Monday, November 19, 2007
It's true... Lucky used steroids
OK, so that's not entirely true but if they can make a chihuahua look like this then just imagine what I could do to a car if I could pour steroids in the tank. WOW. I just realized that with all the excitement around here as a result of how things went in Mexico I never really talked about what an awesome little car Lucky turned out to be. In reality he really is a Mustang on steroids when you get right down to it. If I close my eyes and remember what a 1965 Mustang looked like the day it came off the assembly line with plush carpet, cute little leather bucket seats, an 8 track, a nice set of hubcaps and sporting the optional luggage rack. Now I open my eyes and when I take a look at Lucky the words plush, leather and luggage rack don't seem to work. Now let me tell you after having given Lucky the two-week workout that most race cars will not seen in a lifetime I can honestly tell you this is one bad-assed ride! This car will wind out like there is no tomorrow and it rips thru the gears with no mercy. The brakes stop so fast that we may have to install a putty-knife so we can take turns scraping each other off the inside of the windshield and the car corners like no slot-car you have ever seen. I must say, this is what it was supposed to do and that is exactly what I had in mind when I researched and built it but in reality everyone who builds a car gets their hopes up only to find it may be good but it usually isn't everything they hoped it to be. Lucky is not only what I hoped he would be but way beyond my even my wildest imagination. If there was ever a car on steroids... this would be it.
On the twisty roads of Mexico there were time when for various reasons such as temp, water on the road, gravel or simply going into a corner too hot, that the front end would begin to push a little but it didn't take long to learn that as soon as Lucky began to push all I had to do was pour on the gas and he came right back around as if he thought he was some sort of a fighter jet. There are just two word to describe Lucky... Un Real!
On the days when we hit the high speed sections not only would that car hit 160 miles per hour so fast that your imagination was left in the back seat but when we hit high speed dips or crest in the road the car just moved like a piece of silk sliding over a babies bare butt. Again... Un Real! When we headed off thru esses doing 140 miles per hour whether they were in a transit stage or in a high speed stage I could have just as easily been resting one elbow on the door while holding the wheel with the other hand holding a soda because the car handled so awesome!
Other than one loose bolt during the entire race we did not have one single repair and the only thing we did to the car with respect to service on the entire race was re-jet the carb (one time) and then check the brakes. This car was so well prepared and built that all I had to do was listen to Jon tell me, "Just drive the damn car." My experiences as a Olympian, a race car builder and driver has shown me time and time again that there are two major keys to success regardless of whether it's a personal or team endeavor. Those two keys to success are preparation and consistency.
This is exactly why we as a team have done so well for so many years but I am still in awe every time we ask so much of a car and it comes thru with flying colors. And in retrospect it's very rewarding to remember that even though we took Lucky to Infineon and Bob Bondurant's tracks to get in some minimal testing I am extremely happy to say, there was not a single item that had to be changed, modified or even one single adjustment that was made.
Knowing that Lucky has performed so well and because it's easy to tell he is begging for more we have made the decision to run the upcoming 2008 NASA Endurance Series. As soon as the season schedule is available I will post it where everyone can read it. In reality, I guess we can honestly say that we used the La Carrera Panamericana to test Lucky for the upcoming endurance series. If that's any indication as to what we can expect we're already off to a great start!