Thursday, February 11, 2016

Barber 2016: Jackals, Hyenas, and Why We Like Them

O, Fate! She is the ever-sloping funnel. Like a singularity, it spaghettifies. Like spaghetti, it is delicious. Also like spaghetti, we few mortals, the Devotees of Downforce may still taunt Fate.

We may also taunt spaghetti. You're a jerk, spaghetti!

Just kidding, spaghetti. I was using you to make a point about taunting fate, because that is what we, the Disciples of The Wing, the Followers of the Flap, the Devotees of Downforce, did by appearing late of a Thursday eve with intention to run the Friday practice session at Barber Motorsports Park.

Worse than taunting Fate, we failed to properly worship Our Lady by leaving her Fullerian temple, the mighty Geodesic Dome under which we pay her proper respect, at home, for it be an epic pain in the exhaust port to construct, and no one feels like it. Our bad, Our Lady.

We packed up the cars and a significant pile of whatnot, and hit the road.

Friday practice

On Friday, the car made laps with nary a squeaky bushing or gnashing of gears, which is something of a surprise given that High Priest Brian did build the transmission himself after watching videos on YouTube. Well done, that man!

The facilities and track at Barber were every bit as amazing as we remembered them. Friday ended with most of the team on site, munching burrito bowls and wondering why they weren't already buttocks deep in an engine swap.

We welcomed old friends and new ones, including paddock neighbors Come Monday, Mock Grass, and newcomers The Greasy Beavers.

Our new driver attended the New Driver Meeting, along with a few of our seasoned drivers. Others mooched about the paddock, hoping for a homebrew beer. Both efforts were rewarded.

Behold! The new driver's meeting. As Jay pointed out, these are not the people about whom one has to worry. One has to look out for the drivers who have done a few races and think they know what they're doing. Hey, now, dammit, I resemble that remark.

Saturday: Pregnant with Hope

That's gross, Saturday. What have you been doing with Hope? I guess we know, don't we?

We took the green flag Saturday with Yours Truly at the wheel, and I managed to turn the Round Thing and step on the Foot Bits at somewhat appropriate times. As usual our carefully prepared race strategy was: Don't Blow It, and I'm proud to say that I managed to adhere.

Next in the car was Priestess Meghann, who lapped peacefully until a couple of cars got into her, once at the hairpin and once in the turns 1-3 complex. One team came by to apologize. The other did not.

But such is life. Sometimes things happen that are, shall we say, M-barassing.

We had a maintenance-free day, and the rest of the faithful put in quality stints without the indignant flapping of the Black Flag. This left time for Yours Truly to soliloquize about life as a Crapcan Racing Driver, which is known to have a powerful effect on the ladies.

Sunday: Champagne Dreams on a Beer Budget

On Sunday, the Faithful again lapped without event until the Quiet Hour, during which we all moaned appropriately toward the heavens. Moaning complete, someone checked Race Monitor, and learned that, not unlike a boar hog in a top hat, our team was inexplicably challenging for the lead of Class B.
We nodded at one another in grim determination. "Yes," we all agreed, "we can surely screw this up." 
But nay. We did not screw it up. Instead, Fate pounced on us, dropping out of the sky like an eagle's pee. I was at the wheel of Our Lady, and she was harder to steer than a blind ass on mezcal.

I brought Our Lady into the pits, and there I met our mortal enemies, our sworn nemeses, the worst pack of hyenas ever to fart about the landscape ... actually, some of them are okay. That's not true, they're all quite nice.

Truth be told, we like them a lot and they're a joy to race with. But anyway, they're Duff Beer. You bastards! We like you!

Mixed messages, I know.

As one, along the pit wall, the members of Duff Beer pointed two fingers at their helmet visors, then at me, letting me know that they'd recently seen an optometrist and their eyesight was plenty healthy.

In the paddock, it was determined that our driver's left radius rod was not as attached as one might like it to be, so it was reattached, and I circulated some more. I had one goal in mind: catch Duff Beer and regain the lead, while fending off those dang jackals (whom we also like and are proud to call friends) Terminally Confused.

The good news was I was catching up. The bad news was, so was Fate. Yes, that old hirsute bitch Fate was again gnawing our niblets, this time in the form of a CV axle that expelled its grease like a stomped-on chocolate eclair.

Without the grease, the axle got as hot as young Axl Rose, and then began to gyrate unpredictably, also like a young Axl Rose. Where do we go, now? Where do we go?  Where do we gooo ah unh ah ooh uh ah ah uh uhg? *cough*

Back to the paddock, that's where. High Priest Brian performed what must be the world's fastest CV axle change, we re-fueled, and Tom got into the car for the last stint. Tom made great laps, and the car performed well, but not well enough to absorb the time off track.

And so, another race closed, with our team having ripped defeat forcibly from the jaws of victory at the last moment. Sadly, the LeMons staff have not seen fit to distribute prizes four deep in class B, or twenty deep overall, so we left having got nothing except one hell of a fun weekend racing a winged heap alongside a bunch of enjoyable people.

We wish a hearty congrats to team LemondAid for the overall win, to Duff Beer for their honorable and most deserved Class B win, and to our sister team Turbo Schnitzel for pulling off a 10th place finish.

Most of all, congrats to this human for his IOE win in the hissing Jaguar with one painted rim. Good on you, Clabo!

And so, we pray:

Our Lady of Perpetual Downforce,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy apex come, braking be done,
In worship we accelerate.
Give us this day our daily laps,
And forgive us our offs,
As we forgive the offs of others.
Lead us not into oversteer,
But deliver us from understeer.
For thine is the grip, the power, and the downforce.
For ever and ever.

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