Hillclimb

So TTAC did away with their ‘Sunday Stories.’ This sat in their cue for the better part of 6 months. So now I will put it here, for the three of you who actually read this (Hi Mom!) to see;

 


5 cars in front of him…

He had never done this. What the hell was he thinking? Yes, he had some skills and some experience. He had done autocross for years, moved onto track days, He had even run some 24 Hours of LeMons events. He crewed for some club level racers and felt pretty confident that he knew what he was doing behind the wheel.

Man those trees are really close…

4 cars…

But would that translate to this? Racetracks and autocross courses are different than because the courses are repetitive. You memorize the course; the perfect line. Of course when you’re doing wheel to wheel you’re never ctually on the perfect line but you always know what you’re trying to get back to. If you screwed it up, there was always the next lap. There were references, brake markers and visual cues you picked after a few laps.

…You sure about this?…

3 cars…

But now his windshield was a filled with a ribbon of pavement running up a tree-lined mountain. A hill to climb. The lead-up to this moment had gone much quicker than he thought it would. He didn’t get all the preparation time he wanted, the road was unfamiliar and he was still a bit uncertain.

On a track you repeat, you learn, you apply and you do it again…

2 cars…

Crap! All these guys are going quickly! Why was he so nervous? Yes, he had anticipated feeling like this when he was doing the prep work. He was a bit more nervous than usual loading the car on the trailer and packing everything up. Butterflies during the drivers meeting and even lining up on the grid, this was a new level of anticipaton. Better deal with it, because there is no turning back now.

…Lap after lap…

1 car…

…Except…this is a new course. There is no repeat. You have one shot and no safety net.

He had prepared, he read, he watched footage and he tried to study as much of the course as he could. But it was still vastly different than anything he had done the last 23 years.

He was snapped from his introspection by the open exhaust of the car in front of him as it left in a violent, tire-smoking launch.

Your turn now…

30 seconds

He took a deep breath, held it, and stretched his lungs as he exhaled slowly.

One mistake, trees and shrubbery…

He put the tip tongue on his tongue to the roof of his mouth, a trick he learned to keep from clenching his jaw.

Foggy

The starter pointed a green flag at him, made eye contact and began the countdown…

Wet

FIVE!

Grip the wheel and release…

FOUR!

Revs up

THREE!

Eyes up…

TWO!

Another breath…

ONE!” – The green flag waved.

Drop the clutch.

Go.

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The odd musings and automotive observations of a guy who willingly calls himself Mental

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