First post from our resident Super Nerd, Dave! Enjoy. – Laura
Racing weekends for me is about turning wrenches, replacing, repairing, and modifying parts to make the car run better. The rewarding part of this is that you will quickly find out which way the fix is going…better or worse. It is results oriented, immediately, which is different from my day job that takes weeks or months to see results.
There is camaraderie within the race team, listening to the driver’s experience on the track, figuring out which issue is the car and which is the driver and as a team we work to make both work together. Fixes could be anything from tire pressure, suspension setup, engine timing, carburetor setup, telling the driver to brake less, or try a different approach.
Adjusting the tire pressure and the suspension can help the car drive faster through the turns.
Adjusting the Engine timing and carburetor can help the engine run smoothly with more power and keep the engine temperature normal.
When the team is able to find the correct adjustments for the car and the driver, it is an amazing sight to see the car blazing around the track. No one person can do it all and all can’t do it at the same time either, so communication and trust is crucial.
Sometimes you get it right, sometimes you get it wrong, but either way, you try again and try to do it better.
While all this is happening you learn about yourself, others around you and the cars/components.
I have learned from this experience and it has sparked an interest to purchase, maintain and drive an old Sports Car. Not a vintage Race Car, maybe one day, there is interest. But there is also a confidence that I can learn, I can do it and if I can’t, there are people around that know or know someone that knows how.
I enjoy driving my Triumph Spitfire because it is a unique car that you rarely see on the roads today. While it doesn’t have the horsepower to compete with the new Camaros and Mustangs, I can push my driving skills with my car without breaking the speed limit.
High power cars are fun until you realize that you just shifted into second gear and have already exceeded the speed limit…those 4 seconds were fun, now what?
With my Spitfire, I will not beat anyone off the line and I have to be near the top of third gear before cresting 50mph, but I can zoom through those twisty turns without touching the brake pedal and that is is a rush.
While I am one of the youngest around, I am noticing that I understand more and more and I’m clueless about less and less, even to the point where I can challenge others ideas. While I’m not alway correct, my opinion or information is respected enough to consider.
This pushes me to continue to learn more and ask questions because sooner or later, I will be passing my knowledge onto someone new.
I encourage you to take what you love and know and share it with someone else.