Sunday, September 5, 2010

Gentleman, start your engines

As the loud voice boomed Gentleman, start your engines over the microphone the crowd waited expectantly for the rows of cars to fire up and begin the race.
Today was one of those out of the box days for me. My husband and I were invited by some relatives who were working the Trans Am races at Brainerd a.k.a BIR to be their guests. Which meant we got to be in the pits and have a real close up view of the cars, meet staff and drivers. Both of us got to ride in pace cars and go around the track before the race. Speeds up and over 100 mph are not for the weak. At least the pace car driver slowed down when taking the tight corners around the curves. I did try to act calm and cool but I thought surely I'd fall out on one of inside the curves.
Even though the dress code for this affair was black, few women were working the race and all the drivers were male.
Have you ever heard of a radar gun marshal? I learned that cars coming into the pit lane can not exceed speeds of 45 mph. So this marshal has a radar gun and clocks the drivers as they roar into the pit lane. If drivers go over the speed limit, they get a fine. It looked like a big power trip to me having a radar gun in your hand!
But the thing that intrigued me most was looking at a car that was being repaired with its entire roof off. I posted a picture of the inside of the car. Look at the cooler that is strapped in next to the driver's eat. It is filled with ice water. The driver wears a vest of cooling tubes that are connected to this cooler. Are you wondering why? Apparently the inside temperature of the cars that are in the Trans Ams Race gets very hot (like over 130 degrees) and these tubes cool off the driver.
The roar and I might add drone of the cars going round and round reminded me of the State Fair races every Sunday years ago. We lived only blocks from the fair.

Correction needed on my French spelling from previous blog quote So I went to to the Internet for French translation: joy of living or enjoyment of life...joie de vivre

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