Monday, 11 June 2007

On being a boy

A month ago I wouldn't have believed that I could get a car around a sharp muddy bend at 70 miles per hour. Now I do.

There's a trick to it you see;

If you enter the corner at the correct speed and balance your throttle just right, the car will go wherever you point it. Under no circumstances should you accelerate, brake or slow down. If you do, your car will spin off in any random direction.

Be brave, because if your car is front wheel drive, it will at some point start to under steer. It'll insist on going straight on, right off the track and into the closest tree.

Trust yourself... Wait for it... The apex will come. When it does, get your foot off the gas. All of a sudden the weight of your car will transfer from the rear wheels to the front. You'll feel your drive wheels dig right into the dirt. As they do, rip the handbrake up. Your rear end will then whip around and you'll find yourself pointing into the opposite side of the curve.

Foot down. Push the bastard as hard as you can and you'll blast right out of the corner like a rocket. On to the next corner.

"Fuck yeah!"

My brother-in-law and I did this a few weeks ago. We were gifted an afternoon's rally tuition at the pleasure of our wives.

I swear, it was one of the most visceral, joyous experiences I've had in a long time. I felt like a man. I cussed, grimaced and worked as hard as I could to beat the lap record of the day. I had to be the best of course. Top of the pile. The alpha male.


As it happened, bro Mart stole the lap record from me and twenty other blokes at 1m 19s. I came in at 1m 20.5s. Fortunately for me however, he hit an obstacle and incurred a 5s penalty. The next best was 1m 22.4s.

So yours truly ended up top dog! Get in.

At the end of the timed lap I sat panting at the wheel. The tutor, who was plugged into the helmet intercom said,

"Scott, that was fabulous! You did well"

"Thanks man, shit that was good!" I told him.

"Ok, now to the criticism" ,

I looked at him.

"Your cornering was superb, but along the straights, well frankly, it was boring."

"Yeah, I know. I was a bit chicken, wasn't I?"

"Yup." And he left it at that.

So, perhaps this is me - Good at corners.

Throw me a curve ball and I'll solve your problems. Down the straight and narrow however, I'm just nice and steady.

NB: I know the car pictured above is rear wheel drive. Do you think they'd let me drive that monster?


Anonymous said...

I recently traded my monster 8 cylinder Lexus sedan for a Prius Hybrid. It's been said that looking under the hood of a Prius is akin to pulling down the pants on a Ken doll: there's just nuthin there... Doesn't matter tho, I love it.

jamon said...

I recently got a Diesel VW Passat. My first Diesel car. I've been really impressed with its performance. Not only that, I can squeeze 47MPG urban and 53MPG motorway. I guess this ameliorates my carbon guilt somewhat.

Under its hood there's plenty there, I think, but these days it's all covered up with plastic decoration. All you can see now is the oil and water nozzles.

I miss my first Mini. You could repair it with mechano bits ;)

Lexus? Mmnn, nice.

Stew said...

Ah, the old Y-chromasome. It's responsible for many things: our inability to find things that are "on the side", our propensity for snoring and foot odour and a certain lower than average level of empathy.
On the other hand it does let us delight in cars, guns, knives, barbeques and things that smell of WD-40.
I know bugger all about fast driving, and I've never been one for identifying latest models of cars.
Old motorbikes on the other hand . . .

jamon said...

Ahh, eau de WD40, almost as nice as swarfega.

stuart said...

I'm with Stew on this one, 2 wheels is the way to go, I've even given up driving fast in my 2 litre turbo Subaru, it just doesn't give the same rush as the bike (bandit 600, kind of like a Diesel VW passat in bike terms, but still faster than 99.9% of cars). So now I drive a fast car like an old man, and boy does it piss people off!

And for the record - I don't give a shit about carbon emmisions (if i hear the phrase Carbon fucking F**tprint one more time....) Global warming means more Golf days, so bring it.

Oh yeah, almost forgot, sooo jealous about ur Rally day, 4 wheels or no, that rocks!

Anonymous said...

more golf days? perhaps you should take up swimming instead? :)

jamon said...

Don't worry, Stuart & I have a habit of hitting water hazards all the time ;)

And I'm quite proud of my diminutive carbon foot print actually.