After a hiatus from driving the Starlet, it wasn’t the easiest lead up to this event with the car only starting again at 2:15AM on Friday morning (a few hours before I was set to drive off to Winton).
Running a slightly revised set up with less power, a new swirl pot, new intake (thanks to TJB for the 1am fabrication) and a lot more toe in (because I had no time to get an alignment).
Happy I was even going to be driving at this event, the plan was to just cut some laps and see if we had finally eliminated the mysterious over heating problem that Tart was plagued with earlier in the year.
The morning started off well…
I timidly went out for the first session with Grant, all eyes on the temperature gauge.
Things appeared to be in order and with that, I gained a renewed confidence to push the car a little.
I’m still running my 4+ year old 205/50/15 AD08’s as my grand plans to get 225 RS4’s were foiled by the fact that they don’t fit without significant scrubbing. GG.
For those who read my last blog I was questioning why I keep persisting with this incredibly troublesome thing when I could’ve picked a significantly easier path.
I’ll be the first to admit it, Tart is a pretty horrible car.
In fact, he’s quite the “ruffian” as Rhys would say.
He’s a challenge to drive and at times has crushed my spirit as well as the spirits of the two pour souls who are often called upon when this car throws a tantrum.
Much like it’s owner, the Starlet can be uncomfortable and obnoxious, hideous on the outside but with a heart of gold.
As the saying goes, ‘It can’t rain forever’ and when the cloud eventually clears only the tiniest amount of sunshine* is required to reveal enormous clarity.
*NB: Sunshine refers to track laps.
It’s always been you.
No silly Honda could ever tempt me away.
A+++ would drive again.
I’m not sure Tart quite feels the same way about me as there appears to be a very fine line between the car loving me or hating me.
Exhibit A –
On this day, there were no PB’s to be had ( a 1:39.2 puts me over half a second off my old time last year) but it didn’t even really matter because the fact it was out there driving around was enough.
Should I be faster in this car? Absolutely.
I’m sure a better driver would be a few more seconds quicker in the same car but I know with a bit more time and some tweaks I can get to my arbitrary goal set for myself.
I’m still a bit (maybe a lot) scared of it and am not pushing it in places where I could be. I’m still trying to figure out the right gear selection as I think I should be in 5th gear in the sweeper rather than lifting off in 4th to avoid limiter bashing and I need to be less terrified to grab 6th gear on the straight.
Note: you can actually see me hesitate to in the video.
Whilst others have been kind enough to let me drive their cars (which I have enjoyed) I still can’t articulate why I like *this* car so much more. It makes me want to smile and cry at the same time but all I know is that it makes me want to “do better.”
Alright, enough of me justifying why my rubbish car brings me joy…
On this day, myself and Perry had settled on a little wager prior to the event.
Today was a big day for Perry, as it was the debut of his newly completed S13B.
Yes, that is a Silvia powered by a 13B!
As the proud/dumb owners of illegitimate car children, we had placed a bet earlier in the month on who could complete the most laps by gates close.
On the day, we both only halfheartedly kept tabs on our laps but ultimately Perry elected to sit out the last session after a damaged power steering hose started spewing fluid all over his engine bay.
We both didn’t really care about the wager as this outing counted as a huge success for us given none of our cars were on fire or upside down.
The day was made even more special for young Perry, as we surprised him for his 21st birthday!
Unreliable rotaries are a myth.
Winnie’s FC was also running well this day.
All in all another great day at the track and a big thanks to: EXE crew for a perfect day, TJB and DCW for giving up their time to make sure the car would be ready for track, Brett Swain for all the photos used in this blog post.