2020 is strange.

Two winters ago, I spent the “off-season” prepping the Miata with a complete drivetrain overhaul, in the name of going faster and spinning less (silly things like Torsen differentials help a LOT with that).

This winter, I spent the “off-season” completely overhauling the safety gear, just in time for safety to suddenly overwhelm the forefront of everyone’s minds in any hobby or profession due to the global outbreak of COVID-19.

For the last half-decade, I’ve done the AutoInterests season opener at Gingerman with a group of dear friends, and it feels like “coming home” to a favorite bar - everyone knows me and it’s always a great way to kick off the season.

This was the first year I decided I simply couldn’t attend, due to having nowhere safe to stay during a pandemic. Heartbreaking, in complete honesty, but I could not let that slow me down (some pun intended). An opprotunity to do a open track day at Waterford popped up, and I jumped at it. Waterford, I can justify driving there and back AND getting track time all in one day; Gingerman is too far and too exhausting.

It was a very, well, strange event. All week, I had been checking the weather - 77°F and partly cloudy reported. Day of? Rainy as hell, with people spinning off the track left and right. Several cars were flattowed away due to critical failures, and one poor soul totaled his - a sad reminder of how wrong things can go, and how critical all of the work on safety gear I’ve done really is.

That being said, I personally ended up having a very, very good day. I showed a friend of mine from high school (quite a statement in and of itself as I don’t have many of those left) a very good time; I never dropped even one wheel off track (impressive given the slick conditions), and I caught every single slight slide and recognized every time I didn’t get a corner or braking quite right. An additional bonus: nothing broke on the car; vastly different from last year where I was breaking components every single event for the first 4.

A fantastic reintroduction to the hobby and great signs of things to come, and I got to further debug and test my race tech stack thanks to a friend I hired to monitor it and report back.

As a result, I collected tons of video and data, and am just itching to get back out there and do it all over again. Markings of a job well done.

YouTube: Session 1, GOPRO RECORDING
YouTube: Session 2, GOPRO RECORDING
YouTube: Session 3, GOPRO RECORDING
Google Photos Album