Thursday, August 20, 2009

Watkins Glen

For a few days, my support staff and I reversed roles: It was my turn to be the dedicated support staff. I retrieved tools, provided water bottles on request, took pictures and video, and provided general moral support as he tore up the track at Watkins Glen, NY in his red fox-body mustang.

He has basically built the car from the inside out, machining a lot of the engine pieces himself and even fabricating his own roll bar. He had been working on the engine for a long time, and it had actually been over a year since he had driven the car because of all of the work he was doing on it, so he was really looking forward to driving it again. It turns out that all of his hard work was well worth it. Besides a few hiccups here and there (which called for some trips to NAPA and a junkyard), the car performed up to and beyond expectations.

This driving event was not a race -- just a chance to drive fast on the track. There were all kinds of other cars there, and although I didn't do any driving or riding, it was a lot of fun watching.

We didn't get much time this year to hang out around Seneca Lake or do that much sight-seeing in the town (last year we visited the auto-racing archive there!), but our trip to the junkyard to find a new throttle body brought us through some really beautiful scenery. Hills, valleys, streams, and trees were everywhere. It was just gorgeous. I really like scenic overlooks, and the track itself is high up on a tall hill with a view down across flower-dotted fields toward Seneca Lake below. Half of the time that we driving to or from the track, I was glued to the window. We even passed a field of sunflowers, which are one of my favorite types of flowers. We would have stopped and picked some on the way home if a storm hadn't rolled in and sent some heavy downpours.

We were only there for 3 days, but we had a great time. The car performed well and is ready for more track time, so hopefully we'll be able to go on some more trips to other track events over the next year.

Here's some video I took showing the car flying past another red mustang on the straightaway:

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