Last night was Sebring's big Gala, and for the second time my buddy Tim and I scored invites and went to have a blast. Unlike last year, I decided there wasn't much harm in having a few drinks - I'm a very self-aware drinker, and know at any time when I'm sufficiently too pissed to drive - so on I went. Several open bars, wall-to-wall babes, lots of delicious gourmet food, more open bars, music everywhere, and still more blazing-hot Florida girls around the place than I could keep track of.
If I lived here, I'd be dead by now.
Tim got about as 'faced as I did - though nowhere near as badly as he did last year. This time, he could at least walk at the end. Anyway, what I hadn't considered was towards the end of the night, I would have an hour-long drive from Sebring to Arcadia, where my hotel is. For anyone who didn't catch yesterday's dispatch, my car lost its clutch somewhere back in North Carolina - and it's not fixing itself.
So, there I am shaking off the drunkest fit I've had in a decade (at least), the muscle aches setting in a bit from the exhaustion of being up and driving a VERY unhappy 5-speed Neon over 1300 miles in the last two days, and now I've gotta' go the last hour to a (hopefully) warm bed to fall into...
The Best Western in Arcadia, FL is... well, it's a place to crash, at least. The bed is too damn soft - and is probably older than me, for that matter. Get Stearns & Foster on the phone, stat.
Today's been mostly good, though -- even though I got to the track incredibly late (I've never shown up after daybreak before, until today), the place is alive and the cars are wonderful music to my ears. Plus, my boss is going to be in town, to promote his brain-child, the Hydrogen Electric Racing Federation. I spoke with Peter on the way down here, and some of his ideas for the future of the sport are nothing short of astonishing. He and I have never done a race together, in the six years or so that I've been writing for Autoextremist.com. So, it'll be a first for me.
Oh -- note to O&mdash -- info on the Jetta TDI entry in the World Challenge Series can be found here and here and here. The car has a very distinctive sound, and it's quite fast. My Neon bows to the Chili Pepper TDI's healthy torque.
Speaking of my hobbled little Neon... the plan right now has a gang of sport compact freaks tearing into it once I get back up around Charlotte, NC, either Sunday or Monday. Cross your fingers, eh?
I'll likely cook up another dispatch later on tonight, after Night practice completes at 21:25 EDT.