All posts by Dan

This site/blog inspires fulfillment of the desire & vision of the wannabe auto racer to become a successful racing competitor. That's me, too!

Check Engine Light

You know what I mean – I’ve been avoiding mine for more than a year.  I think it finally caught up with me on my way home from work today.  I had stalled the car & tried to restart it – nothing.  I called one of my daughters, got a jump & was able to drive a few hundred feet.  The gauges all of a sudden went poltergiest-like.  I never saw anything like it before.  I jumped it again – same thing…

Check Engine Light

I ended up having to get towed to a local garage & I’ll have to see what they say tomorrow ($$$).

So my 20 minute drive home from work actually took about 4 hours – once again, time is at a premium & this blog is suffering.

Some good news!  Earlier today I received an upbeat e-mail about a product that I will be able to promote to all of you.  It is a product that many have found very useful in autocross & other high performance driving applications.  I can’t wait to start promoting it.  I should be receiving a packet from this company that I’ve been in contact with sometime next week.

On that note I feel better & wanting to get Racing Ready !
Dan

Rally Driving

One area of autosports competition that has always fascinated me is the sport of rally driving.  This is usually driving on back country roads, on all sorts of surfaces: pavement, gravel, mud, sand and or snow.  This is done at “balls to the wall” speed, and the driver is accompanied by a brave dude called a navigator.  The navigator is constantly calling out what’s coming up around the next corner, etc., from previous reconoitered notes both he and the driver prepared on some sort of an earlier (and slower) run through.

Check out this breathless run from the Isle on Man.  Its from 25 years ago, but still exciting.  I had to watch it twice before I continued my web surfing (this is courtesy of the new SASCA Tale Lights Blog):

 

This next clip was taken & edited by my Aussie friend Swade of Trollhattansaab.net.  Last weekend he attended a drive day sponsored by Saab Australia at the GM Holden proving grounds at Lang Lang, in south eastern Victoria, Australia.  This, too, is some great, rally-like footage.

Enjoy – the 2008 Saab Turbo X is an awesome machine!

Will watching rally footage inspire you to be Racing Ready ?
Dan

P.S. – If these clips don’t excite & inspire you, you’re at the wrong blog.  On the other hand, with all this unbridled enthusiasm, go tell a friend about this blog – Thanks!

Novice Notes

This morning, one of my co-workers expressed an interest in coming with me to the next local autocross event on July 13th.  His name is Brian, and he is the new proud papa of the Switzer Twins. His blog is listed at the right, in my blogroll.

It is my blog that inspired him to consider going & even competing with his 2008 Nissan Altima.  So I feel obligated to provide to him (and to you readers) some introductory notes for autocross novices.  I found a good number of resources to glean a simple concise listing of notes.  Again, time has conspired to work against me.  For now, I will link to an existing Autocross Handbook – I have seen this copyrighted work in many places on the Web & it been updated at this SCCA forum.

To Do List

My version (not paraphrased) will appear a bit later in this blog.

Are you Racing Ready ?
Dan

Busted Plans

I had high hopes of doing some new things to the blog today… well, it didn’t work out that way.

You may have noticed that the blog address has dropped the “/blog”  – I wanted people to be able to find the blog as a site, based on just the domain name.  In the process of doing this, I deleted the blog!  Thanks to the patient tech guru (Zach) at BlueHost.com (my awesome hosting company), I was able to point the files back to the database.  In this process I was able to drop the “/blog” from the URL and get back into the WordPress admin panel.

I did get all my posts’ text & formatting, but had to re-post ALL the images.  Unfortunately, that took the rest of the afternoon into this evening.  No other plans were completed.

I did learn my lesson, though.  I ran a back up of my files on the cPanel so this will be less of an issue, if there is a next time.

Sorry I can’t contribute any good content today – I look forward to moving forward tomorrow!

