Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Where it all began!

It all started with a casual conversation with our good friend Hal, recently moved to Ft Collins from Silicon Valley. Experiencing firsthand the impact from living at a higher altitude (and at the time an owner of a C6 coupe) Hal asked if we had considered supercharging our own C6 coupe. Seriously? No, the thought hadn't crossed our minds at all.

A matter of weeks later, while entering the 101 freeway in southern California, a new Lexus IS-F passed us without any trouble. It was the new high-performance Lexus with a free-revving 400+hp V8 that on paper we should have had no trouble keeping up with - but the driver just simply pulled away from us.

You gotta be kidding! So needless to say, further research behind us, we drove to Andy’s shop in Oxnard, California and his team at A&A Corvette Performance began working their magic. It’s been a fun journey ever since as we tweaked many different elements of the Vette to where today we have just one nice daily drive. But now there are no worries should we come across another Lexus IS-F.

Drop by the Corvette Spa in Longmont any time and let me know in advance and our C6 coupe – supercharged and all – will be ready for inspection!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Yes, it is the smile!

The previous post featured Margo on track for the start of her first session at Buttonwillow, 2012. It didn't take me long to realize that readers like photos of Margo a lot more than they do of me so here's a photo of Margo for the start of her first session at Buttonwillow, 2010.

Should you like to read more about Margo's adventures back then, check out the post to Buckle-Up-Travel that came out just a few days later:


The big yellow "2" on her windscreen was acknowledgment that Margo had moved out of HPDE1 and into the more challenging HPDE2. The difference being that she could now circulate tracks without the mandatory instructor seated beside her. Margo still attended the educational downloads following each session, of course, but letting anyone jump in beside her was now completely up to her.

The blue Vette her was in its second-to-last iteration; supercharged and tricked out for lapping days. All 600+ hp (500, rear wheels) through an “auto tranny” and fighting with a final ratio of 2.4:1 or thereabouts! A tough car to light up coming out of turns I have to admit. But we had completely worn out the R-spec tires (this instance, Toyo R888s) and had reinstalled the Michelins and in many ways, this gave Margo an improved feel on a track she hadn't visited in some time.

The yellow 2 was missing this time out but if you look closely at the red C5 Z06 in the previous post, you will see a bright orange sun or star - yes, Margo continued to enjoy HPDE2 events and yes, the smile of some two years ago remains very much in evidence as you all have noticed!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Maintaining relationships

The above photo was snapped as Margo was on grid, Saturday morning, just before the start of the first sessions of the day. Margo ran four sessions Saturday while I drove four sessions Sunday - with the C5 Vette prepped by Curt and the team at Corvette Spa. New tires went onto the car that together with the more aggressive alignment and new brakes - rotors, pads and fluids - really helped out. Watch for a more complete post on our sister blog site http://buckle-up-travel.blogspot.com/

As the event was in Southern California - at Buttonwillow, course #1 Counter Clockwise (CCW) - we elected to drive all 60 feet of RV and trailer across the mountains, first to Northern California where we met with clients then on to Buttonwillow where we were able to catch up with many friends we hadn’t seen for a while. We are now enjoying time at the home of good friends Brian and Jan Kenny, regularly visitors to Colorado, fellow Corvette aficionados and regulars at High Plains Raceway (HPR), but tomorrow, it's off to Las Vegas to watch a season ending Karting event. More to follow about that in a later post!

We work hard to maintain our business contacts in IT that remain our primary business pursuit just as we devote time maintaining our friendships from the time when we lived in California. So it should come as no surprise that a little later today, we will be driving to A&A Corvette Performance to catch up with Andy and his team and to hear the latest on his own performance kits – what’s new, what’s working, and what’s in the pipeline. And hopefully, the next post will feature more from that meeting, too.

Before long we will be back in Boulder and our cars will be on trickle feeders for the winter. It’s always hard to see the two Vettes just sitting there but come spring, there will be many more roads to cover!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Real drivers need not apply ...

The picture quality isn't what I was hoping for but this week, driving in the heart of Silicon Valley - and yes, in the red C5 Z06 decked out in track trim - I came alongside a Google autonomous car. Driverless. And with the heavy window tinting it was difficult to see whether there was anyone behind the wheel although there was a passenger seated in the front. With a laptop.

This may all be well and good for the choked community corridors of California and today, the younger generation just doesn't seem to share the passion for driving that previous generations did so it may be OK, but for me this is something I hope I never have to deal with. It’s still all about the joy of driving and knowing the vehicle you are piloting to can deal with any situation faced on today’s roads.

The picture was snapped at the exit of highway 101 where the freeway intersected with Lawrence Expressway and as those familiar with the region, probably as hi-tech a district as you will find. But all the same, I just couldn’t wait to get past the “robot” and be out of there … has anyone driven alongside anything similar?