2008-03-09

Bonnie in Laurinburg

Bonnie in Laurinburg

Both car and driver survived the two-day event mostly unscathed, which can't be said about a whole bunch of cones we hit.

Here you see Bonnie sporting the numbers and the Fedora sponsorship on the second day. Click on the picture to see a few more from the set.

The first day was novice driving school, and it went by really fast. There were two courses and four heats, with novices working half the time and driving the other half. I think I got at least five runs in each heat I drove. Since they were not timing the novice runs, I don't know how I performed that day.

In the evening I joined some of the club members who were staying in the area for a dinner and a drink. We talked about cars of course, but I managed to insert a 5-minute speech on Fedora and Open Source before the dinner was over. Got to my hotel around ten.

That night was the beginning of daylight savings time, which I was completely oblivious to, so I got to the track with just enough time to switch back to my competition tires and get an idea of the track before the driver meeting.

I found Carl, my instructor from the day before and rode with him on his first two runs. Then it was time for me to get the car to the lineup. Carl agreed to ride with me, to give me some advice and also to analyze my performance after the run.

My first run was really slow, but I did not aim to be fast on that one, my goal was to get a good idea of the course. On the second run, I shaved off three seconds, which did not quite help, with plenty of time (to the tune of 18 seconds) separating me from the best drivers.

After a quick lunch, I reported to the bus, where they assigned me to my work station (4), which wasn't very busy, i.e. nobody was knocking over any cones. I think in the entire time I was there, I picked up four cones.

To make up for the uneventful spot on the course, I got to use the red flag for the first time in my autocrossing "career." A car drove over a cone and dragged it away, and before I could get a replacement and put it in the box, they let another car on the course. So I flagged them down before they had to improvise their way around me.

After that, there wasn't much excitement at all until the end of the shift.

In the fourth heat, I rode and drove with Rob, who was one of my informal novice instructors in the past two events. I was able to improve my time by another three seconds in the first run of the heat and got one second more in the second run.

All in all, I did not deliver my best performance today, being too cautious on the gas, not pushing my car (and myself) anywhere close to the limit. My biggest challenge were the sweepers--and there were two of them--where I could have floored it for the most part, but was hesitant to do it.

Next time, I promise to be more reckless.