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Mr. Ed

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Posts posted by Mr. Ed

  1. I just got home and had a blast! I had to leave earlier than I wanted, but still got to see some friends (and make some new ones), and drive the Dragon and Cherohala Skyway again. Good times for sure. I hope everyone stays safe and has a safe trip home. I was a little disappointed at the wanton recklessness exhibited by a few MINIacs on the Dragon. Nobody from here, I'm sure.  

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  2. Finally resolved. I feel like a hula hoop champion after jumping through hoops.


    Ali, are you ready? Need any help prepping your car? Just holler if you do.


    Can't wait... getting super excited. VIR is a terrific track, and Phil's school is terrific. Great instructors, really nice setting, and Phil and Noreen (Mrs. Wicks) are the nicest folks ever. There might still be room if anybody else wants to go... you'll be glad you did! :rock:

  3. Geesh this has been such an ordeal for you


    And understandably so. But, as with all things, if it's meant to be...


    I'll probably make the final decision early next week, based on all the variables. I really want/need to get this car on a track to get used to all the electronic nannies (and there are several of them... some can be adjusted or even disabled). My old R56 was simple... relatively light weight, very nimble, manual, 106 whp. Not much that could go wrong. With this new Mustang I can overcome the auto tranny hesitation by paddle shifting, but the throttle by wire, filtered through several electronic gatekeepers, is less predictable. If the car had less power, this wouldn't be an issue. But IF I get into a situation where I need to steer with the rear end, I want some muscle memory to help keep me on track (literally and figuratively). This isn't something I want to figure out on the street. I'm guessing it's a very fine line between a happy ending and an expensive conclusion. Take a look at the you tube videos of unhappy endings with Mustangs, and you'll understand. In pretty much every case, the conclusion was the direct result of bad decision making. I'd like to avoid that. :laugh:

  4. After several phone calls, and a few emails, I got a partial answer from Phil this morning. I can attend in my Mustang (convertible, no roll bar) but I'll have to sign the big waiver (not the usual one)... Phil's insurance won't cover me, and the track's insurance won't either. My auto policy definitely won't. So if I go, I'll check into a one day HPDE policy, probably from Lockton, to offset the potential liability. I'm still waiting to hear from Phil about who he uses for insurance. Fingers crossed!

  5. Mark and I are staying at the accommodations at the track. As of yesterday there were 3 rooms left at $120 a night. We're just staying for Sunday night.


    I think Brent is staying someone less expensive.


    Thanks! I'm still working with Phil to see if he can let my car enter, since it doesn't have a roll bar. Yes, he has been able to allow other convertibles without roll bars, but they were all low powered, vintage or otherwise slow and unlikely to roll over. I'd like to think I am unlikely to roll, but it's up to the track management to make the call. If they make an exception for Phil (and me), it might set a precedent that could prove a problem in the future. I'll understand if they don't allow me in. In my favor is that I've been on the track twice before, and done pretty well with no problems.

  6. It's been several years since I was there, and I can't remember... where are most folks staying the night before and after? My google-fu is weak and I can't find a satisfactory result. Plus, it would be more fun to stay with the group.

  7. He allows convertibles without a roll bar. I asked in the past about bringing Tigger. He said it's because he carries the insurance. Make sure you tell him you're from DCMM.


    To use a word that apparently just made it into the Oxford dictionary, but is completely inappropriate for someone of my advanced years, Awesomesauce!


    Thanks, Ali... you made my day!



  8. Ok, I wouldn't want to take it too early anyway. Any chance you'll be coming to the coding party on Oct 4?


    Probably not, since I don't have a MINI any more. You're welcome to get the mount any time. Heck, if you'd like, I'll sell it to you for $10 (new it was a lot more than that). I don't use it, and have installed a dash cam in the windshield.

  9. Unless the course has changed, there WILL be a timed event at the conclusion. Just a few cars are sent onto the track at about 20 or 30 second intervals so that they (usually) won't get close to each other, and each car will be timed from a standing start for one lap. It's a technicality, but that will be a timed lap. Insurance companies are in business to decline claims and have a bunch of lawyers whose only purpose in life is to find a way to not pay claims. This event falls into a gray area at best, and at worst is a clear cut case of a timed or HPDE event. It wouldn't take much online research to discover what really happens at one of these events.


    As long as you don't go full retard and crash into something, it's an extremely safe event. The worst thing most folks can expect is to go wide on a turn and run off through the giggle weeds. No harm, no foul. VIR has lots of good runoff areas, too.

  10. I'm planning to do it in my Countryman


    Excellent. :tee:


    If you have access to a GoPro or other mountable in-car camera, you'll have some terrific memories, and proof of how well you did! My first time there I was recording and captured some unfortunate driving by another student. It was so bad that I deliberately erased that tape so I wouldn't be tempted to show it to anybody else. :laugh: Blackmail did come to mind, though.


    I'm sure there is a lot of good advice available, and I'll add a few thoughts. Be sure your engine oil is fresh, and it would be a good idea to flush your brake fluid. Any moisture in brake fluid will boil at track temperatures, and that can sometimes result in one of those butt pucker moments at the end of the straightaway.


    Good tires and brakes are obvious. Torque your lug nuts to spec. A full tank of gas before you get there is a good idea, as you'll be burning dead dinosaurs at an accelerated rate. My Justacooper indicated an average mpg for the day around 22 I think, instead of his usual 40+.


    Too bad the old Oak tree came down... it was a nice target to drift around just before the front straight. I enjoyed the shade, too.


    I wish I still had Dr. P, 'cause I'd love to dance around that track again. I might just come down in the Mustang GT to watch. Maybe Phil will let me take a lap for old time's sake.



  11. If anybody's on the fence about going... JUST DO IT :motor:

    This is absolutely the most fun you can have in your MINI with your shoes on. I've done a couple of them, and can't recommend Phil's course highly enough. His instructors are top notch, and if you haven't done this before, you'll come away with a whole new appreciation of your car. :rock:

  12. :congrats: It's about flippin' time!


    What I never understood is that, if any one of us so much as touched the center lines with our tires (or maybe just barely crossed over them), we could be issued a ticket. Okay, fine, I get it. They want to promote safer driving (couldn't possibly be that they want to generate revenue). So how could it possibly be legal, under the same set of laws, for a semi to drive that same road, when they not only cross the center lines in most of the turns, they actually have to completely straddle the shoulders of both lanes and block the turn completely to get around pretty much every single one of the tight turns. Talk about dangerous driving!

  13. That was a blast! Thank you to all who came - especially those from Maryland! Next year it will probably be back in Montgomery County again. :)


    It was definitely worth the trip! Terrific location, great food and conversation,

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