Auto Shows 2008

It’s auto show season and I’m already lusting after a few of new concepts:

The new Saab interior is very Saabesque but gorgeous. This just goes to show how numerous, minor, incremental tweaks can improve a design from acceptable to breath-taking.

The press pictures are contrast-deprived and reduce the visual punch the CTS-V should have, but again, the interior! I would gleefully slip into the luxurious folds of those seats, caressed firmly yet gently as I forced my will upon the highway with 550 HP.

Chugging along in traffic, but in control

I think I’ve figured out the perfect automotive combination for performance-minded people in Seattle. Many of us spend upwards of 1.5 hours every day driving between Seattle and the Eastside, usually in stop-and-go traffic. The side streets of Seattle experience congestion as well and our hills are second only to San Francisco. Sounds like a terrible place to own a manual, eh? It is, to be honest. I’ve got 39k miles on it now and I’ll be damned if my clutch makes it past 50k. You know those people that get 300k miles on a single clutch? Their daily commute takes them from Bumblenowhere, Ohio to Flatsville, Kansas. Clutch longevity isn’t about miles, it’s about clutch engagements and how rough the engagements are. I digress.

Though it is not available in many vehicles as of yet, the DualTronic transmission from Borg-Warner seems to offer the performance benefits of a manual with the ease of an automatic. The DualTronic, known to many as the DSG in various WV Group products, is a computer-controlled, dual-clutch transmission. Since it uses clutches instead of torque converters, you get none of the parasitic loss of an automatic transmission. The two clutches can independently engage different gears, the algorithm of which can be changed on the fly. If you’re on a Sunday drive, gently accelerating while in third gear, fourth gear will be pre-selected. Well below red line, the first clutch will disengage and the second one will smoothly grab onto fourth gear. Looking for performance? The system can be put into full manual mode. The algorithms can be changed such that if a potential downshift situation is detected (sudden reduction of the throttle with concurrent application of brakes, for example), the second clutch could pre-select a lower gear instead and rapidly snap to it as decelleration is detected (8 milliseconds is the publicized shift time). Good compromise, eh?

Even better than just having the option of throwing your DualTronic into automatic mode would be the inclusion of Bosch’s Adaptive Cruise Control. Available on various luxury makes such as BMW and MB, the latest version is capable of full stop-and-go control. I’d absolutely adore being set a maximum cruise speed of 65 MPH and then let the car get me across 520. I’d definitely be attentive and not place full trust in the technology, but this would allow me to relax my left foot and frustration after a hard day of work.

I bet that the 2009 BMW M3 will be the first vehicle available with this combination of technologies. BMW have announced they will offer a DSG-style transmission at some time for the M3 and sources say it is coming in the spring of 2008. BMW already offers adaptive cruise control as an option so they may incorporate the latest stop-and-go system by then as well. It’ll be years before this combination is available at a reasonable price.

Pictures are back up!

It only took a few months of calendar time and about twenty hours of actual time, but my photo gallery is finally available at! It has been updated with numerous pictures from this year, as well.

Home Theater Plans

What I have now:

  • Audio/Video
    • Onkyo TX-SR504 7.1 110W A/V Receiver
    • Onkyo Front / Centers : Dual 5″ woofers and 1″ tweeter
    • Onkyo Surrounds: 3.1″ woofer, 0.75″ tweeter
    • Onkyo Subwoofer: 230W 10″ woofer
    • Westinghouse 37″ 1080p LCD
    • Xbox 360 Premium (no HDMI)
    • Composite-only set-top box
  • Crappy speaker wires from the Onkyo HTIB
  • Wooden speaker stands for fronts and surrounds

During the move to the condo, all of my surround speaker stands broke so I’m currently running 2.1 audio. Since I finally own a place, I figured I can finally do something decent with the surround speakers. Since I’m in a condo, I can’t run the speaker wires completely hidden in the wall (no access to ceiling or floor and no desire to rip open the wall at every stud!). I looked into a few different ideas for hiding the wires:

  1. Under the baseboard
  2. Under the carpet
  3. Using flat wire and painting over it
  4. Run cable raceway along either the baseboard or crown molding

The only solution that seemed to work would be to use raceway so I picked up a few hundred feet of corner raceway from CableOrganizer. The room with the home theater has a bay window, a few hallways, et cetera so the only way to run the cable is as such:

  1. From the receiver down to the baseboard
  2. Over to the bay window wall
  3. Up the wall to the ceiling
  4. Across to the wall parallel to the TV
  5. Along that wall to the wall parallel to the bay window
  6. Part way along that final wall

The raceway was just delivered last night and I’m quite impressed. It’s attractive, well-sized, durable and not too heavy. Installation shouldn’t be a problem at all. Based on this fairly annoying Dolby site and the fact that I have to mount the right surround at a certain spot, I’ve found what I would consider the optimal positioning for the four surrounds. I’m going to get some cheap wall mounts that offer some adjustability.

