepare for the season we'd spent a lot of time in the off season prepping the car to be faster and lighter. We added a big splitter to the front, removed some excess weight and added a second fuel pump for redundancy in cornering when one pump comes up dry.

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The first on track event was an open track day and we managed to get a couple sessions out to test the car out. We found the rear end a little loose and adjusted the suspension to compensate.
The second on track event was the Waterford Hills Driver School (we attended 2 years in a row for extra experience and a SCCA permit our driver did not obtain the prior year). Things seemed to be going well to begin with... We were hitting apexes following the line and finding new ways to take corners. Except during one session we had a yellow flag and our tires cooled down too much. The car's rear right bounced off of a curb, slid across the track into the grass and, in an attempt to regain some traction by pumping the throttle the car, ended up sliding out into a concrete barricade. This left us with a bent frame and a lot of work to do before the following week's races.

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We managed to straighten things out enough to complete the driver school with some egg on our faces and some eyeballed toe settings. Our driver also obtained a new nickname "Crash".

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Don't worry, he already earned his certificate last year.

For the next week we were focused on fixing the car and managed to get it back home from the collision shop at about 9:30 pm the night before the race. We spent the night and most of the morning fixing the front end, finding a bumper to mount up and replacing our front brake calipers so we could compete. Also, we were able to use some toe plates to set our alignment somewhat correctly.

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Thanks go out to our 2015 Sponsor Melanie Everett with Keller Williams.

We lined up for qualifying, ran 5 quick laps to feel out the car and set a best lap of 1:18.329 placing 4th on grid for the first race.

In the first race we managed to pass the competition in STL and even the car running GTL before falling back behind him taking second over all and first in class. Our driver also set a new personal best lap time of 01:17.803 in our 7th lap.

During the second race we started second (first in STL) and managed to hold that position to take a second win for the weekend in our class.

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Photo courtesy Mark Windecker Photography

During our final race we started in the same position and fell back we started pulling back up after a few laps and our driver set another personal best lap time of 01:17.731 during the 5th lap.
But during our 8th(?) lap something changed as we were catching up to the next car down the back straight. The driver smelled gas and the car had a loss of power, taking the corner at the end of the straight the car bogged/stalled and nearly slid as some smoke came into the car and the engine stopped. What happened next is very important, the driver went into survival mode as flames started to appear in the engine bay and, without thinking, shut off the fuel pumps, flipped the master switch and pulled the car into a corner station. He immediately unbelted, dropped his window net and jumped out of the window. Why the window? because doors take time to open.

Currently our car is quite cooked and will need a lot of work to return it to service. If you would like to help us out, you can purchase some of our stickers in our web store.

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I would like to thank the corner workers and the fire and rescue workers as well for responding so quickly and working hard to put the fire out and keep it out as quickly as they did and seeing to it that I was safe and okay after the incident,
Michael.

P.S. Here is a bonus video of the car being loaded taken by Ashley LaButte




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