This will be the last Newsletter for a while. The racing season is
over and not much will be happening for a while. I'll keep you posted when
major events occur (like the paint job). In the mean time here are
the dates of next years racing events. Additionally, Mark wrote a
short essay trying to capture the flavor of racing at Bonneville, please
2002 calendar of events:
May 5th, 2002 EL MIRAGE California
June 9th, 2002 EL MIRAGE California
July 14th, 2002 EL MIRAGE California
August 10th - 16th, 2002 Bonneville Speed Week
September 8th, 2002 EL MIRAGE California
October 6th, 2002 EL MIRAGE California
October 16th - 19th, 2002 Bonneville World Finals
November 16-17th, 2002 EL MIRAGE California
by Mark Vigeant
It's really bright from all the white salt. It's kinda cool out, so you
don't mind putting on the fire suit. As you've done so many times before,
step into the car, slide down and wiggle into position - its a tight fit.
The safety harness gets tightened, check to be sure you can touch all the
controls and pedals. You close your eyes and take a few calming breaths....
All right, it's time to fire it up. Start doing the check list....Main
power on, Ignition on, START..... It roars to life. With the helmet on
you can hear everything; timing chain, pistons going up and down, strapped
tightly in to the car, you can FEEL how its running,... Final safety check
from the starter... he gives a tug on the harnesses, checks the helmet,
gives you the thumbs up. Your crew steps back in...computer on... recording...
the canopy comes down and latches with a very solid sound. You get a sense
of isolation; it's only you, your machine, and so many miles of open track,
that the finish line lies over the horizon. The butterflies are all gone...
Put it into first, the car lurches. The push truck bumps you then starts
you up to speed, let the clutch out. The RPMs come up, give it more throttle,
it goes from 6000 rpm to 10,000 so quick if you blinked you missed it.
You flick the air shifter switch, 2nd gear, 3rd gear, thing are happen
pretty fast. Mile one. 4th gear, 5th gear, 6th gear. Mile two. The work
is mostly done now, just drive. Mile three: 8500 rpm. Mile four: 9300 rpm,
The miles are going by in less than 20 seconds. The car starts to drift
a little. Coming up on the mile five marker, the finish line, 9500 rpm,
start thinking about the shut down. Through the mile five marker: Clutch,
Ignition switch... nothing but wind... 'Chute out, let it coast... Mile
six... start to turn off but the turn out is a little sharp, you're out
it the "crunchies" that part of the salt that has not been graded. Keep
turning left, it's so rough out here your vision is blurred. You come to
a stop... Utter silence. The world seems frozen in time, nothing is moving.
Now the only sounds; breathing and a slight rustle, fumbling for the belt
release. "Pop" the canopy. Ed and Cris drive up to be sure everything is
okay. You pull off the gloves and helmet with that silly grin on that can
only say... "WHAT'A RIDE..."
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