Editor’s Note: Robert Adams is a former Rally driver turned figure 8 and demo derby driver, doing his thing at the PNE and fairs in the Pacific Northwest.
Adams races Hornet class at the Agassiz Speedway and throughout BC and Washington State.
He is far older than his car number. This year he plans on doing one place better than second.
As the saying goes, ‘Failure to plan leads to planning to fail.’
Well, here we are once again, getting literally and figuratively ‘geared up’ to go racing at Agassiz Speedway.
This time, I’m doing all I can to ensure I have a plan that works.
It’s simple really, I plan on winning.
As I have mentioned to you a couple of years back, many of us drivers do only superficial inspections, just to ensure we get to the track and can actually complete a lap or two. And that generally leads to just that, a lap or two and the car falls apart somewhere.
This spring I have made a concerted effort to spend more time ensuring both me and my car are better prepared for the racing season.
I think the key here is to actually do more than you did last year, and you should place better than you did last year. So here are the four key things I did this year that should help in going a long way to a successful win.
Number one: Get the car and driver lighter.
Lighter is faster. So this year, I removed another 14 bolts in the fenders and frame that I just don’t think I need.
That shaved at least four extra ounces.
I also lowered the tire pressures by letting air out a bit on each. I don’t know what it saved weight-wise yet, but will calculate that later. Finally I spent the last three weeks cutting down to only two beer a week, and ultimately losing about half a pound.
So all in all, I’m making excellent progress over last year.
Number two: Streamline the car for reduced drag.
Well, I spent about two hours just hammering out dents and duct taping up corners, spray painting and actually washing and even as far as polishing the car with real wax.
I got most of one side to look like it was only in two accidents rather than six.
I could add Bondo, but that adds weight, so will live with just having it bumpy but shiny.
Number three: Ensure all liquids and fluids are filled.
Here I’m a little perplexed, as I’m trying to reduce the weight, yet successful drivers constantly rag on those who run out of fuel or fail to put oil in the engine.
So I bit the bullet and ensured oil and fuel were added appropriately.
So in order not to violate rule number one, I added fiveweight oil, rather than 30 weight, as the numbers would clearly make you believe 30 weight is six times heavier than five weight right? Also, used 87 octane rather than 110, as it too probably contains less additives and octane, so should be lighter.
Man, I am catching on fast.
Number four: Actually take the car to the track and test it out before the first race.
I didn’t do that last year, and paid the price. This year, I actually took the car out on the track during a ‘test and tune’ day where you can check your performance and ensure all is well.
Surprisingly, it worked. I did extremely well until the drive shaft fell out. I shoved it back in place though and realized that one of those bolts I took out under rule number one should go back in.
See, I’m getting better already. I should win hands down.
See agassizspeedway.com for the next race day.