BP gets ready for XDC Round 3
My first XDC event of the 2011 season is this weekend, May 14-15th, - XDC Round 3, to be exact!
First thing is first, google maps tells me this drive is going to be a whopping 1,247 miles one way (nearly 2,500 miles roundtrip) and about 22 hours of straight driving (probably 27 hours with stops), and me as the only driver. Luckily I'm excited about the event, otherwise those numbers would be sort of depressing. I'm going with my standard plan of attack on this: 1) drive for as long as I can stay awake 2) upon nearly falling asleep at the wheel, pull into nearest truck stop/gas station/dimly lit parking lot 3) situate self for in-truck sleeping 4) hope creepy person doesn't decide to attack me/the truck/the trailer 5) sleep for maybe 2 hours 6) Repeat. It’s good to know if my career as a mechanic ever fails, I can easily take up driving semis.
I'm estimating I will leave this morning at 9am, drive until maybe 2am (technically Friday morning), sleep until maybe 3am and then drive straight to the event location (AKA Orlando!). Thank god for coffee/talkative co-pilot/satellite radio.
Last night consisted of getting the gear ready. It took longer than normal because I made some adjustments to the car last night after I got home from work that I am really looking forward to testing it out at XDC Round 3, since the current forecast is looking to be low 90’s and humid (read: hell). For my facebook friends, this is why my status referenced the expensive lunch (shopping for car stuff > eating).
These modifications are a result of Operation Avoid Heat Stroke
I mounted a fan to the in-car camera mount, and it is angled to blow directly on the driver. (It has has an oscillating feature if I want to get fancy, or share some of the relief with my passenger and also keep them from dying of heat stroke)
For the record, my fiance came up with the idea of mounting a fan in the car years ago.
I also have installed a setup for an in-suit cooling system. It consists of a sealed container for ice water that has been mounted behind the passenger seat. It mounts easily using a battery tray and a nylon strap. I cut an electrical connector out of an old RX7 harness and spliced it in so I can remove the cooler easily. The wires from the pump and fan go to a relay and a switch is mounted on the dash.
The cold water is pumped through tubing, which connects to a hooded shirt covered in more tubing, that will be worn under my race suit.
I can't wait to try the in-suit cooling system. My hopes are high. I find it difficult to describe how ungoldy hot the inside of drift cars can get. The combination of racing in the summer, in hot weather climates (AKA Florida, California, Texas, etc.), on black topped courses, in the middle of the day with no shade and the cars with gutted interiors that offer no protection against the intense heat of the engine bay is somewhat torturous. Never mind the heart pumping adrenaline rush you get when you finish a solid, on-clip, wall-scraping run. I'm sure any of the guys will attest, waiting in the grid during practice is brutal.
There have been so many times I end up feeling like I am on the brink of passing out; this year I am putting an end to the madness.
New for this event, I’ve ordered the new Azenis PT722 from Falken. I’m excited to give these tires a try because they are well-priced and I’m hoping they will roast nicely. Next week I will give a review on how they handle, wear, grip, smoke, etc. I’m still running the 615k up front and it’s amazing. No understeer even with a 275 rear 235 front stagger.
Last year I felt like there was also some issue with my car. I made a lot of changes to it over the winter, and have competed in Round 1 of Midwest Drift Union as my first even for the 2011 season. Seriously the best event MDU has had to date - Keep an eye on them this weekend as they bust it out at MDU Round 2. After that event, I made a couple more minor adjustments.
I’m looking forward to getting back out there with the XDC talent and seeing if my work over these past months has paid off. I’m ready to throw down for a win at XDC. See you in Florida!
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