After a lengthy rebuilding of the rear end on the E30 (something we’ll get into later), the Rivals met their first rival when they hit the ground for the June 20th Tri-State Sports Car Council TrackSprint at Autobahn Country Club. It was their first event of the season in this new COVID-19 world and our first opportunity of the year to embarrass ourselves in front of better cars and better drivers. But in the shadow of such daunting things, there were bright spots. Like when you smack your palm against your face hard enough to see bright spots.
Lesson Learned #1: Install Your Car Parts Correctly
The night was a short one for everyone. With it only being a three-or-so hours, you still get a lot of track time when everything goes perfectly. But timing tent issues and weather acted like a COVID-19: 2 on the nights activities. Conveniently dramatic strikes of lightning played before us like a movie as we came around our favorite turn, The Kink. The looming rain clouds seemed to sneak up on the entire event because our car and the two or three that were released behind us were the last to touch the track that night. It seemed like only seconds after re-entering the paddock, torrential rain hit.
Out of a potential ten, our night consisted of a whopping three laps. Rain aside, we lost a session to the incompetence of your author. The backwards installation of a throttle cable retainer was the accomplice in this case. Slamming the car into second gear after getting that exciting “go” signal from the start line could be likened to getting walked in on by your mother when your just getting to that special scene in James Cameron’s Titanic. The car fell flat and we idled gently to a stop in the grass on the outside of Turn 1. We could immediately feel in the throttle pedal that something was no longer connected and since the engine was still running, it didn’t seem like we’d fallen into a worst-case scenario. For our safety and theirs, we stayed in our car and let the services do their thing.
When we made it back to the service road we popped the hood and found that the throttle cable had simply popped out of the retainer. Being confused as to why it had popped out at all, we chocked it up to they-don’t-make-them-in-West-Berlin-like-they-used-to logic and recycled a small flip-up notepad for its wire and safety retained the throttle cable end into the plastic retainer. Ever so proud and narcissistic of ourselves as usual, we posted the humble repair to our Instagram. Our friend @robotron, with the graciousness and humility of someone who courtesy flushes the toilet, let us know that as heroic as our repair was, if we’d installed it correctly it would’ve never failed. We owe him our lives and our first born children.
Lesson Learned #2: Mufflers – For Your Health
After re-establishing the rear end, the exhaust was re-installed without the muffler. Enjoyment of the sound being of paramount priority, we decided to leave it off and took it easy getting to and from the event so as not to attract unwanted police attention. Without the auditory padding of the rear interior in place, that sound becomes more than a drone as it became a genuine pain. Fortunately, because of the authors habit of hoarding PPE from job sites, we had a set of earplugs in our backpack to save our hearing. The next time we raced, the muffler was pleasantly and jubilantly installed. The ride home was by comparison, delightful. Not unlike falling asleep amongst the gentle embrace of your favorite spouse. Everyone has more than one spouse right? Am I in a cult? Please help me.
Lesson Learned #3: A-B-R-B-R-R-R-D-P-L: Always Be Referring Back to RYE30 Racing’s Race Day Preparation List
Because we’re as clumsy as we look, our phone has been “upgraded” since the last time we raced, which means the notes entry we always used to make sure we had everything ready for the next track day had pined for the fjords. But lo! We remembered we posted once, neigh, twice, what we believed to be the most useful list the average autocrosser will ever need: Preparation – R: The Best Way to Prepare Your Ass for Seat Time on Race Day. We opened the link and within the hour the car was packed and ready to go. So simple. So organized. So RYE30 Racing. If you make it out this season and you need a list that’s optimized for performance and fun, click that link, because we think we’ve got you covered.
Those are the few lessons learned from the few laps we had the opportunity to complete. The night was awesome nonetheless. The friends we got to see again and the friends we made were worth the trek alone. We always recommend racing for those reasons alone.
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We’ll be racing plenty over the summer so we can bring you more high quality content like you read above. Our partnership with Diagonalt is still new and exciting, like that of a new romantic relationship, so check out Diagonalt.com for classic BMW prints and coasters (16% off using code “RYE30” at checkout) and calendars for the new year.