Here is where I’m not quite so sure as to my plan. I know the speaker wires will be run along the ceiling and then will have to drop a few feet to the speakers. I could try to make it look extremely clean by running the wires behind the wall for that short stretch but that would require putting EIGHT holes in the wall. I could make very small holes; just enough to fish the wires. I could install keyhole plates but if I’m running the cables to the exact location of the speakers, why bother? I could also just run more cable raceway down the wall. I think I’m just going to run the wires bare for now while I contemplate these options.

I am going to toss the included speaker wire, get some bulk wire and do this right. I’m pricing wire out from Blue Jeans Cable, Parts Express and Monoprice; looks like PE is winning. I’ll run bare wire at the speaker and use banana plugs for the receiver side. Using those plugs will alleviate the headache of trying to do side-entry screw posts for 18 connections of 12 gauge wire! Just getting these speakers finally mounted and using some quality wire should help immensely.

But what about after that? The TV is currently sitting on an ugly IKEA TV bench, the 360 is hiding behind that, the cable box on the other side and the receiver is the only thing in the bench. Unfortunately, the only place for the center channel is under the bench! Highly suboptimal. My desire would be to wall-mount the TV, wall-mount the center channel just beneath the TV and hide all the cables. Hiding the power for the TV would require something like a PowerBridge and right now, the TV itself is doing all the video switching. It has to deal with the 360, cable box and the PC I have just off to the side. Running all of those cables up the wall sounds terrible! The receiver I have now can do 3x component and 3x composite in and does composite out. That would cover everything but the VGA (or DVI) in from the computer, which I can deal with for now.

An HDMI-switching receiver would be a great investment as I could just have the single HDMI cable run up to the TV. I could even use a DVI-HDMI cable to connect the computer to the receiver. I’d also replace the TV bench with an open component rack, for better cooling. The receiver and 360 both get extremely hot! Since I would have space on the rack, I’d probably get either a HD-DVD or Blu-Ray player to enjoy the setup. At that point, I might try to upgrade the speakers but they seem fine to me. I’m not an audiophile by any means.

Ah dreams, oh for the want of time and money to make them true.

Kitteh! Snorgle snorgle

Clare and I just found the cutest cat in the whole world and he’s turning out to be quite the lover!

We had been scouring for the last few weeks, toying with the idea of getting a cat. I’m pretty much settled in to the condo, Clare is staying with me every night and we both wanted a pet. She’s more of a dog lover but my little condo just couldn’t support a dog lifestyle. We’ve sent each other tens of links but none of them seemed like “the one”. Finally, Clare sent a link early one morning titled “HHHOOOOOOONNNEEEYYYYYYY!!!” and a wave of realization hit, here was the one!

I had a few criteria in mind when picking out a new cat. These criteria were not of the “must have” variety, but more of the “must not be” variety:

  • Cannot be a kitten. Everyone wants a kitten. Kittens only temporarily end up in shelters; they get snatched up immediately.
  • As a corollary: cannot be fairly young. No one wants an older cat, so the older, the better I would feel about adopting.
  • Cannot be in perfect shape. A healthy, pretty kitty will be adopted over time. There is little chance a healthy, well-behaved cat would have issues being placed in a wonderful home.

The cat that Clare linked to was six years old, had a teratoma removed from his neck and needed a tooth removed. On the other hand, you could tell he was so sweet and once healed up, would be beautiful! He’s a Siamese mix: mostly a domestic short-hair body but with blue-points and the cutest blue cross eyes! We ran through a few name ideas but since he’s mostly a light cream color with blue points, I came up with the name Roquefort, or Ro for short. Here he is:

Oh god how did this get here I’m not good with Dells

I’m a bad dork. For the first time since my parents bought a Tandy 1000 and then some Acer with a Pentium 60, I’ve purchased a computer instead of building my own from parts. I’ve been running my last homebuilt computer for over five years now and loading a simple video now takes five steps:

1) Shutdown all other programs
2) Fire up Task Manager
3) Kill any rogue process that is taking up more than 10% of the CPU (I’m looking at you, trustedinstaller.exe! Hey, svchost, pipe down!)
4) Fire up the video and pause it after it thrashes for 20 seconds like a fish outta water.
5) Promote the wmplayer.exe priority to High, but NOT real-time. High allows the player to suck up enough resources to play a video properly, real-time seems to override the scheduler causing… problems.

