Grudge Match: Pontiac Trans-Am WS6 vs. Mazda RX-7
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the big night is complete, and to say i was disappointed, humbled, and had a hell of a time would be the understatement of the year. How is it possible to have a great time, yet be disappointed? Easy. Bein with friends and drivin a hell of a car (slowly) will do the trick.
Ok. Gotta build up the suspense here. So let's start from the beginning of the night. Felipe came to my place at about 5. We hung out, sat down for about 5 minutes, and paced the remaining 45 minutes. Nervous, excited, yet building confidence at the same time that it's nothing to be nervewrecked about. We leave my place at about 5:45, and I got a few gallons of gas to bring me up to about a quarter tank.
On the way to the track, Yingling calls, wanting to know if we were there, or if he was the first to arrive. We were just pulling in at that point. $15 to race, $10 to spectate. We meet up with Yingling, talk for a few. Felipe is ready to go at this point. I told him we had to wait for the crew. This momentus occasion was gonna grace us with Wales and Jacob's presence! We had to wait! He said ok. When Wales got there, we couldn't wait any longer and we lined up in the staging lanes. Jacob showed up just in time to catch the race. He showed up with his crew, Tom showed up with his crew, and Hoopenbecker showed up with his stanger, wantin a piece of an import and a fellow domestic.
Felipe and I were lined up behind eachother, and when he was next in line, he told the guy we wanted to race together. So he lets us through, and the crazyness began. I'll let Felipe tell his experience if he wants to go into details.
Here's how it went down for me. First of all, I go through the waterbox. You don't go through the waterbox if you dont plan on doin a burnout. Smarty #1. I was scared shitless that I was gonna fuck up with my tire placement on the line and that I was gonna go past it. But I didn't. I lined up first, then Felipe lined up, and he went a little past it, making the top 2 lights go off. I was probably at a point right before the shakes. Yet I was confident that I could go through the motions without my nervousness effecting me. It's tough to describe. Anyway, the lights hit green, and I take off. I was immediately surprised cuz I got a big jump on Felipe, the opposite of what I was expecting. So I'm thinkin to myself, holy shit! I'm the shit! I'm doin great! My 1-2 shift was all good. My 2-3 shift was all good. Then as I'm in the middle of 3rd, I notice Felipe just fly by me! I'm like holy shit! WTF happened? As he passed me, a huge puff of white smoke comes out of his exhaust and freaks me out! By this time, I kinda forgot what I was doing. I lost focus and was just like uhh, what do I do? My 3-4 shift was fine, but a little early cuz I forgot what I was doing.
I cross the finish line right after my shift to 4th, and I was thinkin dam, I just got into 4th, and the race is over? I look down at the speedo, and I just went over 95!! WTF!? WTF!? Anyway, I didn't have much time to reflect on this cuz all of a sudden, the turn to get off the track flew up on me. There was no way I could break in time, but Felipe made it after slamming on his brakes. So now I'm paniced, thinkin god dam, I fucked up so bad, now these guys waiting to go are gonna hafta wait for me to put this bitch in reverse and turn around to exit the freakin track! So I kept prayin that there was another exit all the way at the end. There was, so I let out a sigh of relief, turned, and made my way back to the ticket slip place. Other than the top half mishap, I thought I had a great race and that I did well for my first time. *DRUM ROLL* I take the slip, I look down, a 15.1 @ 97.4!@ hahahahah. At first, I was like WTF!? Did the lady hand me the wrong slip? Looked at the car numbers, fuck! that's me! There's gotta be some mistake, a 15!? I look at the other lane. Felipe ran a 14.5 @ 103.9! I was like holy shit! This can't be right!
Met up with everyone after I got my slip, and everyone was shocked at us! hahahahahah High five Felipe.
Michelle was sayin that when we lined up, there were a group of guys around her that were sayin sweet, this will be a good race. Then when we finished, they were all like WTF was that!? That's crap!
