Sears Point, Alfa Romeo Club Time Trials February 21/22, 1997

"Who'll Stop the Rain?"

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Wayne and Pilar hanging out at Anderson's Split Pea Place on the way to Sears Point

Getting ready for our first time ever at Sears Point.  I got new racing seats and got my R&P fixed for this event.  And I also wanted to get my new racing seats put in, but the short gear install was pushing back the seat install.......

February 18th
Wednesday late morning - I pick up the car from the dealer with the new R&P and Clutch. Brakes are excellent. Tranny feels great. Clutch grabs tight. I feel like the car is running as good as it ever has. I do the shuffle with the seats, meaning I drop the seats + car off at the place to get brackets made. The place doesn't open until 11:00 a.m. I drop car off, throw key in the mail slot.

Wednesday night - 5:00 p.m. They almost have the first on in. They said to call back at 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday night - 7:00 p.m. They haven't started bracket for passenger seat yet. Can I pick it up Thursday night? I tell them NO, I need it done tonight, as I have to get wheel balance tomorrow morning, and I am not going to be in the area all day long due to work.

Wednesday night - 9:30 p.m. - They are almost done, and will page me.

Wednesdy night - 11:30 p.m. - They page me!!!

Thursday morning - 12:30 a.m. I leave the shop. Seats look great, feel good. I spend about 45 minutes driving the car around wrecklessly on some deserted side streets to make sure everything feels correct, and nothing is going to break.

February 19th
Thursday morning, 6:00 a.m. Drop off car to get wheel balance.

Thursday night - 8:00 p.m. - pick up car. Spend another 45 minutes thrashing it on the local deserted streets, feels real good.

Thursday night 10:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m. I try to adjust the passenger seat to move it forward, but it just ain't working right.....the seat bracket for the passenger side seems kinda hokey, but what the heck, I told them it HAD TO BE DONE Wednesday night....and they got it done. I end up going to sleep around 1:30 a.m. I always plan that I should be in bed by 9:00 p.m. the night before an event, but it never, ever works out.....

February 20th
Friday a.m. - 4:00 a.m. wake up to drive 500 miles to Sears Point. We drive through rain, a little bit of sunshine, and some snow flurries getting there.

February 21st, Saturday
Saturday 5:00 a.m. wake up. It is dry!!!! Time to get ready to put the R1s on!

Saturday 6:00 a.m. light drizzle.....

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Entry to the hot pit....about 18 inches of water.

7:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Torrential down pour.....Sears point is a hilly course. Water runs downhill. Hills surround track. Track has no drainage. Hot Pit of track is buried under 18 inches of water.....apex cones are floating down the straightaway, due to the river the rain has created.......Saturday is cancelled...not much hope for a dry course on Sunday...

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Front straightaway with 12 inches of water on it...

Saturday noon. Wayne and I decide to bail, as even if it rains no more, Sears Point doesn't seem like it will dry up enough to drive at the limit by Sunday. This really sucks, as it took us about 10 hours to get to Sears Point  I plug in the laptop, and hit the Net. Get directions to closest major casinos, and highway conditions. Reno is 199 miles away....but we have to go through I80 and snow chains are required. Vegas is 500 miles away. We decided to go with chains. Unfortunately, Wayne has about 1/4 inch clearance on his 944 Turbo, so chains aren't feasible on his car. They look like they will fit on the NSX. We change plans, and drive 500 miles to Vegas, 200 miles of it in the pouring rain. It takes us another 9-10 hours to make it to Vegas.  We spend Saturday-Monday there, and I end up up about $50 bucks(due to some really stupid playing at the Stateline on the way home), and Wayne ends up losing about three sets of R1 tires. (ouch).  At one time I was up $800 bucks playing blackjack.......and I made an attempt to run it up to $2,000...but kinda fell short...

My opinion on Yoko A032R tires in the rain:

1. I am using them for my "El Nino" tires. I used to use the Yoko A008RS as my street tire, but they were horrible in the rain, and I feared for my life when going more than 45 miles an hour in the rain. I drove up to Sears Point on a new set of A032Rs, and Wayne's brother trailered his Fiero up with sets of R1 tires for Wayne and myself. With the A032Rs, the NSX cruised through the rain and wet roads very nicely at 80-90 mph. If I was running the R1's or A008RS, (both of which have 1/2 tread, 1/2 almost racing slick design), I would be driving about 45 mph and feel like I am going to spin off the freeway.

2. Yoko A032Rs are slightly slower than the R1s for me by a second or two on a DRY track. But on a wet race track, the A032Rs are probably about 15-20 seconds faster than the R1s for me.

3. Driving about 1500 miles this past weekend on the highway(no track time), I have about 30-40% of the tread left.