After watching the first four seasons of The Sopranos in this fashion, I decided enough was enough and started trolling for deals on new computers. After realizing that buying a pre-made system was cheaper than assembling one, I focused on Dell deals. Finally, I picked up this system for only $520:

  • Core 2 Duo E6550 (2.33 GHz)
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 80 GB SATA drive
  • 20″ LCD

That processor stuffed in a mini-tower with those other components sorta seems like stuffing an AMG 6.2L V8 into a Festiva (…if only engines were free, I’d have a great LeMons car there) but my old computer has a DVD burner and I’ll upgrade the new computer over time. That processor retails for $200 on its own, same with the monitor!

I barely booted the computer before reformatting the drive and installing a fresh copy of Vista Ultimate. So far, I’m happy with the box and the 2 GB of RAM I have coming my way will only improve the situation.

Last night, Kendra and Brendan invited me out to Bleu to meet a coworker, Aric and his wife, Cherie. He’s a well-read, activity-focused editor for Amazon, she has rapier-sharp wit and a knack with words to the point where she’s a highly-proclaimed author. She has a large following and I’m assuming he does as well, considering how engrossing his blogs are. It felt good just to be in their presence.

I do not understand how to live life for myself.

I’m so afraid of what other people think that I never challenge myself, I focus my energies into characteristics and abilities that come naturally and I spend too much money on trinkets (some of which costing hundreds of thousands of dollars) to bring more positive attention to myself.

I’m trying to get over this. Paying attention to the attention only causes anxiety, reducing my abilities and making me look worse to other people. ‘Tis a silly cycle but it’s a roundabout with an a single entrance that closes behind you. I’ve spent numerous years fearing failure to the point where I’ve been paralyzed into doing nothing certain nights but reading (and not posting to) internet forums. I’m going to beat this.

Travel pack list:

  • Clothing
    • Shirts
    • Undershirts
    • Pants/shorts
    • Underwear
    • Socks
    • Shoes
    • Special requirements?
      • Swimming
      • Rain
      • Formal function
      • Hiking
      • Exercising
  • Toiletries
    • Toothbrush
    • Toothpaste
    • Shaver
    • Shaving cream
    • Hair brush
    • Hair product
    • Deodorant
    • Cologne
    • Medicine
  • Electronics
    • Camera
      • Memory cards
      • Charger
    • Cell phone charger
    • MP3 player
  • Travel-specific accessories
    • Passport
    • Book
    • Pillow
    • Snacks
    • Sunglasses

The Concept

Of course I’d heard of the inaugural running of the 24 Hours of LeMons; the concept reeks of genius. What is LeMons? Teams of 4-6 drivers race a car for 14 hours with a slight catch. Any costs not related to safety have to come in under $500. The classification for “safety” is painted with a wide brush as it includes the obvious items but also allows for items like tires and brakes. Here is the full list of items that are not included in the “under $500” umbrella:

  • Roll bars/cages
  • Driver’s seat
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Harness
  • Window net
  • Braking system
  • Wheels
  • Tires

EVERYTHING else must be acquired and installed for under $500. Labor you do yourself is free, if someone else does it, that goes against the $500 total. There are two checkpoints that are used to try to keep people honest. First, the organizer can buy any car after the race for $500. That set of custom coilovers that you attempted to make look used by covering in dust, dirt and oil then set to bake in the sun for five weeks? Hopefully someone notices your ability to pirouette on apex and calls you out on it. Second, after the car clears the tech inspection, the BSF judges come though. For every estimated $10 you spend over the $500, you are awarded one Bullshit Factor point. Each point will take a lap off your final total. Considering how much we ended up spending on the car and how over-prepared other cars seemed, I wouldn’t be surprised if the average per-car-cost was closer to $1,200 – $1,500. More on that later.