I was wondering wtf I was doing wrong, am I shifting too early? So Wales asks if he should go to another ls1 guy and ask em what they're shifting at. I was like sure. He comes back like 5 minutes later laughing. I'm like what? He says after he asked the question, the guys were asking which car he was asking for. When he said who I was, the guys rolled their eyes and said "yeah, we were pretty disappointed with that one." Then they said, "the dumbass even went through the waterbox!" hahahahahah
oh man, freakin classic.
Anyway, ran 2 more times, got a 14.7 @ 99.2 and a 15.0 @ 99.3. I can't launch the fucking thing. I end up slipping the clutch to prevent wheelhopping it, or just having no traction whatsoever. But next time I race it, I'm just gonna rev it up to 2k, and drop the clutch and go. We'll see how that goes.
I was definitely getting better by the 3rd race, but in the third one, I missed my 1-2 shift. Hilarious. I come back, explain that I missed the 1-2, and everyone's like yeah, you had yer best launch outta the hole, then all of a sudden, you just stopped right in front of us That would explain that shit.
Some other funny stories: This guy in a honda starts talkin to me. He's like how'd you run the first time? I say absolutely terrible, a fucking 15! He's like well, thats better than me, I ran a 17. I'm thinkin to myself, no shit! That's cuz you have a honda, and I only beat you by 2 fucking seconds!
Another guy with a 3rd gen TA started talkin to me, askin me what mods I had done to it. He says he's been lookin to get a ws6, but that they're all going for 30k in auto trader! I was like holy shit, that's what I basically paid for the thing brand new! Anyway, I told him I ran a 15, he's like well, I ran a 16.3 in mine. I'm thinkin jesus christ, I suck ass. Then after my third and last race, he met up with me in the back area where I parked, he's all excited and asked how I did, I told him I'm getting worse and that I ran another 15. He's like dam, well, I ran a 15.8! Hell yeah! I just looked down and held my head in shame.
Fantastic night! The funnest night I've had in a looong time. THe weather was perfect too.
Like Mike said, it was a really fun night and we all had a great time even though we were all dissapointed. Anyways, here is what is going on through my mind. Right when we get to the track I am ready to go, then Wales is late. I am thinking, this bastard did this on purpose so everyone can see us fuck up.
So we are in line, nervous as hell. We go to stage and I move a bit to far forward. I am thinking to myself, damn, Mike must be cracking up in his car. I reverse and I am once again cool. Lights start goin and I am hoping not to stay at the line burning out. I slip the hell outta the clutch and Mike and I have the worst reaction times ever! We were still at the line and the light is green. I believe there was a camera that caught that. Anyways, compared to me, Mike has an awesome take off and is way in front of me which is exactly what I predicted. I knew I would catch him and I began to real him in second. I fly by him in third and leave some smoke screen to confuse him. Also thinking I did decent I get the slip. Also WTF!!!, this is bullshit. Then I see my mph and it was pretty decent so I was sure I would get in the 13's.
Second run happend to be jhue. I took off awesome and this would have been my best run and it was gonna be in the 13's and I look in the rearview to see how far back Jason is and I shift from 3rd to 2nd. Immediately I take it out and hit the brakes thinking my car messed up. I cross the line at 14.2@83mph!!! I was completely on the brakes.
Third run I ran a wrx. He took me off the line but I caught him by the end of 2nd. Had wheel hop at the takeoff and also in 3rd and I ran 14.1@102mph.
Mike and I would have done much better if we could get those 60's down. But, thats why we went, to see what we were doing wrong and to improve for next time. Take off is definately our weekness since we are dealing with cars with a reasonable amount of power on street tires.
I thought my car would do alot better but I can't really complain. She hit 100,000 miles yesterday, drives me everyday to work, ran 3 times at the track, and she got me home safe. I will post my slips later on.
Thanks for everyone that came out and supported us. Mike, thanks for filming! Michelle, freaking awesome job on the pics! I love em. Those 2 cars sure do look fast!!
--- Article last updated: April 18, 2004 ---