So this weekend, I’ve experienced the most expensive autocross runs I’ve ever had. I had decided to head down the 70+ mile drive to Bremerton Motorsports Park to race at the BSCC event there. I had spent the few days before doing upkeep on Kyoko, and picking up some used Toyo R888 tires that I could race on.
I’ve had some wonky (ie: crappy) Miata luck when it comes to going the track, lately. But when you love something you can never keep away, so I decided once I gave the car a once over that I would go and run the morning session away. My plan had been to ‘hedge my bets’; in case Kyoko had problems by dual-driving Mike’s GTI in the afternoon, so I could get some racing done. I felt like I had been a good enough person that my car would actually run an entire event, problem free.
Kyoko had some other ideas…
My first run went fine, as I was taking it pretty easy, just to make sure that all my wheels stayed on etc. It was decently quick for a shakedown run (63.xxx), so I decided that on my next run that I would start to up my pace. (Just jump straight to: 36 seconds, because I’m too lazy to edit the video.)
As I went into the slalom, I noticed a strong familiar (i.e.: frustratingly detectable) scent of coolant, so out of reflex I lifted off the throttle, which then spun the car. I love how no one notices my clean runs.
Pulling back into the grid, the smell worsened. I leaned under the car and saw that Kyoko was just vomiting coolant on the ground. At this point of my Miata-fatedom, I just decided that ‘it figures’, and pulled my car off to the side of the pit area. After opening the hood, I saw the source of my woes.
You can see where a hole blew out the back of the radiator, and was just streaming coolant onto the ground. It was probably just old and ready to go. (So that’s nice… Not really.) I scrambled to get my phone, and started to call up as many parts areas that I could get the number for. I had three things on my side.
- There was a parts store that had a spare radiator. (Lucky)
- Steven and his girlfriend Tracy were also at the track, and were able to give me a ride to pick it up. (OMG, one thousand thank yous, as they totally saved me!) (Lucky x 2)
- I’m at the racetrack, so people have tools everywhere. Totally better than having a failure on the freeway. (Lucky x 3)
Steven and I were able to get the new radiator into the car in under an hour, but by the time that we were finished the afternoon run group was deeply underway. (There are times where I wish that autocross just had open run entry…)
So what did I get out of this weekend? 1.5 autocross runs, and a new radiator ($200 in total). Am I having fun yet?