Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Seattle. Round 5. No time to relax buddy.

Seattle was a tough event to say the least.  We endured quite a bit hoping for great results from our driver Taka Aono. 

Lets start at the beginning.  First off, I asked an old friend of mine Alex Villareal if he wanted to relax and come to Seattle to enjoy a "relaxing" weekend watching a round of Formula Drift.  He agreed and we were set.  The trip seemed straight forward as I planned to take Walker Wilkenson's trailer up since my other trailering plans fell through.  We decided to caravan with Jeff Jones and friends.  What was supposed to be a simple 24 hour drive turned into a 30+ hour drive because of some problems Jeff Jones and Junior were experiencing with their tow vehicles.   Not a problem.  What did become a problem was when I ended up getting no sleep and I had to stay up for an additional 10 hours making plans to help Taka get his car ready for a major overhaul....

While I was on the way up, Taka suffered engine problems during a private test day on Wednesday.  The entire crew (including our chief mechanic) was completely unaware of the situation until we got to the venue.  Taka told us that the car sounded like WRX and he got really worried.  Water was in the number cylinder and things weren't looking great.  We gathered our team and decided to fix the problem as soon as we heard back from our engine builder (Hasselgren).

Thursday rolls along and we got the go ahead to open up the engine and asses the damages.  It was a blown head gasket.  We immediately started a plan of attack to fix the problem.  Although we missed practice, the entire team pulled through and we got the motor running again.  Danny and Alex worked flawlessly together and magical things were happening.

Everything was fixed and Friday was looking great as Taka qualified 20th.  His entry speed on the sweeping back was ridiculous and even though we were going up against Matt Field who was also looking great, we knew we would put on a great show.

Saturday's match up was not what we were expecting as Taka had a tough time slowing down against Matt Field.  We were definately hoping for a better battle but it didn't quite work out that way.  On the plus side of things, we did have great support from the locals and I would like to thank those who showed their support for the team.

On a personal note, I did cut my finger pretty bad and I wanted to thank Dawn and Tina for helping me out with my finger.  I will definately consider wearing gloves when I change tires...  I would also like to thank Alex Villareal for all the help.   If you would to read his version of what happened that weekend, go to

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