Sunday, August 26, 2007

Rev It Up- Washington, DC: Story by G. J. Dixon

After winning the NY Chevrolet Rev It Up, I wasn't sure if I was really going to head to Washington, DC for the final tour of the Rev It Up. At the last minute, I decided to call in sick and drive to DC to give it one last try.

I drove down there mid morning on Friday for my late afternoon runs. Since I got there so early, I was able to get the first parking spot out front. This also game me some time to get a couple hours of sleep before the gates opened.

Once the gates opened, I registered, then we all have to take a class room session before we are allowed to participate in any of the driving activities. Once that was completed, it was off to get some seat time on the practice course in the Cobalts. This year it was different and we were allowed to take as many runs as we wanted. In the previous years we were only allowed to take 2 practice runs.

Off to the Comptition Course for my Runs in the Chevy Cobalts.

My first run in the Cobalt was 0.2 off the Pro Driver scoring me with a 700. The Pro Drivers time on the course is worth 1000 points. Everyone's time is indexed off the Pro's time, which is about as fair as it gets with changing weather conditions and different course layouts around the country at each location. This was good enough to put me at the top of the leader board for the day. Upon getting out of the car, Caroline (Rev It Up Announcer) called me over and interview me for a few minutes. She asked about NY, coming down to DC, and about the course. Next came my second run in the Cobalt. Unfortunately, it was dirty with 1 cone, but my time was 0.014 off the Pro Drivers time. I believe it would have been a score of 950 or in that area if it was clean, which would have been the highest score ever achieved in the Cobalts.

After my first 2 runs in the Cobalts, I had a feeling something was going to happen that night. I didn't know what, but I was really enjoying the course that was layed out. Unlike the NY event, this course was more like a typical autocross and was open in a few locations so you had a choice of racing lines. Later in the evening, Brian Priebe knocked me to second place in the Cobalts, but my first score was still good enough to get into the Shootout in the Corvettes.

Before the Shootout, a bunch of us all went over to get some practice in the Corvettes. Unfortunatley, the practice course was not timed as it has been in years past, but it was still a great opportunity to check the cars out and get a basic idea of how they drive.

Time for the Shootout!

My first run in in the Corvette was (39.0) about 0.2 off the Pro Drivers time (38.8), scoring me an 819, which was 7 points shy of Chris Ramey's National Lead of 826 points. I knew going into my second run that there was more time out on the course, and that it would be a matter of me keeping it clean not hitting any cones.

On the second run, I made it through the first 3/4 of the course really fast, and I knew it was faster than my previous run. The last 1/4 of the course was a very tight technical section, which I knew I had to stay away from all the cones. I got behind a little in one section which caused me to slow down more then I wanted to for the next set of corners. I made it around the last corner and came into the finish clean.

A few seconds later I heard Caroline (Rev It Up Announcer) screaming into the microphone, and I heard the crowd scream. At that time I was too far away, and with the helmet on, I couldn't hear anything. I had guessed that I took over the National Lead. As I'm rolling back into the grid area, everyone is giving me the thumbs up and clapping. I still can't hear what is being said, until I made it around the final corner, looked at the score board and realized I had actually beaten the Pro's Time. I then screamed in the car and started honking the car horn. I had turned a 38.5 which beat the Pro's time (38.8) by about 0.3 which gave me a score of 1197 points.

Upon getting out of the car, all the Rev It Up Officials came over and congratulated me. Then I was interviewed again by Caroline, received a bag full of goodies and got a few pictures in with the NOS Models.

Once everything had concluded, and I went to go home, I walked out to the parking lot to find that someone put a "For Sale" sign on my car. I guess someone knew it was my car and didn't think I'd be needing it after that.

I'll tell Part 2 of the story later, about what happened while I was waiting for the Saturday Event to conclude.


Chris said...

Congrats GJ, nice driving under pressure! And thanks again for your last second alignment expertise.

GJ said...

Hi Chris, Thanks! No problem with the wheel alignment, it was a piece of cake!