Cootha Classic – we came – we buggerer up allot but – it was FUNTASTIC >>>
Part 1 – Bump Out from the Epic – Cootha Classic –
Wow the event was FUNTASTIC – I’ve never done a hill climb before and had allot to learn TFS – more on that to come – our city council had always run this event but given insurance indemnities and other shortages of resources , $$ and passion – 5 years ago it stopped :-(:-(
Then a couple of amazing young blokes took the passion they had for motor sports and ?? balls to the wall – they had a stab at running the event themselves ??
Gutsy Effort J and H and ALL >> GR8 Job M8’s !!
NO doubts even to them that they had bitten off more than they could have ever expected – but regardless – CC was AWESOME —- Friday came and all entrants (90) arrived to bump in – go through all the registration – paperwork – safety equip – personal equipment – verifying each racer was with all the things they need to satisfy CAMS (the regulatory body in Australia for motor sports) and the event requirements itself !
Allot of work but after scrutineering was completed and the car got its ALL OK sticker on the window – we were set for a FULL day of racing Sat (5th Sept) !
I think so so so much was learnt by the racers , organizers , volunteers , police , fire , council , everyone – and NO NO DOUBTS next years CC ? Will be something NO ONE will want to miss !!!
Sure they might need to make some changes and improvements , it’s a work in progress and will ONLY get better & better – but was a MOST Fun day to have all different types of cars and bikes – imagine you had a lambo and a dellara and a modified time attack car – open wheelers – vintage bikes – all the same , was a race from the bottom of the mountain to the finish line !!!
Bloody Fantastic that it was – NO 2 words about That !!!!
Ok – so I try to make a quick post but will revisit when I get some images and footage but just off the cuff – the lead up was so hectic at our house as it had been a crazy week with some of our Italian mates visiting Aussie (Most (and kids) not a word of English) living with us , I been taking them to all the tourist places , lone pine , kangaroo and koala sanctuaries , Zoo’s , outback spectacular shows , etc etc etc , wasn’t the optimum lead up for me to a big event like the CC – but still – came Friday and I was buggered but excited !!!
Now for my car – NO MASARATI anymore – I’ve had to go back to the start and begin with a base level car that was and is still a great thing to race and have fun with albeit 2lt’s is not quite the same the masa – I ran a Mercedes A45 – small four door hatch. but with some serious AMG touches – couldn’t afford to run the masa anymore – was great for creating media for the SW fundraising but with every corner during the targa’s I thought ?
Better ease off or I’ll have 2 home loans – I’d rather have 2 wife’s – Racing is FUN – Crashing ? Not so much – a mate helped me find the 2013 used A45 was and is allot more affordable albeit not in the same standards as the masa – but all the same – time to start at the entry level and go UP – rather than the other way ALL GOOD she might not be a masa but she’s enough for me !!
Oh where to start ? Well ? too funny – have to tell you how the launch control on A45 worked ? I knew the 45 had this launch control thingy – I’d never used before so leading up the week before the event I set about learning how to use it – between lone pine and outback spectacular , only the Germans could make engaging this system something a fighter jet pilot would struggle with ? I think all up there is 8 things you need to do in a rhythm and in order or it cancels (one was holding the brake exactly at the same pressure from step 1-8 and being that I use the side of my hand for the brake ? Wasn’t so easy to do ?
Still I practiced and got it down – the big thing is the small 2lt doesn’t have allot of poke till you get the RPM’s up around 3-4,000 – that’s why they have this launch system – the gearbox helps get the car off the line and the RPM’s up to where the power comes in – before it engages the start – works GR8 and fires you out of the hole like a freaking ROCKET !!!
I went to read the book on the car systems and I’ll be buggered – the book is massive and when held next to my bible ? Thicker and with more pages ,,, ughhhhh – one talks about the history of the world and the other ? About an A series A45 ? And lord knows I am NOT the sharpest tool in the shed to start with :-(:-(:-(
But had it sorted (so I thought) tried , practiced and BOOYAA I was ready – sat morning came too early after a late night waiting for a taxi to get me home from bump in – 11:45 to bed and 04:15 up – but at this stage Adrenaline was kicking in and I was pumped !!!
I was car 33 and the first to run in the street class , I think was 27/28 cars in the street class I was in – few things held us up in the morning but once we all got running and circulating it went like a hot knife in butter !!
Finally it was my first run ? I rolled up (was on an ascent , being a hill climb) to the starting line , lights blazing – started the sequence to get launch ready – but kept getting this on my screen :
System NOT available please see operating booklet ?
What the ?
The green light came and I couldn’t make the bloody thing work ? Told you I’m not a sharp tool – only a tool haha –
The starters said ?
