This weekend really opened my eyes up just that little bit further to the reality of what life as an automotive enthusiast is really all about. So far I've already learnt the first big lesson when it comes to cars: nothing's ever easy. Over the weekend I learnt my second big lesson, which is that things break. I can't tell you how many times after I explained to someone what had happened to my car, their reply was (with a shrug) "Well, that's racing!"
The Auckland Motorsport track day on Sunday really gave us the incentive we needed to get things done on my car, and some serious progress got underway. On Saturday we spent the day down at Pat's Garage getting the Miatasaurus in shape for it's first day on the track.
Our first task was removing the original seats and installing my Bride Pros in their place. This was no easy task, especially because of how small the car is - the new seats are considerably wider.
Luckily Patrick was able to make my new seats fit perfectly, and they can still be adjusted backwards and forwards which is a bonus - my boyfriend has way longer legs than me! It really sounds like a simple task, but this took him just under 10 hours to complete, (Lesson #1: Nothing's ever easy). During this time we also got the harnesses in and mounted my side mirrors to the doors.
After a late night at the workshop we were really excited to get out on Sunday and test the car out on the track. I was a bit nervous as it was going to be the first time I had ever driven on a track before, so Pedey took me out first. The car felt awesome, it handles so well and the Bride seats are so comfortable! Everything was running fine until about halfway through the third lap when the car suddenly lost power steering and started to overheat. We quickly pulled into the pits and popped the hood to find that both fan belts had derailed, causing the powersteering and water pump to fail. We both stood there scratching our heads for a while as we waited for it to cool down, and when Patrick had a look at it he was able to figure out that one of the belts was actually slightly too big and this was probably what caused it to come off. Thankfully both belts were still intact in the engine bay and he was able to put them back on for the drive home. Needless to say though, the Miatasaurus was finished for the day, (Lesson #2: Things break).
I couldn't help but feel disappointed, it was meant to be my day to drive but I guess that it just wasn't meant to be. Once I had accepted that I wasn't going to get my turn behind the wheel, I planned to focus on taking some photos to pass the day instead and was horrified when I went to take the first shot of the day - my 5D was broken. I felt a pang of nausea as I sat there on the gravel with the two things I own of any monetary value sitting in front of me, dead. It was one thing that my car had broken down, but my camera too? Things couldn't get any worse!
Last night when I got home (after a few wines were consumed) my friend Matt posted up a few photos of my car on to the iheartstance Facebook page.
I really love this photo. It made me realise that the day wasn't a complete failure after all, because my car really is starting to look awesome! It may not be as low as I'd like it yet and it may not have the perfect paint-job, but it's really got character! And although there's a lot of girly elements going on I feel as if the cage and the Bride seats add just the right amount of tough to balance it out. I'm really happy with it and seeing this shot finally made me feel like all the hard work and money spent over the last few months is starting to pay off!
Although this weekend definitely had its ups and downs, I feel like I've learnt a lot from it. As they say, that's racing!
Thanks to everyone for all the positive feedback the car has been getting and a huge thanks to Patrick from Waikowhai Automotive - the car wouldn't even exist without him :)