Thats racing

Sm Laguna 1

Murphy's Law is alive and well. You want proof? Check out this tale of woe of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

I was planning to do a running blog on my escapades in a Spec Miata at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, but they were too *** despressing. The lowlights:

Thursday night: After a six hour tow, we stay late in the paddock, working by flashlight to apply the vinyl goodies supplied by Harris Evangelista of InStyle Graphics. Friday practice: I bed our new Carbotechs. Six laps, none of them flat-out. I’m supposed to be getting another two-and-a-half hours of seat-time, so it’s no big deal, right? Friday qualifying: Three laps before I’m black-flagged for busting the sound limit. I still haven’t managed one real flier. Since all my times are disallowed, I start 59th, or dead *** last in the Spec Miata race. On the third lap of Saturday’s race, I clip the inside edge of a berm and destroy a wheel. Game over. Sunday morning, I get three laps of qualifying for the four-hour enduro to follow before the session is black-flagged for course clean-up. I still haven’t gotten a decent lap, but I figure I’ll get plenty in the race. (I’m scheduled to drive the final hour and twenty minutes.) Then the diff blows just shy of the two-hour mark, so I don’t even get behind the wheel. So, after three days of “racing,” I’ve amassed less than 30 minutes of seat-time, and I haven’t managed to turn one genuinely satisfying lap.

But wait, it gets worse.

After the long tow home, the car won’t roll off the trailer because the ring-and-pinion is mangled. (Later, I find a piece of the diff housing on the street.) We can’t push it by hand. So my partner Aaron tries pushing it with his Montero. This gets us to the lip of my driveway. It also breaks one of the rear lights, bends the trunk and shatters a plastic panel. Finally, he drives over my lawn to get in front of the Miata and drags it, tires squalling, up the driveway. From there, we’re able to maneuver it with jackstands into the garage.

But wait, it gets worse.

I drive the unladen trailer another 35 miles south to a storage yard near LAX where I keep it and a second race car, a 240SX. The Nissan’s been sitting for a while, so it won’t start. This is a problem; my space in the yard is so small that I have to keep the car on top of the trailer. Cleverly anticipating this eventuality, I’ve brought along jumper cables. I hook them up to the super-duper F-150 I’m borrowing – and the 240 still won’t start. At this point, I’m thoroughly pissed. Okay, “thoroughly pissed” is an understatement. A big understatement. Fortunately, even after bruising my hands my pummeling the steering wheel, I’ve still got enough excess testosterone that – with the help of my saint of a girlfriend – I’m able to push the car onto the trailer.

At 11 p.m., we’re eating shredded duck in Chinatown. It’s the best thing that’s happened to me all day.

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