Do we roll you backwards (the next car was not far behind me) and I said no that will just bugger up everything I’ll go – so dumped the launch and hit the pedal ? Yep ? A whole lot of nothing much went on (hill didn’t help the take off) till I got to around 4,000 rpm and by then was time to break hard for the 1st chicane – bugger – well all was not lost I completed the track and after the finish I had my first look at the cars screen and what did I see ???
When you disengage the launch or its done for you – the car defaults to ?? ECO mode ?
ECO mode ?
Double Shyt. Had I braked hard enough the engine would have shut off !!
Well at least I saved fuel (seems I was the ONLY one who went to the race with a full tank of fuel) everyone else added fuel as needed after each run and ?? At least ?? I reduced my carbon footprint on the world – ok – so we should get 4-5 runs maybe – next run I’ll get it right – the car wasn’t very warm for the first run as had sat all night and a bit cold here in winter – and in the morning I started and ran for 5 mins to defrost the windows but didn’t really warm her up perhaps enough ? and I’m sure that system needs the car to be at operating temp – no worries – this time I ran the car whilst parked in my pit bay – revving her up and for sure had operating temp in sight – tried the launch – worked – so I rolled up for 2nd run – so sure I had launch sorted !
BAM – same again – nada – and again defaulted to Eco just to get the car going once the green light had lit up – well I just couldn’t work it out and most of that run was spent screaming certain words we all know and shouldn’t use – one in particular – repeatedly as my go pro captures might show , note to self ? better add sound to those on 2nd run when I download – and the finish of 2nd run done !
By now I am thinking ? Maybe it don’t engage if on a hill ? I was strapped into my harness and couldn’t move much all day , couldn’t get to my wheelchair , and surely couldn’t get out of the car to get the books in boot / trunk for my overseas mates and read – so I just put it down to something that had to do with being on a hill ??
Run 3 – this time I opted for Sport mode – launch can bite me – the green light came and I was off – but this lap I found the track VERY slippery ? Strange ? But ? the sun was going down and the road was not so hot – heck I almost understeered into a wall — twice ?
When I got back to my put bay – I finally noticed ? Whilst I had the transmission in sport – good – part of loading launch is engaging a sport suspension button – and ? You guessed it ? I forgot to do that at the heat of the moment – No wonder I was sliding around I had on comfort suspension – ARGH !!!!!
Too funny and had to laugh – ok. Run 4 – this time I had both the sport suspension button ON and sport transmission ON – and the run went well – not so slippery with comfort suspension OFF and sport ON – surely did *****miss***** not being able to leave the line under the launch – whilst sitting in the car before my last run – was always people dropping bye and chatting when parked up – one nice bloke and his son came over – and he said ? Hey I have the same car – how good is it ??
At this stage I was trying to find words – well yes agree 110% she’s a ripper Rita car but not sold on the bloody launch control ?he replied ?
“Oh you know it does t work if your on any ascent or decent” ?
DOH – in other words it don’t work unless on flat ground – clearly ?
He had read the book not just one page !!!
Haha again just had to laugh – by now I was getting pretty tried and just trying to keep my few remaining brain cells working for the last RUN – number 5 – and it came and went without much drama and I enjoyed this run the best !!
Metric of Success for me ? Bringing the car and driver home in one piece and the same way it went out – HAPPY – whilst a few came to grief on this pretty technical course – the blunder managed to stay off the walls – barriers and cones – by now I was totally shagged and ready to collapse !
Soooooo how did I go ?
Buggered if I know ?
They kept placing the timing and scores on the wall of the pit office – but I couldn’t get out of the car to go and look ? The ONLY time I got to get out was at the very end of the day and the page with street class was up at eye level – but not my eye level – so I tried to take an iPhone pic – from what I can see ?
Run 5 time hadn’t been posted yet – but aside I was coming @19th in class and @60th overall with all classes – whilst I’ll never be able to really compete with anyone who has the use of their legs and feet – using only my fingers – had to be pretty happy with that – and I can’t find the results posted online yet ? So it’s anyone’s guess – but this is just a quick update and I’ll come back with more when at hand !!
Anyway thanks for reading – just a FUN day of cars , racing , the mountain and mates – speaking of mates thanks so so so much for all my mates both ♿️♿️ and walking for coming wish I could have got out of the car as it was access restricted into pit lane where I was –
A total success for the CC and everyone who made it happen – next year will be so much better and who knows ? Maybe the blunder will find a way to drive launch by then — haha — what a ride — till next year — I practice HARD – first Targa is coming soon so better get some track and training time in :-):-):-)
No barriers , run off’s , cones or tire walls only ? Cliffs , Tree’s , Rock’s and generally things that simply ? Don’t move when hit – you move , they don’t – allot more work needed but smiling all the way !!
That’s me on the right just after the start line >>>