North Course: Gag Reflex vs. Chicken?

Life is busy, and messy. But mostly good! Since my last epistle I have:

1. Spent 4 days in bed with viral bronchitis and a fever

photo 3
Just a little motion sickness during my free-falls at 125 mph.

2. Visited a jail, driven 350 miles, attempted 2 simulated parachute jumps, and attended a wine-tasting fund raiser (all on the same day)

3. Survived the stomach flu

4. Finally found a birthday gift for my sweetie Big T that he loves (Bonus: I love it also).

Walking the Fox by Jane Filer
Coach Sheard celebrating Cufflinks’ achievements and mentorship of younger Congress debaters.

5. Become the mother of an 18 year old son, who is the sweetest young man I have ever met. He ranks in the top 20 nationally for Congress Debate in the National Forensics League, and selected a calla lily corsage for his date at the senior prom.. He will be representing Durham Academy for the third time at The National Championship, and is a 4 year letterman.

So. At last I can write about my track weekend.

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever: It’s loveliness increases; It will never Pass into nothingness; but still will keep A bower quiet for us, and a sleep Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing” -John Keats

It was a new course: the North Course at Virginia International Raceway.

Mr. and Mrs. SCDon vacationing.

My buddy SCDon had brought his car, The23Car, to track so I could test drive it. I was very excited! For two reasons: one I know SCDon is a fast driver based on his documented lap times at FC VIR; second, he has fully modified #23 and raced it in PCA Club Racing Class D– non-essentials stripped out, full cage, racing seats and harness, a rebuilt 3.0 liter flat 6, a limited slip differential, a racing steering wheel, stiffer torsion bars, and a sway bar. Obviously, this meant the car is safer than Bianca, and handles better.

The first time I drove it on track was a parade laps over the lunch hour. No helmet required, and max speed of 65 mph.Remember it was the North Course which was, for me, a first.  I did not want to hurt either car, nor to disappoint my instructor.  Nor myself. Oh, and did I mention I have motion sickness? It kicks in when I go over 110mph. HOW on Earth can I be FDM if I can’t go fast?

Track Monkeys united! Tex and The Major flanking my instructor.
Track Monkeys united! Tex and The Major flanking my instructor.

So, after the parade laps, I couldn’t stop giggling! The car drove LIKE A DREAM! It looked like a battle weary hard working cousin to my Bianca, but it’s handling was incredibly smooth and civilized. It being a new track took some work and was a challenge. Other bumps along the way included seat positioning and my needing to learn how to use a full harness system. But thanks to heroic efforts by SCDon to make those better, by Sunday I was snugly secured and his seat was no longer

functioning as a cruel instrument of torture.

Yes, we did need to adjust the drivers seat position.
Yes, we did need to adjust the drivers seat position.

My driving was not my best: I can go faster in Bianca because I’m more familiar with her quirks than with those of The23Car. What did I learn? I learned that I am better than I think I am at handling the car but, that I need to trust the car more, need to pick up greater speed in the straightaways, and need to acclimate my body to speed.

As I write these words, I am sitting in Braselton, GA with butterflies in my stomach. First day at Road Atlanta ahead of me. Swami Mike will be right seat and I will have to do what needs to be done.

Got caught last night watching Road Atlanta in-car track videos. Hey, I was just doing my homework!
Got caught by Big T late the other night watching Road Atlanta in-car track videos. Hey, I was just doing my homework!

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