Back to gettin’ Racing Ready !
Dan

Winding Road

I read a couple of pieces of analog media, that is magazines, to keep up to date with the automotive world, and all that it entails. 

I’ve been a faithful reader of AutoWeek for at least 15 years.  It gives me a weekly shot of what is going on in automobile-dom.

Last year I started a subscription to WIRED.  This is a very avant-garde monthly that talks about Web 2.0, societal changes in regards to technology, cultural/global awareness issues and cool gadgets as related to current events.  The June edition even had a detailed writeup about the McLaren/Mercedes debacle in Formula 1.  It was a very good read.

Winding Road

Winding Road is a LUSCIOUS automoble e-zine, awesome pictures, forthright review articles, very slick & interactive (and easy to skip across the advertising pages).  I would strongly reccomend your subscribing to this e-zine – its free!  One warning, make sure you have some time to kill when you start reading, because you’ll be drawn in…

So, what do you read to inspire you…to get you Racing Ready ?
Dan

Twisted Securely Into Place

I haven’t participated as an autocross passenger in years.  In talking with some competitors at recent autocross events, as a driver even with a seatbealt and a steering wheel to hold onto,  you still get whipped around.  You can’t as effectively guide the car.  I even saw a dash mounted “Oh Sh_t!” grab handle installed in one of the cars last weekend! 😉 Also, the steering wheel is to be used to guide your car around the course with finesse, not meant to hang to for dear life.

One of the competitors (his name is being withheld to protect the innocent) wears a red knee pad twisted askew on his right leg, below the knee.  He does this to prevent getting banged and bruised (from the transmission tunnel edge), what with all the rapid movement within the car.

I remember, in my one short season of autocrossing about 15 years ago, the guys suggested putting a twist in the belt, right where the lap belt turns into the shoulder belt at the buckle.  It seemed to work, although it was awkward and it sure felt strange being “locked in” like that.

There is more up to date technology out there that I’ll write about in a future entry – I’m still researching some details and a special offer for blog visitors!  What a tease I am…

Till then – are you Racing Ready ?
Dan

Gaining Critical Mass

I’m happy to state that this blog is beginning to gain some momentum.  I know I have a few faithful readers.  And, if word of mouth is working, I’ll have some more.  Please feel free to continue leaving comments!

It is an interesting feeling to have a written forum to share my thoughts and events leading to becoming Racing Ready, myself.  I DO feel a responsibility to keep this going not only for myself, but for others out there, who like me want to fulfill that racing urge they’ve always had.

So, my turn to pose a question to you, dear reader: How goes your path?

I have suggested to start looking using your favorite search engine.  Find a local autosports event, whether it be autocross, motorkhana or other such event.  Look for forums regarding these social events and clubs.  Go ahead, just “lurk” on those forums or even register and participate online.  You can ask questions and find out if the event you plan on visiting is right for you.  Then, go to these events as a spectator.  The participants will be helpful and glad to answer your questions, and more.

In a comment posted on yesterday’s entry, Jerry (my new autocross mentor/friend) had this to say:

Come find me at the SAR event and I’ll be happy to give you a ride and introduce you to a few other people who wouldn’t mind either.  That should make sure the bug has bitten hard. 😉

Field of Cones

Well, you know I’ll be there.  SAR is the local San Antonio Raceway, a relatively new, modern drag racing facility, that also hosts autocross events.  This event will be on Sunday, July 13th.  Till then I’m going to have to mentally practice learning to be an autocross passenger.  Re-watching those videos Jerry sent me will help (they are posted on yesterday’s entry).  Also, I will need to be prepared to stay all day.  It would be a good thing to assist as a volunteer worker, to help picking up stray cones as they get hit, etc.  I’m sure I’d hear some good shop talk & also some interesting “bench racing”.

Therefore, look around & get involved.  You have to take that first step!

As for me, I’ll be looking ahead – I know the “bug” will bite me hard.  😉

Look Ahead cone/pylon

Are you Racing Ready ?
Dan