|NMS at the Lemons Block Party 2022|
Welcome to the NMS-Racing blog post number 1,000! To celebrate, we're not looking back, we're looking to the future!
2023 will mark a big shift for the team, as NMS-North moves the NY Headquarters back down south to South Carolina! On the positive side, it will be warmer, there will be more car events, SC has less traffic than Long Island, and we'll be closer to the original home of NMS in Columbia! Oh, plus one little thing that I like to call "retiring" from my current job! After the start of NMS, I've lived in SC, VA, and NY, so this will kind of bring it all back home! Specifically, we will be based in Rock Hill SC, just south of the NC line and Charlotte NC. It would be fun to say it's to take a job driving for Haas F1 or one of the NASCAR teams, but it wouldn't be true!
OK, specifically, in 2023, let's split the year in half, and say that the first half will continue with auto-crossing with the Metro NY Region Porsche Club of America at their monthly events. The 2009 Cayman returns, although it's looking like one of the newest set of tires picked up a slow leak in one of the rear tires, so a replacement is in order. Other than that, we'll check the car over the winter, throw in an oil change, a brake fluid change, and keep monitoring other fluid levels and brake pad wear. If the March or April autocross events are still kind of chilly, we'll consider sticking with winter tires for the day.
After June, the big move to Rock Hill will happen, and from there the team is considering several options for the year, and future years, so let's start with 2023.
Most likely we'll pick up a few more autocross events and return to the South Carolina Region of the Sports Car Club of America with the Cayman instead of the FIAT 500 Abarth. After not competing with SCCA since 2018, I'll have to catch up with what class to enter. It will be fun to be back at some of their event locations like Darlington, the Michelin Proving Grounds, and up with the Central Carolina Region SCCA in Charlotte NC at the big lot where the NHRA folks run by Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Track wise, I'd love to take the Cayman to some new tracks, so I'm planning on some High-Performance Driver Education (HPDE) events with the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) Southeast region. The closest track will be Carolina Motorsports Park (CMP) where I've already driven in the FIAT and a couple of Lemons events, so doing a Cayman at CMP should be a blast! NASA SE also visits tracks I have not visited in the region include Roebling Road near Savannah GA, Atlanta Motorsports Park (guess where!) Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta (also located in guess where!) and even the old NASCAR track at Rockingham NC!
More specifically, I'd like to move up from NASA HPDE 2 to at least HPDE 3 in 2023. Longer range wise, the team plan is to then qualify for a license to enter NASA Time Trials in the Cayman and see where that might lead to as far as just sticking with Time Trials or possibly some other track racing.
Oh, one more future plan. If I get serious about a lot more track driving, well, it would sure be nice to not wear out those tires on the way to the track, so a car trailer would be just great! And then I'd need a tow vehicle that can easily handle say at least 5,000 pounds of trailer/car/gear/tools/etc. Well, I'd better start researching cool pickups and SUVs then! Maybe a lightweight open trailer with a shiny new Ford Ranger? They both come in my size if you're thinking ahead to my next birthday!
Back in 2016 Brian competed at the big national autocross championship in Lincoln Nebraska with Jason Rucker, so once we're both living in the same state again, we'd like to spend a season and give it a shot with the big guns in Lincoln too. 2023 might be too soon for this one, so maybe after that we'll focus on a big autocross season.
Besides those driving plans, my goal in 2023 is to enroll at York Technical College for their Automotive Maintenance program. By using my remaining GI Bill benefits, this just might enable me to learn more about what in the world I'm doing working on my cars! My experience tells me that like your body, car things wear out, need replacing, or just flat out break, and that doing what you can by yourself instead of paying someone else tends to be a lot cheaper! Sure, I could win the lottery and pay people, but so far that winning Mega Millions ticket hasn't come my way! Oh, and from what I've read about a lot of the big tool companies is that they offer a great discount to students enrolled in various mechanic schools! Geeze, then besides actually learning something, and coming up with all kinds of fun with cars, I could get some new tools. Woo-hoo!
So, even longer-range planning, there's all kinds of car projects floating around in my head, so I'll just jot a few down on paper here for fun. By the way, if you haven't tried jotting, I can highly recommend it! They say that your goals and plans become much more attainable if you write them down, and I'm just going to say that "jotting" is equivalent to "writing."
With NMS-South and friends building Spec Nissan 350Z cars for racing in 2024, that would be a fun way to go in the future, so just maybe I'll jump on that bandwagon. Just a couple of simple steps needed here:
1: Buy a 350 Z.
2: Take all the non-racy bits off.
3: Put more racy bits on (roll cage, fire suppression, racing seat, harness, transponder, etc.)
4: GO RACIN'!
Other than that, assuming I actually learn something about working on cars, it would be a blast in some future year to build a car, like a kit car from Factory Five, a Caterham 7, or other type of build you can do at home. Also, how about finding a basket case or wrecked car, fixing it up, and racing it in Lemons? I'm thinking that a model that my wife and I used to own would be hilarious, like a Chevy Chevette, VW Fox, or more likely, a modern FIAT 500 Abarth. I haven't seen any FIAT 500s in Lemons races, and my experience with the 160HP 1.4-liter engine was pretty good, so maybe it would make a good Lemons car if it was stripped down in weight. The front seat area seems pretty tall, so it may not be super-aerodynamic, but that would make it easier to build a cage inside.
Hey, life is all about change, and you only live once, so get out there and make 2023 a great year yourself! Thanks for reading the blog, even if you haven't read all 1,000 posts!