The Hayabusa engine that had been hibernating since November in a cocoon of protective plastic, safe from paint fumes and Bondo dust, has awoke. Last weekend was our last chance to finish a thousand little details before the first race of the 2002 season. Mark had spent his free time painting frame pieces that needed it, and plumbing the complex fuel system that our fuel injected engine needs. When Alan and I arrived at 9:00 Saturday morning, it was almost ready to start. At about 10:30, we had finished plugging in the electrical system, putting gas in the tank, and doing a number of system checks, Alan flipped on the ignition switch. The motor's computer came alive, reported no electrical errors and turned on the fuel pump. Once the fuel was up to pressure, we went over the fuel system looking for leaks. there were none, so Alan hit the starter button, and within a couple of seconds, it roared to life. God, I love computer controlled fuel injection. While the engine warmed up, we checked everything again, all cylinders firing, coolant pumping, etc. Then we shut it down, and got on with all the other things that needed finishing.
Mark & Alan check for problems with the motor running
I, (James) started installing the canopy release, and Mark and Alan helped from time to time, until it was working smoothly. We also had to make a new parachute release. The new one works, but it's something we will replace during the season as time permits. Towards evening, Mark reminded us that it would be best to put the lettering on while there was still some daylight. We had laser cut lettering thanks to Jim Stamp, and the results look great. The last thing we did was load the car back into the trailer, so Mark wouldn't have to do that alone.
The new lettering on the car, thanks to Jim Stamp
For those of you who want to see the race
on May 5th, here are the instructions on how to get there..
From most of So-Cal, take I15 north towards the Cajon Pass.
Turn off at Hwy 138 west (some times called
the Wrightwood cutoff). Follow 138 over the top of the hill and stay
on 138 for another ½ mile to Phalen turn off (Sheep Creek RD) on the right.
Follow Sheep Creek Rd through Phalen (last place for food & Gas), all the way to El Mirage HWY (about 15 miles).
At El Mirage HWY turn Right and drive a few miles to find the access road for the lake (Look for signs, big and small
saying El Mirage Lake Access).
Turn Left, (North) on to dirt road and follow the signs onto the lake bed.
Once onto the lake bed we are at the far (North-west) end. Look for a long sliver trailer #9999 with a "RV" painted on it.
PLEASE BE CAREFUL - El Mirage is one of
the most dangerous places I've ever been. It looks so safe, people stop
* The speed limit during the races is only 25 MPH. ( I know that other people are going faster, but the limit is 25).
* Please watch for lines of traffic cones marking the track and spectator areas.
* If you see a line of cones, stay very near them until you are certain of which side you are supposed to be on.
* The weather is very hot and there is NO water or other services. During the races, (and at night), it can be VERY loud.
* Our car is much louder now then it used to be. Dogs do not like all the noise, and have been known to run away.
* We are at the races to race. Please forgive us if we are less sociable with you then you expected after your long drive, but we need to concentrate on what we are doing.
to Rice/Vigeant Car #9999 Update Page