In the light-hearted vein of the race concept, LeMons also featured quirky qualifying events and mid-race punishments. We completely missed the announcement for the extra credit qualifying so I have no idea what the events were. Anyone? The punishments were proposed to keep people from racing like maniacs or making this a demolition derby. If the corner workers noticed you were blocking people from passing, making unsafe passes yourself or intentionally hitting people, you were black flagged. Off to the Wheel of Misfortune! Other punishments are for specific transgressions. Some of the punishments I remember:

  • Eggman: A hole is cut in your roof above the driver and crates of eggs are attached all around the hole. You turn, brake or accelerate (you are accelerating, right?) and eggs are dumped on your head. Don’t forget, it’s roughly 110 degrees on track!
  • Grill of Damocles: It’s no sword, but imagine a steel plate with eight spikes protruding. Using some additional steel bars, the plate is welded to the front of the car with the spikes pointed inwards. Ram yet another car and feel the sweet taste of release as the spikes penetrate your radiator, expelling life force and your chances at winning this race.
  • Al Gore Junior: Belching bluish smoke lap after lap? Time to pay penance! Black flagged, off the course and handed a shovel? See that baby tree over there? You get to plant it pit-side and water it before your car is allowed back on track.
  • Legion of Odor (Amulet of Aroma would have been better): Looks like both you and your car need accessories! In addition to the necklace of unwrapped putrid cheese, your car’s exhaust manifold is also coated in the stuff. Guess what? You get to wear that amulet all weekend. Even in the pits. In the heat.
  • Chin Music: Boom box with an automatically rewinding cassette player and Norwegian sea chants on full volume, zip-tied into the car where you can’t reach it.
  • Train in Vain: Training wheels are welded to the sides of your car. How is this a punishment? Some teams may have benefited from not cornering on their doors.
  • Barnyard I and II: The outline of a barnyard animal in steel plate is welded to your roof decreasing your glorious 0.48 cd.

The rest of the race details are less interesting and are covered on the main site.

The Crew

Our team was formed on Something Awful. Team OMGWTFestiva is comprised of four goons from Seattle that knew each other from autocrossing, one of the more active racing goons from TX and a TX friend. The Seattle goons would take care of the car and getting it to the race while the TX guys were going to fly in for driving duties. I concentrated on pictures of the car and race so I don’t seem to have pictures of everyone individually. Here’s a group shot from after the race:

From L to R: Sanjeev, Dale, Richie, Nat, Mike and Jack (Our only dedicated pit crew member, Shawn, took the picture)

Nat is the Festiva expert and did 95% of the necessary work on the car. He also trailered it to CA and back so REP++ to him. Dale and Jack have track experience, are knowledgeable about repairs and were much faster than the rest of us. As for the rest of us, I guess that makes us just tagalongs!

The Car

Nat found the car, a dirt-track-prepped Festiva with a roll cage already installed. The Festiva came stock with a 1.3L engine but this came with the 1.6L long block, very similar to the engine in the ’90-’94 Miata. Here she is as picked up:

The chassis, transmission and cage were just fine. The suspension, brakes and radiator were all well-worn. Here is the list of what we had to do to get the car ready:

  1. Strip decals
  2. Install seat mount
  3. Install seat
  4. Install harness
  5. Replace brakes
  6. Replace radiator
  7. Install drain plug in radiator
  8. Replace rear suspension
  9. Install lexan windshield
  10. Install window net
  11. Replace wheels
  12. Replace tires
  13. Remount battery
  14. Replace all fluids

Nat found better brakes, radiator and rear suspension at the junkyard for very cheap. Since the car was purchased for $350, we (Nat) did all the work ourselves and only used junkyard parts, we were definitely within the $500 bounds.

In the end, she weighed about 1600 pounds and could spin the tires in 1st and 2nd easily. There was so much low-end torque and 1st gear was basically on the “Liquefy tires” setting, I used 2nd as the lowest gear for almost the entire race. I only needed 1st during a yellow flag while on a slight incline. Since the suspension was worn-out stock, body roll was hilarious. Any force was met with an equal and humorous opposite force. Accelerate and the nose shoots to the sky, turn side to side and wallow around, brake and you’d occasionally touch the front bumper to pavement. The tires we used were fairly tall, increasing the ride height which didn’t help in the least. The brakes were sufficient… until something I’ll tell you about later.

