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Long live the Red Rat

To: <spridgets@autox.team.net>, "vintage race list" <vintage-race@autox.team.net>, "Thickos" <team-thicko@autox.team.net>
Subject: Long live the Red Rat
Date: Mon, 3 Jul 2000 07:02:20 -0500charset="iso-8859-1"
To all,

Thickos north and south attended VARAC's race at Mosport thise weekend. If
you've never driven Mosport, you must plan to attend this event next year...
great track, great people... and great fun.

While qualifying Saturday, the Red Rat Bastard was really "honkin"...
posting a great qualifying time. Turn 8 is a wide open right handed sweeper
after a long straight...someof the fastest parts of the course. 9 is a fast
left hander... followed by the right hander 10 that brings you back to the
main straight. Moving right to prepare for 9... I felt the steering go. The
car veered strongly right... heading toward the tire wall at a high rate of
speed. I had time in my mind to think the following... "This is really gonna
hurt"...and "I'm glad that this wasn't driver's error". I slammed into the
wall at somewhere near or over 90 mph, luckily hitting it at a 45 degree
angle. I found myself rolling over after the initial impact... 2 1/2 times
ultimately... ending up upside down on the roll bar. After the rolling
sensation ceased... it was amazingly quiet... dark, and confined. I made
sure all switches were off, and was hoping that my competitors behind me
were paying attention to the yellow flags. It would have pissed me off to
survive that part of the crash and then be punted while hanging upside down.
My helmet was pressing against the ground... my roll bar apparently having
dug into the ground. After what seemed like 30 seconds (it may not have been
that long... or it could have been longer... who knows...) I decided to take
stock of my body parts. Nothing hurt seriously, and fingers and toes seemed
to function normally... and since my weight already was resting on my head,
I decided to try to extricate myself... as I knew I didn't like "hangin"
around. (Corner workers and EMT's caution all you racers out there... citing
racers who manage to survive a crash, only to injure themselves by releasing
their belts and falling on their heads...)

I crawled out from under the wreackage just as the EMT's came upon the
scene. They had me sit down on the wall, while the corner workers dealt with
the upside down RRB, it's front wheel and spindle lying in the middle of the
track. I gave thumbs up to my shocked competitors as they passed the scene
slowly. I walked to the medical bulding, where I was checked out and
released. The usual party at Thicko Village commenced a little earlier than
usual Saturday.

Inspection showed failure of the 2 bolts that hold the spindle to the
steering arm. Once that failed, the wheel flopped down and ripped off from
the lower portion. (I hear the sound of Sprite owners everywhere scurrying
off to inspect their front suspensions...).

The Red Rat Bastard's days are over... better to end this way rather than
rusting away in someone's back yard. I'm thankful I had no serious injuries,
and no one else was hurt. Thanks to the trackside personnel and medical
staff, the race organizers and fellow competitors that helped out or
expressed concern. Today, Monday, 2 days after the incident, I have very
very sore ribs on the left side, a slightly stiff neck, and a bruise on my
right shoulder... remarkable really, when you consider I stuffed  40 year
old car. Thanks to Geoffrey Healey for a great design, and thanks to Tom
Colby of Speedwell for a great roll bar.

So, hoist a glass for the Red Rad Bastard... and look out for the next
effort... "Frankensprite"...

Team Thicko

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