Driver: David G. aka "Mitsu-Dave"
Car: 2003 Lancer OZ-Rally #114 NSTFMy first impressions...
So fifty some cars later, most of which being Mitsubishi's someone just randomly pointed me to VMSC as an alternative to the whole drag strip thing. My first event was this past weekend at the 28-29 July 2012 School and Autocross Race and i didn't know what to expect but i must say I'm impressed.
The whole weekend event was well done, well informed, well organized and tons of fun. There was a lot of reading material on the website that i was able to read and get up to speed on everything so i wouldn't show up completely lost. The pre-event emails were reassuring, and when i arrived that morning for the school i wasnt made to feel out of place or lost and confused.
I had the pleasure of getting Audie Chenery as my instructor for the day and although she was multi-tasking to keep everything on schedule, she was a great teacher and was able to show me a good couple of things that probably would have taken me a years worth of events to learn on my own. The highlight of what i learned was simply watching her attack the slalom. She kept telling me to do it faster and faster but i truly didn't understand what she meant till she got in the car and started whipping the rear of the car around the cones in a finesses i hadn't yet experienced in any fwd platform. That alone showed me what the car was capable of and what i needed to strive for.
The morning was a lot of fun and for any of the folks that attended, my lunch break wasn't at all what i expected. On my last run before the break i thought i felt something in the steering as i passed over the finish line but wasn't sure what exactly it was. So i took a slow ride down to the rest room after the run and on the way back i wanted to do a quick systems check. I swung the wheel left and then right only to have the car come to a screaming halt in the middle of the street. The bolt holding my hub onto the ball joint had come loose, the cross member fell out and my wheel took a sharp 90degree turn ripping my axle in two and simply making a mess of everything. But thanks to a bunch of the VMSC folks who lended me some tools, offered me some help, and even gave me a ride down to the auto parts store for a quick nut and bolt, i was able to not only get my what only looked like a totaled car fixed, but was able to finish up the day racing on the track as if nothing had ever happened. Jeff Chenery even took the car for a couple of laps around the track at the end of the day and gave me what i felt was a complement or two about the car and a couple of pointers which only added to my over all excitement.
Day two was the Sunday event and the turn out was bigger then i expected. Everything was well done and very professional. Heat twos announcer did a great job but was shadowed to the comical and extremely entertaining announcing of Heat 1 and 3. As for the event i can't think of anything i would have liked to seen done better other then maybe my own personal performance. I don't feel that i pushed the car as hard as i could have but for my first event i don't think i did too bad and at least i had some smooth runs other then an "Off Course Call" that put a puzzled look on my face for the rest of the day.
Over all VMSC did an out standing job on the entire weekend and in a single event just hooked me to the sport. It was worth every penny and you can definitively expect to see me at every future event i can get my hands on. Needless to say when Audrie asked if i wanted to join VMSC after the event i didn't hesitate.Special Thanks...
Special thanks to Jeff & Audie Chenery for all there hard work and personal advice and help, to the guys who lended me a hand when I broke my car, to the gentleman who gave me a ride to the store, to the hotdog vendor who gave me a free Gatorade when he saw how hard i was working to get my car fixed, to all the instructors who made it possible, to Elizabeth M. who was my course work partner Saturday and was great talking too, to David Ogburn who posted up some really nice event pics that included my car, and everyone who showed up and made it the best weekend of auto sports I've had in a long time.
Thanks again for everything and I'm already signed up and looking forward to the next event.