Monday, May 08, 2006

Global Warming on Jupiter?

Oh NOES!!!

Just kidding. BD has a link in his blog's sidebar for the astronomy picture of the day. While I was looking through them, I found the above link. I just thought it would be funny to draw a parallel between climate change on Jupiter and climate change on Earth. I guess it can actually happen without human intervention. Maybe we aren't the evil little monsters the environmentalist wackos would make us out to be...

Anyway, I'm back from Michigan...I drove approximately 1900 miles in 6 days.

Tuesday: 140 miles
Wednesday: 650 miles
Thursday: track day, 100 miles
Friday: 260 miles
Saturday: track day, 90 miles
Sunday: 650 miles

My best time in the 1/4 mile was 16.228 at 86.05 MPH. A girl that is active in the club brought her boyfriend to the drag strip, on his Honda 600 cc motorcycle. He was putting down runs at 10.6 by the end of the day. Very, very impressive for a stock bike...I think a 12 second 1/4 mile would scare me a bit, in a car...I couldn't imagine a 10.6 on a bike!

Anyway, I had a very good day at the drag strip, and an awesome day at Gingerman Raceway. I ended up putting the car in the grass during the third lap of my second session. As I came through turn 8, which is a sweeping slightly off-camber left, following a tight right turn, I was going about 80 mph, when I realized I was coming in too hot. I jabbed the brakes to slow down, and it unsettled the chassis just enough to induce oversteer. All of a sudden, I'm sliding sideways through the turn at about 65 MPH, and no matter what I did, I couldn't correct it. I ended up sliding about 30 feet into the grass in the inside of the turn. After you go off, you need to take the car into the pits to check your suspension components and to check with the track personnel to see if you hit someone's fluid patch or something, so when I came in, I found that I had grass all inside the car. Another guy ran his SVT Contour off the track twice, but each time it was because of understeer, so he went straight into the grass at the end of a turn. He's got steel mesh in the bumper openings of his front fascia, and they were covered with dandelions both times! Pretty funny, if you ask me.

Anyway, I got to ride in a 2000 Mustang Cobra-R at the road course. That car put 365 HP to the wheels, bone stock. So far, he hasn't even upgraded the brakes, and he was braking almost INTO the turn. On my car, and with most cars, you need to brake before you get anywhere near the turn, then accelerate through it. After the track day, we went to dinner, and I was lucky enough to hitch a ride with a guy that had a 2004 Viper SRT-10 that was supercharged. That thing put 655 HP to the wheels, and let me tell you, spinning the tires in third gear, when you're going 40 MPH is a religious experience of sorts. When you've been in a car that can do that, you know what power is. The car sounded like a top-fuel dragster when he really layed into the go pedal. Unfortunately, the speed limits in the town were such that speeds over 40 MPH were...discouraged.