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Ryan and I got together today for some brief preparation for next weekends private drift practice and other stuff. Nothing major. For the 20, we flipped the back tires on the rim as the first event with only a degree of camber really left a mark on the outside edge. We made a trip to two of Calgary’s scrap yards, as I was looking for some basic stuff for the 92: trunk carpet and other interior bits plus a large port FWD intake manifold. Sadly there wasn’t even a single 4a powered car around and once again I was unable to grab a couple of the little things I’ve been wanting for the 86: non power mirrors, electric fan conversion stuff and wiper switch. In the end, I grabbed a front lip from an MX73 and came home and fitted it to the car. Not sure I like how it looks, but it does fit well. While doing this, I finally got around to replacing the broken alternator belt that I had been using to support my MAF sensor ever since Andrew submerged the car in 3 ft of water last June, ruining the existing MAF sensor. Vickers came to the rescue that day with a sensor from his parts car, and I tied it up using a broken belt I found among the marbles at the track. So after almost 12 months, I built a bracket.

I often look at cars like the S13 or FC in videos or online and think that it would be nice to own a car like that. Bigger, more powerful, more modern looking… more modern. Generally such thoughts come as a result of my not spending any time with my 86. Prior to last weekend, I had been wavering somewhat on my commitment to my car. After all, I could easily sell it and use that cash to find myself a nice S13 or FC through Import Concern, or find a wrecked car and build something ground up. All it took was one day with my car though…

The first auto-x…Ryan was not happy with what happened that day. Andrew was not content… but for me it was bliss. Everytime I make it to the track I learn something new. I had previously realized the sharp distinction between my fast and drift driving attitudes, but last weekend I learned more about blending them and moving from one to another. Drift style requires a certain commitment and faith that just isn’t present in MY fast style. I even tried to establish a drift style that didn’t require this commitment. I failed horribly.

In the end though, I set a fast time that I was very happy with all things considered, and though I never successfully slid the most challenging section of the course I did notice great improvements in other sections. Specifically, throttle control and speed checking… for the first time. Yes this seems absurd… but up until now everything I’ve done has required my foot on the floor all the time. Maybe it’s just been the courses, or maybe I just haven’t noticed that I’m taking a really wide line… but on the auto-x course, with cones sometimes marking a very narrow path, you have to be precise. So now I not only found myself needing to back off the throttle mid corner to tighten my line up, but also needing to get on the brakes after turn in to bleed major speed. For me this was most exciting, requiring some quick steering work and careful modulation on the brake pedal to control angle without any throttle. So rewarding.

Given this, I’m really looking forward to the drift event coming up. Specifically I want to practice early entry and some stretched out transitions that test my ability to maintain angle with only the stock motor. In fact… exploring these things has been so fun and rewarding that I’m thinking about abandoning my plan to park this car for the rest of the season.

… what… I never told you?

Certain things about this car have begun to bug me. Like the little cracks I have forming here and there from the abuse, like the red paint chips and the holes in the carpet… Ryan and I have been shopping for a welder with the plan of stripping the car down to nothing and doing some body tuning and restoration. But… maybe now this won’t happen. Maybe instead I’ll buy a nice clutch for kicking and rebuild/swap the small port I have in the 92. After all… nothings perfect. I’d probably have more fun with the track dog/beater anyways… STAY TUNED.

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