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Zoom Zoom - Equiraptor's Journal
Zoom Zoom
I was able to get my car back Saturday afternoon. I picked it up at around 2:30pm and drove off the lot, DSC off, happy to be back in such a great car. As I turned onto the I35 access road, I noticed the back end slipped out. I wasn't trying to make that happen, but sometimes it does... The car was low on gas, and as I searched for a gas station, I noticed the back kept losing traction, even at times I wouldn't have expected it to. Then, it dawned on me. Recommended tire pressure for my car is 29psi. Those back tires seem to like closer to 26. So as I gassed up the car, I let a few pounds out of each of the rears. This was, of course, made a bit more odd by the fact that I was still wearing a dress with a rather short skirt (not indecently short, but short enough for me to watch how I bent over).

With the tires pressures returned to "sane for these tires" and the car filled with gas, I returned to the road, much happier with the condition of my car. I35 was obviously a mess, so I just turned down various streets, making my way toward the house. I decided to take Westlake Drive, a curvy road in west Austin, and so cut through downtown to reach it. On the last four lane road before the two lane roads that led to Westlike Drive, a rather large SUV decided he needed to pass me. He actually speed up to get around me after noticing me. I just got my car back. I'm looking forward to some fun (not dangerously fast, just fun) corners, and some guy in an SUV has to intentionally put himself in front of me. Thaaaaanks... At least the guy was speeding on the straights, so I could stick to the speed limit there and not have to slow to under the speed limit for the various corners.

After the twisty two-lane Westlake Drive, I end up on Loop 360. This is a four lane divided roadway with both lights and exits (it over-passes some busier streets, only requiring traffic on 360 to stop briefly for minor streets). I'm coming up on a stoplight immediately after one of these overpasses, and as I approach it turns yellow. I'm rather fond of stopping for yellow/red lights, as I like braking hard and I like getting to be in front at the light. I figure I can stop by the intersection and start to brake. But there was a (yet again) SUV behind me. I watched my rear view mirror closely and discovered the SUV didn't have a chance of stopping. They were tailgating me and had expected me to run the light, so they were totally unprepared for my Miata's extremely short braking distance. I stayed on the brakes, but modulated the pressure, avoiding being hit, and discovered myself entering the intersection at 20mph. I throw the car into second and jam on the gas pedal, frustrated that some idiot's tailgating forced me to run a light I hadn't been planning on running. Thankfully, this person seemed to learn from the experience and stayed very far away from the back of my car after that.

I continued up 360, planning to turn left onto Spicewood Springs road, another fun little two lane twisty road. As I pull into the left turn lane at the light, I discover the car there in front of me is a sheriff vehicle. Oooooh, goody. The sheriff remained in front of me for essentially the rest of my trip home. Still, I enjoyed the top down, the stream, the responsive car, etc. I was certainly glad to have the car back, and I enjoyed the drive, despite the annoyances mentioned above.

Today was another Spokes autocross. I had asked Dan if I could co-drive his Mini S, as I wasn't sure if I'd have the Miata back or not by then. I chose to drive the Mini today, even with my Miata back (driving different cars is fun!). Dan and I met at the shop this morning, and the already seemingly-full Mini acquired a bit more stuff and a passenger. The weather was... not great. It was misting and sprinkling off and on, and continued this on the drive out to San Antonio Raceway. The lot there is definitely not perfectly flat, so not only was the ground wet, but there were puddles of standing water throughout the course. I found my morning runs in the Mini very frustrating - I felt I had absolutely no grip on the front, and since the front is acceleration, cornering, and braking in that car, I felt like I couldn't do anything. But the weather cleared up and the course started to dry (except the puddles, of course), so before the afternoon runs, Dan switched the Mini over to the Hoosiers. During the first afternoon heats, I watched Lance (in a Corvette) and Dan battle for top PAX time of the day as I tried to make sure I understood the course well. Dan claimed top PAX of the day when he made a run in 46.1mumble (raw time). Lance struggled valiantly to reclaim top PAX, getting a 44.4mumble on a very impressive looking run, but alas, it was not enough to wrench top PAX out of Dan's hands.

Eventually my turn to drive arrived. My goal for the afternoon was, "Be less than 2 seconds behind Dan." My first run was a 47.7mumble. On my third (and final) run, I hit a dumb cone - I should have been able to easily avoid it without slowing down - and had a 46.5mumble... 46.5mumble.... .4 behind Dan? Why, oh WHY did I have to hit that cone! Yes, I did have the advantage of a drier course, but still, I was extremely pleased with the time and kicking myself for that cone.

I'm told my 47.7mumble was enough to get me 7th in PAX, which leaves me very pleased, and I'm wondering where that 46.5mumble would have left me had I just managed to dodge that cone! I'm eager for the weekend of April 19th, the weekend of the first southwest divisionals this year.
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