Reddit recently had a thread asking about everyone’s “closest call” in life. This is probably mine.
I commuted to work during the summer in high school in a 1970 Chevy Nova. The car, unlike every other nova in existence, was a total basket case. Rusted out, barely ran, interior trashed, etc etc. One of the biggest problems is that the brakes were not 100% great. This caused me to follow abnormally far from cars in front most of the time. It also had lap seatbelts with an optional shoulder belt that i never wore because there was only 1 buckle for either a lap belt or a shoulder belt. I always chose the lap belt.
One day on the way home from work, I was on a highway that led back to my house. The speed limit was about 65 mph and I was following at my regular 5-7 car lengths due to my brakes being stupid in the left lane. I was watching taillights a few cars ahead and noticed people REALLY hammering the brakes, RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. I was coming up to an intersection and mashed my brakes as hard as i could and a whole lot of not much happened. I glanced in the rear view mirror and noticed a large truck behind me had 100% locked its brakes, was smoking tires, and was going to slide into me.
At that instant, I was close enough to the intersection to dart into the left turn lane that was totally empty of cars, and the truck that was going to hit me crashed into the car in front of me and basically destroyed the rear end of the car. I suspect with the extra room provided by the absence of my car, the impact was not nearly as severe as it could have been. If I was hit, I am pretty sure my face would have been permanently re-arranged due to not having a shoulder belt, or belt tensioners, or airbags.The airbag would have been a cold, hard piece of steel wrapped in cracked plastic that was the nova’s steering wheel.
I don’t know what caused the pileup, it seemed like someone just was late braking for the stop light and caused the pileup, but I took a left turn and found a different route home. I also replaced the entire brake system the following week to ensure that could not happen again.
Ariel and TMI Autotech today announced a new 2.4L K-series Honda powered Ariel Atom. This engine upgrade will likely give the base Atom 200hp and likely around 160 lb/ft of torque, if they use the k24 found in the TSX. These numbers might come in slightly lower if they choose the k24 found in the more common Accord, but that would make no sense.
The base model K20 powered Atom is still a rocket ship, so the new powerplant upgrade is a welcome surprise for anyone in the market for an Atom with their eye more on the base model. No word yet on whether Ariel and TMI will be offering the supercharged K24 as an option yet. Here is to hoping!
икониПравославни икониI spent some time at Unser Racing, an indoor Karting venue, in Denver, Colorado this weekend, and it was a great time. It was my friend Tom’s 30th birthday, so for a present I bought him a 5 race package to complement a 5 race deal for myself. I have been Karting before in Arizona at F1 Race Factory and had a great time, and Unser Racing is no different.
Unser Racing has 1 speed Honda powered racing karts that can probably hit 50 MPH, running Hoosier racing tires. They can hold more g force in a corner than most road cars and are a real kick to drive. In order to drive one, each racer has to go through safety briefing to familiarize themselves with the flagging system and the kart controls. Then you don your racing gear and helmet and hit the track.
Unser Racing’s course is pretty technical, with several lower speed hairpins and front and back sweepers that really test your physical conditioning and driving ability. The average lap time is around the 20-21 second mark, with younger drivers running in separate heats in slightly underpowered karts from the older drivers. The fastest time I was able to put in was a 20.5 second lap, and with 7 minutes of track time per session, 18-20 laps is more than enough to wear you out.
Their system is pretty cool to keep track of races paid for and run, as I bought a 5 race package but was able to do only 3 races before feeling totally wiped out. They kept the other 2 races in my name and I was able to come in and race again the next day.
I gathered from talking to some workers that there are big plans for more and longer tracks in the future, with indoor and outdoor tracks in the same complex coming in the near future. This may shape up to be the premiere spot in Colorado to go Karting. They also do corporate events and parties and things like that, so I may have to have a chat with my companies owner about where to have our next team-building event..
All together, I had a great experience, and I would recommend it to anyone looking to test their chops in a serious racing environment.