Monday, September 26, 2011

day of the mx-5 & ae86!

I must admit - over this past winter I really enjoyed sleeping in during the weekends. Because it had been a while since I'd had to wake up early for something besides work, when my alarm clock went off on Saturday morning I was quite surprised by my reaction. Instead of throwing it on the floor and heading back to snoozeville, I was instantly up and out of bed, ready for action. Today was the day my MX-5 was going to do it's first skid!

Down at the end of the drag strip we arrived, greeted by the most beautiful sunny spring day. I'd only had my car back for 2 days, as it had been off the road for 3 months with no cert or WOF/rego. I was a bundle of nerves, but everyone was so kind and helpful and I soon found the 'shame' of being a beginner fall straight to the back of mind.

I'd never lost traction behind the wheel of a car before, so I had no idea what to expect. My fiancé Pedey did a few donuts and showed me how to initiate the skid by accelerating hard and popping the clutch - this was so foreign to me! But I was determined to learn...

As soon as I felt the rear wheels lose grip, I didn't find myself panicking like I thought I would - it was actually fun! I was so nervous, but after the first time I knew what to expect and wasn't as afraid anymore.

Having the factory viscous LSD didn't help as it sometimes locks up and sometimes doesn't. By the end of the day it stopped locking up completely, (possibly something to do with the absolute spanking that former D1NZ driver Nick Teeboon gave it!) and then the power steering packed it in. I'm looking into changing the diff and getting a power steering cooler so that the car will be a bit more prepared for next time.

Although the progress I made was a baby step; to me, I know that getting out and trying it was the biggest step of all to conquer. To overcome my fear gave me confidence and with that confidence I know I can continue to learn!

Saturday was also the first time I've met up with some of the other MX-5 owners I keep in contact with. We were hoping for more, but we did manage to get 4 of us together in one place and it was so awesome! Above is Nick M's MX-5 which is pretty standard apart from his coilover suspension and hydraulic handbrake - I have to get one of those!

After Luke showcased his super slammed MX-5 at Nationals earlier this year, he's put the car straight to work, taking to the track with no mercy whenever he's had the chance.

The car may not look as pretty as it did back in January, but for a good reason! Check out this awesome video of Luke tearing up some rubber at Taupo recently. Riding passenger in the car this weekend, I was blown away by how fast it is. The turbocharged 1800cc engine makes such a huge difference! Zooming along sideways in a stock standard seat with only a factory seatbelt and nothing covering my head except for my helmet felt totally unsafe - in an awesome way. Especially with the sound of the wastegate screaming next to me - what an experience. I love MX-5s!

Nick S's NA is just as low and now looks extra tough with a Bride seat and roll cage which has just recently been put in. We all have wheel envy over his 15x8 Work Equips!

Love this shot of this Trueno - I'm so obsessed with them after watching Initial D.

...and this one...

...and big love for this one too!

Winds Auto Barrel rims... so rad.

Dan's perfect R32 was quite a sight among the group. The polished SSR Professors are so clean... this has to be one of the nicest R32s I've ever laid eyes on.

Andrew, the owner of this 1JZ-GTE powered JZX110 took it out for an impressive session.

He later told us that he had just recently bought a full manual conversion kit and this was his first time driving the car since it's been installed. It was cool to see the car going so hard!

This weekend completely changed how I feel about my MX-5. I felt something special, a connection with the car; and now it's become so much more than something that looks pretty with pink wheels. I used to love how the car looked, but now I love how it functions too! I understand it better, and I feel like I'm on the right path... to something really awesome. Next weekend I'll be heading down to Taupo where I'll be driving on the track for the first time too, and I can't wait to give it my best shot! From this weekend onwards, there will be no more sleeping in for me.


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