Leinninger.com

June 25th, 2006:
Gina learns how to shift. Race weekend three update.

Gina learned how to drive a manual transmission on Saturday night. She’s a natural. It wasn’t any regular manual, either… it was my WRX. It’s clutch is tricky thanks to all-wheel drive and a fast-spooling turbo. I turned the boost down to ~10 psi initially, which made things a little easier. The next day, I needed Gina to drive the WRX home while I drove my race car. That’s right, she had driven a manual twice in her life (both times with me in the car) before driving it alone from Clarkston to Brighton… in traffic! I was incredibly impressed with her skillz!

This was the third race weekend of my rookie season at Waterford Hills. I’m still one of the back-markers in my group, but I’m getting smoother and faster. I learned a ton about my line this week. Glenn (father-in-law, spec racer extraordinaire) pointed out a dozen BIG places for me to get smoother, brake earlier, and get on the gas sooner. Chris (SkyTek guru) set me up with double the camber I had before in time for the last race of the weekend. More camber makes the car stick better in corners. It also help the car turn. Because of this, the car turned where it used to push… very different car feeling. I hit a lot of curbs (turning in early), but I plan on getting to the Friday practice before the next race weekend to figure out the car’s new handling. This weekend was fun. I felt more comfortable with the car’s handling and I think there’s tons of room for me to improve my line. Next race weekend should be a blast.

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