Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pro Am Utah

This past weekend was spent at Tool Tooele, Utah, which is about ½ hour away from Salt Lake City. You’re probably wondering what would be interesting in a place called Tooele? Miller Motorsports Park of course, which was the site for GT Live 6, I was there to participate in the Formula D/ Pro- Am qualifier presented by Mazda. Miller Motorsports Park, located in Tooele, Utah, is the host to great racing series such as American LeMans, AMA Super Bike, Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, etc.

The plan was to leave Thursday night with an ETA of noon Friday. Only after a 2 hours of driving I had to stop. I was so drained the past few days that the road started looking like this, so I had the co driver take over.

As we got closer to Salt Lake City, gas got cheaper. But you get cheated by being served up 85 octane. Being the cheap bastard, I filled it up to the top. It’s a Ford it’ll take anything you throw at it. I had arrived at the track Friday afternoon after a long 12 hour drive up from Los Angeles.

Even being in the middle of nowhere, I have to admit, that this was one of the most amazing tracks I have been too. It's a bit smaller than what I thought it was. It seemed much bigger from videos and maps I saw online.

We were assigned a garage space, which was setup along pit row. Here’s stupid Choh’d getting in the way and ruining the shot. The garages themselves are fully decked out, with all utilities. From air hook ups to televisions, even the bathrooms were hella clean, I couldn’t ask for anything more. It definitely beats working on the car with the under the sun.

With 1st day of practice over, I really hadn’t been able to link the whole track. Due to the higher elevation, my car was down on power. I couldn’t get the tires to keep spinning as I normally do back in California. I’m not making any excuses, cause AE86 drivers don’t need power to make things happen. Just a bigger bag of pixie dust will make things work, not excuses here.

On Saturday my car was just had some minor problems, leaky clutch slave cylinder and an oil leak around the rear main seal. I had to travel back to the city to get the slave because the little town of Tooele didn’t have them in stock. But I noticed that this town doesn’t have very many import vehicles to begin with.

2nd day of practice was much better, with some good advice from Taka, I made some changes to my setup and my driving technique. I was able to link up the first 2 corners once, I was getting very close.

There was a time attack on our side of the track so here’s a couple of snaps.

She wasn’t driving but still looked fast.

On Sunday Naoki decided to put his art skills to use and drew a penis on my car. Why? I never did anything wrong. Competition consisted of 3 runs taking the best of 3. All that was needed was one clean run. My goal for the day was to score points for by completing first 2 corners, I really didn’t think I was going to make the third corner. 1st run was o.k, too many corrections more than likely a zero run. 2nd run was a zero dirt drop at the end of the 2nd corner. By this time I wasn’t sure if I was going to choke and go home empty handed. Naoki came over asked me how I was doing and I think he offered to draw another penis on my window. 3rd run definitely a score. A bit on the dirty side but I’m pretty satisified, I hope the judge was too.

Returning to the pits, I was greeted by a beautiful sight. The GT Live models happen to be hanging around in front of my pit garage. So I took it upon myself to at least grab one picture with all of them because I couldn’t find them during my pit walks.

She was hella pretty.

After all the fierce competition, we’re all still friends by the end of the day and it still shows.

Congratulations to the top 10 who got invited to Pro-Am. Which includes me!

The rest of the pics are here

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