I'm gonna start this blog off with an apology, I've been a terrible blogger and the last month or so I have done a shit job of blogging what we have been up to.
So to put it short we went hammer and tong on finishing the car, the things we had left to do on the car where, brakes, power steering, finish the wiring, wheel alignment and tune the car, now most of that was pretty simple but it all takes time, but we slowly checked all the items off and even took the car up the street for a cheeky test drive.
It wasn't easy to get it all done and it was stressing me out but with the help of my family and friends, we managed to get it done.
We Strapped the car up and headed on to Geelong!
I truly had Geelong all wrong as once we arrived at the Revival I quickly was amazed at how beautiful this location was, the waterfront is for the lack of a better word epic and I couldn't believe we were getting to race here.
We quickly got the car unloaded and off the trailer so that we could check out the amazing range of cars that where there (another post coming with coverage of the event) at this point the anxiety started to set in as the realisation was that In a few hours I'm gonna take this car and drive it in anger for the first time ever.
Luckily once I was strapped into the car all my nerves and fear had gone and the adrenalin took over, finally, it was time after all these years the XF and I are going racing and oh what a feeling that was.
Sitting on the line for my first run I was staggered with the amount of people watching, this wasn't the typical shakedown event, its not a private track with minimal people around its the complete opposite my first run was in front of thousands of people, and honestly I'm shocked writing this but it didn't get to me one bit, as soon as the starter began the 3, 2, 1 count I was completely in the zone.
As soon as I slipped the clutch and took off I reckon I must have had the biggest grin in the history of the world and with each gear I grabbed it got bigger and bigger, the car felt amazing and most of all for being a lightly modded little Windsor it felt fast, the steering wheel was slightly left hand down but nothing dramatic, my biggest concern was how the brakes felt, my plan was to roll out of the throttle at half-track and I think I might have kept in it for slightly longer, as soon as I got on the brakes for the first time though they felt great and my confidence in them from that moment was through the roof.
I was shocked as I rolled back into pitlane to be told my first time was a 14.8, I had left the line softly and rolled out of the throttle just after half-track, Instantly I knew with a half-decent run I should be able to squeeze into the 13s relatively easily.
The rest of the runs on Saturday I went at about 90% attack on and begun to find issues with selecting gears, I don't think this was a gearbox issue and rather its more likely an issue with my $200 eBay special quick shifter, I tried to be more aggressive with my shifts and I tried to be a little smoother and nothing really helped too much.
As the weekend went on we seemed to be stuck at running around the 14.6 mark which was super frustrating as I was still convinced that the car, if I hit my shifts nicely, would quite easily run well into the 13's.
On my second run on Sunday I had a heap of trouble grabbing 3rd gear and it cost me massively but on that run I ran it at 100% throttle across the finish line for the 1st time and managed even with such a slow crappy gear change to run my best time of a 14.5, I wasn't satisfied with this at all though as I feel the first 200m of the run was my worst of the weekend and yet I went fastest of the weekend, rather surprisingly though we realised that we were actually running 2nd outright in our class with only 2 passes to go in the day.
Unfortunately on my 3rd run we broke and exhaust hanger just before the run and had to make do with a quick fix that let go mid-run in the end and cost us an attempt. we fixed the Hanger up for our final run, on the line I watched all the cars in front of me struggle to leave so I decided to leave a little soft and unfortunately the car kinda bogged, I then for whatever reason short shifted to 2nd and from there the run was pretty much over, I was spewing as I really wanted to 13 second pass as I feel like that's what the car had quite comfortably in it.
Somehow we still managed to finish the weekend in 2nd position in our class, a result we didn't expect coming into the weekend, To say I was satisfied with how the whole weekend had gone was an understatement, I expected that a brand new build would have given us much more teething issues than we had, my first time couldn't have gone any better, this has been something I have wanted to do since I was a little kid, and without a doubt the dream is absolutely alive!
Last but not least to Joe Egan, Trent Bennet, Rick Bomer, Chris Bomer, Frank Jansen, Beau Jansen, Taylar Bomer, Brendan Ogrady, Jamie Cazpers, Stephen Grubb, Guy Robbins, Griff Robbins and my loyal sponsors Raceworks, BSC Performance and 21Fab thank you is not enough, without you all I wouldn't have been able to do this, Bring on the next event!