As one of the taller members of the team, I was quite worried about the seat and pedal positioning. The dirt trackers must have been 5’9″ or lower as the roll cage harness bar allowed for very little leg room. Our first attempt at mounting the seat had my knees bent tighter than 90 degrees. The pedals also had excessive height so I was practically putting my left knee through the window to get to the clutch. We adjusted the seat mounts lower, putting the seat back a little bit at the same time. I didn’t even notice the cramped position during the race. If you’re comfortable, it’s not a race car, eh? Here is how she looked once at the track:

After Shawn, Sanjeev and I made a detour from Oakland to San Francisco specifically for a trip to H&M (shout out to my W&W buddies), we all met up at the hotel in Livermore to discuss strategy. Jack and Dale talked about race basics while the rest of us tried to figure out how long we could last in a hot tin can with no fan, let alone any sort of cooling, in a full race suit on a hot track. We figured we’d start with 20/30 minute shifts and move toward 1 hour shifts as we got comfortable. We worried about hydration and figured we would need a glass of Gatorade every hour for the whole day. 15 gallons of Gatorade mix would at least hold us off for awhile.

On the day of the race, half of us went on a water, snacks and supplies run while the other half prepped the pits. Thank goodness I picked up folding chairs and a 10’x10′ canopy at the last minute. The beating sun, dirt pit and sand storms would have knocked us out alone. After prep, Shawn and I went around to scope out the competition.

The Competition
The first characteristic I noticed about the other cars? Almost all of them had a goofy paint job. What did we neglect? Paint. Luckily we kept the flames from the previous vinyl job and had huge numbers made up. Most cars had a theme or at least a garish coat of cheap paint. We had a stock color and some random decals but it didn’t look so bad. Here are a few of the interesting designs or important cars:


Canola Rollas

Freak SHO

Lemon Lappers

Holy Rollers

Wankel Wankers

Day One
We passed tech and the BSF test without issue, the car was running fine, everyone’s gear was checked out, we all had our competition licenses (though I had to wait over an hour in a 20 person line to get mine), the pits were set up with the canopy, chairs, drinks and snacks… we were locked and loaded by the 2:30 PM start time. Since he knew the car the best, Nat started us off. He did the recon/warm-up laps and then was out there for the green flag. Instead of deciding on positions and qualifying and griding, they put everyone on track, chose a random car and a random lap. When that car had completed that specific lap, they dropped the green flag and everyone was off! Starting with 90 cars on a 1.1 mile course is insanity. Imaging terrible traffic (think 520 W from 4 PM to 7 PM in Seattle), a dirty and dusty road and add the fact that everyone wants to get home first while no one cares about slamming into your car!

Luckily, we made it through the initial scuffle relatively unharmed. Jack jumped into the car next and less than an hour into the race, we suffered our first bit of major damage. The #60 Fallen Angels car (women drivers!) were the first to play pinball with us:

We used up our first bit of luck for the day. All of that was body damage as we couldn’t see any damage to the tire, wheel or suspension! Richie got a stint, I had my stint and then Sanjeev hopped into the car. The details are fuzzy; no one was watching the track for the following incident and Sanjeev was spun around and couldn’t see the culprit. We aren’t 100% positive, but various clues lead us to believe it was Freak SHO. At the hairpin, Sanjeev was following the correct line when another car came squirting in, tight to the apex. Sanjeev turned the drivers side front corner into their passenger rear. The car was knocked partially off course, the drivers side front wheel was very askew and the car would not fire up!

Considering how light our car is and how fragile the completely untouched front suspension was, damage was expected. I don’t think anyone has pictures of how it looked while being towed in because we were all rushing around trying to think of how to fix it. Basically, the leading edge of the front wheel was pointing outward. We jacked up the car, took off the wheel and Nat was able to quickly diagnose the problem. The hit had bent the lower mount of the strut and we were without a spare. Jack and Sanjeev immediately set out in the Chrysler 300 rental to find some glorious store that would carry a front strut for a 1991 Ford Festiva. We also had an issue of the engine not turning over to fix! The hit was actually so hard that the bent strut was pushing through the wheel well and pushed the engine flush against the passenger side wheel well. Once the bent strut was removed, the engine was freed and the little bugger fired right up. Here is the damage the pulley caused:

