Wow, I’ve been SO busy with other things I haven’t had the chance to update! Well, event day at Irwindale didn’t go so well. Not that I didn’t do well with the situation I was in, but results/points wise I didn’t do too hot.

The day started out quickly, and I had tons of help from all of my friends who were my pit crew. This was so awesome because there were no professional mechanics or anything at this event… just me and the buddies. It was neat taking a step back and seeing how they were all there to support me. Anyway, I asked Marc to come check out the alignment on the car, because of all the understeer I was experiencing on Friday. He said the front toe was off. He continued to work on it while I was at the drivers meeting. With the huge 265/35/18 tires I had in the rear, I needed all the help I could get. Hopefully the new alignment would help, and alleviate the problem I was having with the tires.

While staging, I decided to keep working on what I could with the car’s setup. The only thing I could do without spending too much time on it, was the damper settings and the tire pressures. I made my first practice run… same understeer as yesterday. Except this time, as I was going into the bank the car started to wander to the left and right – scary! I called Marc and told him about the weird wandering, and he told me there’s nothing we can do now, and just try my best. For my very last practice run, I reluctantly set the rear tire pressure to 50psi. This is the max pressure rating on the tire… it helped! My last practice run was the best run I had in JDM Rice all weekend.

Qualifying came, and I had to use brand new tires since the old ones were toast. I had the nice guys at Yokohama set the tire pressure at 50psi. Practice run… the car was OK… but I still lacked the confidence to go into the corner full blast and near the wall. So I adjusted the dampers. No change on the tire pressure… The tires were still heating up and the pressure should go higher, so I left it. Second run out felt better, but I still wasn’t confident. I set the dampers at their full oversteer setting. Last qualifying run… Man! The car felt like a normal car!! Too bad I didn’t know this as I approached the bank, because I was still holding back for fear of not knowing how much my adjustments changed the car. I got back, and I knew I didn’t do well… had my pit crew check the tire pressures in the back… 60PSI!!!! But man, the car was finally drifting good! I wish I had the car setup with that much tire pressure from the get go… I would have done much better.

I ended up qualifying 28 out of the 33 drivers that made it to event day. It was so hot… we just all packed up and left to relax and eat.

It was fun, though! I had a blast, and I was so happy to have my friends there helping out. I think from now on, I’ll only drift this way… with my friends and in a normal car. It’s all about fun at that point, and not that I don’t love drifting a crazy car at a spectator driven event, because I do! But there’s something about knowing that you’re in a car that has no financial backing and your pit crew consists of all your friends who are there solely because they love being involved and that they want to see their friend do his best and possibly make it far.

Thanks guys to all the help! Thanks to Richard who came through for me and got the car together, Ron who supported me big time even after the car broke, Nadine who didn’t drive so that she could support me instead, Marc, Josh, Thor, Kevin, Steve… thanks for sweating it out with me!

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention… I talked to Marc afterwards about the car wandering to the left and right… He said when he checked in the morning, the rear toe was completely off!! He didn’t tell me because he didn’t want to scare me. Good job! The car wandering towards the wall at 90mph didn’t scare me at all, Marc! Haha!

Here’s a video of me drifting JDM Rice during practice!
Here’s a video of me on my first practice lap in the Yellow Thing (4th gear baby!)!