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October 07, 2008

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Racing and Damage — It’s the nature of the beast!

 

Hello Everyone!

As my second blog entry, I struggled with what I should write about as I’m a little new at this blog thing.  I figured I’d share what every driver, car owner, and team must deal with in this sport…vehicle damage.

Starting with this year’s Subiefest, held at Willow Springs Raceway, temperatures were hot and the competition was stiff!  With track temperatures reaching upwards of 115 degrees, it was very hard on the motors!  With 3 motors blowing up on saturday’s practice, and a few more spewing oil on track on sunday, it made for scary and unpredictable track conditions.  I was a victim on sunday morning during my practice session when a car ahead of me had been spewing oil on track without getting black flagged.  So into turn 1 at speeds well over 100mph, I hit a patch of oil at turn exit sending me off track.  At those speeds, I was sure I was going to do some serious damage…both feet in and hope it didn’t roll!!!  Lucky for me, the runoff wasn’t too bad, but after hitting a small ditch in the runoff I generously donated some body parts to the track.  The carnage was bad but not enough to kill my day.  We lost the front splitter and bumper, and also did damage to the fenders, sideskirts, and undercarriage.  With the help of EDO Performance and their pit crew, we were able to get the car back out for qualifying and made it into the finals!  All in all, I can’t complain…things could have been worse!

Two weeks later brings us to California Speedway.  Speedventures put on a track day on the Roval Course and I couldn’t resist!  Five minutes from home, and enough track credits to cover the day convinced me that it would be a good day to go play and get some more seat time!  The day went well, the car ran great even despite the body damage from Subiefest!  On my last session, it happened.  While following a Porsche GT2 on the front straight as speed well over 145mph, something from under the porsche flew up and demolished my hood and scoop!  The damage was so bad that this too needs to be replaced, but once again, i’m grateful because it could have been worse.

Within two consecutive events, I have now destroyed a hood, front bumper, side skirts, and front fenders.  Am I upset about this?  Of course!  Is this going to cost me?  You bet!  But hey…that’s racing!  I knew this when I got into it…and have to take it as it comes.  What’s next?  Well, I’ve been fortunate to receive some help from new sponsorships and acquired all of the necessary parts to replace the damage.  The car is at the bodyshop now getting repainted and put back together in time for this year’s SEMA show and Subie Invasion!  The following week, we will be competing at the Super Lap Battle Finals to be held at Buttonwillow Raceway.  Is there a possiblity that I can do more damage???  Absolutely!  Does that make me crazy?  Nope!  I’m a race car driver…it’s what I do.

Scott VanderHeide

Driver — EDO Performance STi


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