This past weekend brought another arctic blast to the Mid-Atlantic region and the first driving event of the year. We learned a couple of interesting lessons driving in sub-freezing temperatures on the track:
- According to the National Weather Service, the wind-chill of 7 degrees F at 109 MPH (the max speed of their calculator) is -29.
- Seat heaters are wonderful things and you don’t want to stick your hand outside if you don’t have to.
- Even with road surface temperatures near 20 degrees, summer tires will get warm enough to grip (they aren’t supposed to work under 40 degrees) and will actually reach temperatures near 100 degrees.
- The Roots-type Supercharger really likes the higher density air that comes with extremely low temperatures.
The biggest disadvantage to having a driving event in this type of weather is the preparation that’s always required for the first event of the year, especially if you have a garage with questionable heat. During the few days of above freezing temperatures, we did manage to install new brake calipers and rotors; flush the brake system; reinstall the cold air intake and prep the interior for the roll-bar install.
The big news for this year is the installation of the SneedSpeed roll-bar. Finally crossing the line from street-car to dedicated track-car, the rear seats have come out for the last time and the roll-bar was welded in.
The finished job looks great. We’ll have to do a better job of fitting the required padding once things warm up again and the padding becomes more pliable, but it was good enough for this weekend.
The interior trim required only a small amount if trimming on the bottom edge where the side meets the roll hoop where it welds to the chassis. Removing the side pockets from trim panels reduced the total amount of trimming that was required. All that is left now is to re-carpet the plywood panel that sits where the seat-bottoms were.