Sunday, June 28, 2009

At the Track

We had a long day today. A good day. The alarm went off at 4:20 this morning and we were on the road by 5, heading up to the Saskatchewan International Raceway. We got a good spot in the pits and Sean got all his stuff set up. A typical race day starts with 3 passes for test and tune, then in the afternoon it's on to eliminations. This is Sean's first race day of the season; he missed out on one earlier because parts broke on the dyno when he was testing it out after all the work he did on it over the winter.

It's better now, back in the car, and this year the nitrous bottles are bigger. Right off the trailer, he made 9.06 his first pass. At 150 miles an hour. FAST. The next two passes were slightly slower, but still impressive. This set up is working great for him - the fastest time last year was 9.60 (at 140 mph). The way eliminations work in bracket racing is that you have to pick the time you think you'll make the pass in (based on how things went in your test passes) and 'dial it in.' You race against that time; you want to get as close to it as you can without going faster. The guy on the other side of the track has a different time, and you each get the green light at different times to make up for it. If you 'red light' or leave too soon, you're automatically out. If you go too fast, the other guy wins. Otherwise, it's whoever comes closest to their time.

Sean was out in the first round today, but it was a great pass and a good race. The other driver had a .007 reaction time off the lights, which is amazing, and he got really close to his time, too. Not bad for his first weekend behind the wheel of his dad's car. Sean got his best time ever - 9.04 at 150 mph. And that was with a headwind, too, and not as much nitrous as he could have used. It wasn't that long ago that he was doing his best to make it to the 9's, and now we might be in the 8's at the next race. Crazy. I guess that's the point - faster, faster and then faster again.

I'll leave you with one picture. This shows the parachute, which got used for the first time today. Notice the 'remove before flight' tag? Using the parachute on all 4 passes means we got to learn how to re-pack the parachute... fun. :) At the bottom of the picture you can see a contraption coming out from the bottom of the back of the car - that's the wheelie bars. So when the car launches and the front end lifts, it won't go too far.

Have a great week! We're off camping, but I can update twitter from my phone, which is basically a condensed blog post, so if you come by here and it looks like nothing's changed, check the twitter feed on the side. If we get cell reception out at Duck Mountain, I'll update. Maybe. :)

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