Attack Of The Cones: The Story Of How I Broke My Viper

On July 19th, I took my Viper for a HPDE track event at The Ridge race track hosted by Hooked on Driving.

For the first four sessions of the day, an instructor rode along with me while providing input on how to do a better job driving around the track. By the end of the day they were confident enough in my quick progress that they signed off for me to solo drive.

The fifth session of the day was a mixed session with both group A (beginners like me) and group B (people who had a few events under their belt, I would have been B at the next event). I considered skipping it as it was the end of the long day, but decided not to since I wanted to make sure to get the most out of all of the money that I had spent in order to be there. This turned out to be my first mistake.

The second mistake was going out solo instead of continuing to have an instructor ride along with me. I was overconfident in my skills when clearly I was still a major novice who was just making good progress.

The third mistake was lifting off of the gas in the middle of a small corner in order to begin getting ready to start braking for an upcoming sharp corner. This turned out to be the critical mistake and I paid for it.

I was recording the day with two GoPro video cameras and caught the mistake from two angles:

One of those three cones I hit jammed up under my bumper, breaking it and pushing up far enough to actually bend my air conditioning condenser and break my power steering cooler, spraying power steering fluid all over the front of my car. While it could have been worse (I was headed for that barrier before I caught the slide), it still majorly sucks.

Even worse is that while I bought insurance for the day ($300! ouch), I found out today that the deductible is 15% of the total insured value which is in this case $7500. That means that the insurance won’t cover this $3000-4000 worth of damage. Ouch.

So while I had a ton of fun at the track before the accident, this turned out to be a really shitty two weeks. :(

I’m done taking this car to the track as I just love it too much to risk further, and expensive, damage to it. I’d rather just have a bit less fun with it on the street instead. If I do get the track bug again, then I’ll look into buying a cheap track car and drive that instead.

Chris Harris Rides Along In Some Amazing Classic Rally Cars

Automotive journalist Chris Harris had the opportunity to ride along in some classic rally cars driven by some professional rally drivers and the results were absolutely spectacular. Make sure you have those speakers on!

Swiss Hillclimb Video

The Swiss have some of the most awesome hillclimbing races. Here’s some of the best half hour of hillclimb video I’ve seen. Worth the watch if you’re into auto racing.

Go Kart Racing In Budapest

I was in Budapest last week for the Automattic company meetup and during that meetup a bunch of us went out go karting. I took my GoPro HD Hero 1 with me and mounted it onto my go kart using a suction cup. The videos turned out pretty cool (although lighting was an issue) so I thought I’d post two of them here. :)

The Opening Race

I had gone to this place a few days before so I already knew the track and the karts but most of the people I was racing against where new to the track and karts, hence the speed differences.

The Championship Race

The people who posted the top 7 best lap times were put into a starting grid and had a final race off. The track’s narrow width made it nearly impossible to pass but it was still quite fun!

The final lap (starting at about 8:20) was a victory lap which is why I was goofing around and trying to powerslide. :)