Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Ridiculous Speed

Good race. Fuckin` amazing race.

Last lap, just getting out from a yellow flag. I'd pitted in, had enough gas for two or three more laps. Really it was for tires. I had enough of a gap between me and the third car that I didn't have to worry, so I just asked for the grippiest tires we had and prayed the NSX in first needed something. I'd calculated he needed a couple gallons of gas and some new tires.

Thank God I was right. He swapped out for his high-grip tires, too, seeing that I was going to push him to hell and back.

Pulled out under green and redlined it. We were tight. My tires were a touch grippier, and that kept us neck-and-neck, since he was helped along by the MR drivetrain layout.

There was a long, long Sarth-style straight before the final chicane-to-hairpin. We both screamed up to 200 mph. Actually, it was probably faster, but I stopped looking at the speedo. We ran side-by-side. He was so low that his slipstream wouldn't have helped me, and I wasn't content to stick behind him. My car was actually a touch faster.

Mashed the brakes at the absolute last instant. I could feel my eyeballs pulling out from their sockets. Hell, I could hear the frame creak as the engine pulled forward under the g-load. Right at the end, I noticed a strange orange glow coming from all four wheelwells. The brake discs usually glow a faint orange under really heavy braking, so I thought nothing of it. There was some screaming over the radio, but the crew chief always screams. It's practically his job.

Won it with a gap of maybe .09 seconds. A literal blink of the eye. I braked again (there was a turn coming up) and noticed the tires were shot. Had that feel of driving on ice. So I bailed into the grass.

Popped loose from the restraints and got out of the car. The orange glow wasn't the discs, it was the pads. They had caught fire, all four of them. The left rear tire had also caught fire from the burning pad. Thank God the grass was wet. And thank God for fire extinguishers. Drove the car so hard she caught fire from the abuse. I love that damn thing. The gas tank had just the faintest puddle in the bottom.

The Japanese driver that was behind the wheel of the NSX caught up to me a little after the race. I'm not sure, but I think the only English word he knows is "motherfucker".

I don't know any bad words in Japanese, so I just smiled.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Cry, Bitch

I'm going to take a detour from my usual cars-and-babes stuff. But it's important.

A Muslim family in New Jersey (Jersey City, to be precise, my hometown and the world's worst hellhole, beating out Tehran and New Delhi by a hair) was brutally murdered a little while ago. Execution-style. Bound, throats cut.

The youngest daughter, I might add, was tortured until her father gave up the PIN to his ATM card. When she broke free and recognized the...perpetrators (there's a real bad taste in my mouth when I say that) they cut her throat, ear to ear. Then they did the rest of the family. Five or six total, I believe. Did the father last.

I knew them. They were good people.

I also know the two guys that did it. They are not good people. Two Filipino hoods, the kind of cheap punks that usually populate gangs. Good with weapons but not too smart. One was renting an upstairs apartment from the victims.

They arraigned them a couple days ago. One was bawling over it.

Funny, asshole. Did the little one cry like that when you two did what you did? Or did she just scream through the gag? Or did she not have the energy for any of it? How about the mother? The sister? The brother? What'd you do to her? Break fingers, bones? Cut her? Pull out her fingernails? Rape her, too?

I know the Jersey City cops. I am very surprised they brought you in alive. Very surprised. They do not like this kind of shit.

New Jersey does not have a death penalty. Well, they do, but the liberals in power put a moratorium on it. The bastards. Although if there was ever a case to bring the needle back to the Garden State, this is it. The people of New Jersey have a limit. And right now, they are very, very pissed-off. But it won't go through. They'll never execute anybody in that goddamn state.

But I have hope. The inmates of New Jersey are a little like the cops: They, also, do not like this kind of shit. So stop crying, asshole, and fucking smile: You're gonna get to be everybody's favorite bitch.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Beware the Japanese

Sport Compact Car magazine (www.sprotcompactcarweb.com) did two stories on Nismo Grand Touring Cars this month. It was a total, "Hey, let's all give Nismo a b-j!"

Nissan Motorsports, known as Nismo to anyone who knows which pedal makes the car go vroom-vroom, has a huge array of racecars out there, and they are my sworn rivals. Literally. One of the Japanese drivers decided I'm his primary rival in life and occasionally screams things in Japanese, whether or not we're out in public. And he gives me the finger any time I pass or he passes me.

But mostly, I just f*cking hate the Nismo guys. They're not cool. The Nismo Motul-Pitwork Skyline JGTC is my most-hated car. OOooh, I hate those motherf*ckers. They've got a car that so totally cheats without actually breaking the rules. Grand Touring Car racing was designed to so every car resembled, in profile, the production model it was based on. But the Motul-Pitwork Skyline has been heavily modified due to new rule changes allowing lower hood and roof heights. they moved the entire passenger area back and relocated the engine so it's behind the front axle, which gives them a huge advantage. And the goddamn thing looks like a Skyline in the same way that a Chevrolet SSR looks like a Silverado.

Also, they're assholes. They're sitting on a race program that costs Nismo alone $60 million a year. Never mind the other sponsors. Their car costs $2 million. In other words, our total annual budget is equal to what one of their cars costs. And they destroy quite a few.


Finally, they whine. A lot. They just had a GT-style race in California, and the teams were all bitching that the "substandard American track" was covered in dust which prevented their cars from pulling more than 1.5g. See, on a really good track, a touring car has 2.5-3 g's of lateral grip. That means that there is 2.5 to 3 times as much force pushing the car sideways in a turn as there is pushing it down.

My car does that. It depends on what specific compound tire we select, downforce settings, exact suspension settings, and if we have any ballast added (if you win a race, you have to add a certain amount of weight to your car; this is gay, but it keeps it from being a championship won by the same team every race), but most of the time, the car breaks free at 2.7g. And it's really hard to put 2.7g on a car.

And worse, it hurts to do 2.7g After every race, I usually have bruises wherever I was strapped down. You can feel the blood rushing around your head. It requires all of your attention not to drive into a wall, and meanwhile, you've got a migraine headache.

So if we ever get to a track that only lets my car pull 1.5g, I'm gonna kiss the tarmac.