About an hour and at least four stores later, they found a new strut at Autozone. Just in case, they bought two. A little spring compression here, a few busted knuckles there and the car was back to whole in no time. …or so we thought. Not too much later, the car is towed back to the pits and what is this? The driver front tire is off and sitting in the hatch! Our immediate thought was that we were in such a hurry to get the car back on track that we forgot to tighten the lug bolts. This is when I started to get frustrated. Getting knocked out because we sustained damage is one thing. Knocking ourselves out with stupidity is simply unacceptable. Luckily, the rotor was intact and very little damage occurred. Tighten the bolts, double-check all the bolts and back on track! …ah crap, here comes the tow truck again…

Courtesy of Autoblog:

We lost the same wheel again!? We figured it wasn’t an issue with the lug bolts. The hit we sustained that took out the suspension must have caused a hell of a lot of force to the bolts and damaged the threads in the hub. A little investigation and we could tell that the third set of replacement bolts just wouldn’t catch. It was almost 9 PM by this point so we knew we couldn’t find parts at this time. We’d either need to replace the entire hub (with a very slim chance that any store would have those in stock) or tap out the hub to accommodate bigger bolts. We adjourned for the evening, battered, bruised and deflated. Our plan was to get up early, hit all the stores we could and try to get a new tap set. We were also given a little bit of hope as one of the teams might have a big enough tap set early in the morning.

Day Two
We had to attend a mandatory drivers meeting at 8:45 AM so we figured that since none of the stores would be open before 9AM, we would just go check in, let the race start without us and we’d start the part search. Turns out the team with the tap was looking for us around 8 AM and then the guy with the tap set left. Periodic phone calls to the guys looking for parts showed they were coming up empty handed. No hubs were to be found and most tap sets only went up to 12 MM x 1.75 (the size of the current-yet-damaged threads). At the track, we found someone with a tap set but it also wasn’t big enough. Using the other car, Sanjeev and I set out to find some more ice and pick up lunch for everyone. That only left Richie, Jack and Shawn back at the track with the car. My Spidey-sense kicked in and so I texted Shawn. Turns out, they decided to try tapping with the 12 MM x 1.75 anyway! Nat said it probably wouldn’t work but the guys also scrounged up some longer lug bolts from another team. The original threads only went so deep. They tapped the whole hub and the longer bolts were as firm as a green cantaloupe (as firm as tightly torqued coarse-threaded metal-on-metal could be).

We rushed back to the track to see the lil’ bugger out there, driving around just fine! We missed probably four of the seven hours from the first day and the initial two hours of the second day. Traffic was lighter and they were supposedly giving out more black flags. Being the smallest and possibly lightest car out there, this was definitely to our advantage. We traded off drivers without incident until about 40 minutes before the end of the race. I was finishing up my third stint and coming up the back sweeper when suddenly the car started to shake violently with a thudding sound from the passenger side front suspension. Luckily the back sweeper is where the pit entrance is so I just pulled off immediately. As I was unbuckling back at the pit, everyone was asking me what I hit! Nothing, but it turns out that both of the front tires were canted in with some extreme positive camber.

We pulled the wheel and the ball joint had popped out in addition to the top bolt hole of the strut being completely ovaled out. Putting the ball joint back together was easy, but we weren’t so sure about the strut. We had lent a spare tire to a BMW team and they repaid us by having the exact bolt necessary. We torqued it to Grayskull and back and tossed her back on track. No idea how it was possible but we finished the race, saw the checkered flag.

We placed 54th out of 83 cars, 316 laps completed. We missed maybe 2 hours the second day so we were on track (or doing a normal pit) for 8 hours (57% of the time). We figured that if we were on track the whole time, we would have placed closer to 25th. Not bad for a legally prepped car!

What would we do differently? If we could start over completely, a tougher car would be excellent. With the smallest car, we were easily pushed around. With the Festiva, maybe we could have some sort of cage around the wheels, protecting the fragile suspension. We would also remember our spare parts! Of course we wouldn’t have had everything to recover from the various maladies of the day, but it would have helped. Spare tools would be nice as would some sort of cooling for the driver.

Are we going to do it again? Definitely. We have a sunk cost of the various driver suits, pit materials, the car itself (which could be easily campaigned again) and we have the knowledge. Prior entrants seem to be favored for application acceptance as well. Enough people have shown interest that I can easily see having two teams. A handful of teams ran multiple cars side by side, even the exact same type of car. That could be fortuitous.

Do you want to do this in October? Let us know! Wrenching and track experience are highly desirable.