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Old 08-11-2009, 08:56 PM
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Default StreetSeen Sunday August 9 Ride Out

For that section I was second in the pack. The timer was about to start. I held steady as we passed the posts that indicated the clock would begin ticking. Suddenly, the little car ahead of me jumped forward and disappeared. Left wide eyed, I had no choice but to either watch him vanish down the heat-blurred road... or follow.

I planted my right foot, and began to tense all my muscles in preparation for the G forces I was about to face. It was a hot day, and even though the air conditioning was keeping things very cool inside, my hands were already beginning to sweat in anticipation. It didn't matter though, I was gloved. Wrapping my hands tightly around the wheel, I felt the engine hit maximum boost and started watching as the corner that was so far away suddenly began to look a lot closer. I began to measure out the distance to my braking point against a blur of scenery, looking for the point where I'd drop the anchors. There it is-- With my left index finger on the downshift paddle, I fired off a downshift and planted my foot on the brakes. Turning the wheel into the corner I missed the apex... but only just, I thought to myself, as I tried to support myself against a full lateral G. A split second later I could see the full exit and on it, a little Lotus wasting no time in getting away. I had made no time on him. What the --? I slammed the gas again and again the twin turbos slammed me back into the seat. Let's try that again.

It's not that it was a race- It wasn't. But still, I wasn't going to get left behind.

The chase was on.

Up front, we'd started a game of cat and mouse... on fast forward. The insect looking car I'd put in the lead for this segment was powered by a Toyota 2ZZ-GE all aluminum 4 cylinder VVTi engine. Given that we're "only" talking about 190hp, you might wonder how this car could be that quick. Well, for one thing, it's not a Toyota. The machine I was chasing is called an Elise. It weighs less than 2,000lbs and was built by a company called Lotus, a company renowned for their expertise in chassis and suspension design. What's more, this Elise was also wearing R compound competition tires and was in the hands of an very experienced driver who actually lives on the same twisting, winding roads I was attempting to chase him down on. I was, almost literally, a cat trying to catch a mouse in its own back yard.

Watching the Elise disappear into the first corner, the challenge made itself clear. But he wasn't getting away from me. You see, Lotus had also helped to develop the chassis of the machine I was strapped into, Nissan's GT-R. And, although we were on the inner side of the ideal parameters for the GT-R's maximum attack, I wasn't getting lost. Still though, if I was going to be in the chase for its full duration, I would need to have my car properly setup. I had left the transmission out of R mode and in a time like this, that was becoming an unwanted liability. Switching into R mode usually isn't a big deal, but under that much force it was a bit of a problem - I had to reach just over the gear shift to get the transmission into R mode. Without that, I could find myself negotiating disadvantageous shift timings. Lest you think sub200ms vs 800ms is a trivial difference, at 35mph that's over two car lengths, which is a large distance when youre negotiating turns. The only problem with getting R mode was that my hand was weighing close to twice it's normal weight due to the G forces I was under. Not making matters better was the fact that I needed to have my right hand ready for shifting as well.

Thankfully, we reached a straight that would last for about 2 seconds. I reached over and switched the transmission into R mode. This told the computer ...which was watching everything from steering wheel angle to G forces, speed , engine rpm, and so on... to pre-select gears for me before I'd need them. And so, pre-apex and hard on the brakes, the transmission would click as it found second gear- even though 3rd was still engaged. Hitting the left paddle just before the turn was only initiating a clutch swap and a rev match that all told, was for my purposes, instant.

Coming out of the corners, I would stand on the throttle earlier and earlier, pushing the envelope on my request for full boost and maximum torque. The RE070R tires I was employing weren't the Advan R compounds the Elise wore, but they were made for this very drive nonetheless. Leveraging the power of Nissan's ATTESA All Wheel Drive system, torque that would ordinarily outpower the rear wheels on corner exit was being instantly shifted forward, allowing me to jump out of each apex in maximum attack, and turning what are really corner exits into extra space for the straights, thereby allowing me to better utilize the power I had.

This, combined with the monumental grip of the car kept me right behind the little Lotus which, although it had less than half my power, had almost half my weight. One thing I understood clearly by this point was that it was obviously in its element and it's pilot was working it accordingly. Whereas I was working to position a massive car on a small road, he seemed to be repositioning the little Lotus with true ease. Yes, we were definitely on his terrain. It was moving at a blistering pace and never seemed to lose composure. Every time I saw him exit one corner and leap into the next, I couldn't help but think about how graceful the car was, how easy he was making it look. I just couldn't believe how quick it was stringing the corners together. I don't know what I expected, but it wasn't that. It must have been the lack of weight, I figured. I was too busy to think of anything else.... and while I was definitely having a blast in my tech suite, and falling in love with the trick differential setup, it was obvious he was having at least as much fun attacking the corners in his lighter-than-air, steroid-powered, superkart.




The total elapsed time was close to a minute fifty seconds, but while the clock was ticking, it felt like a lot longer than that. For the most part, I spent that time under very uncomfortable G forces. It's a strange feeling, those Gs. Suddenly, the downward force of gravity is no longer the main force at work. Instead, I felt as if I was being dominated by forces pushing me into the seat, sucking me out of the seat, and forces that were trying to throw me out of the seat. Because the cars are so tied down, with such a direct connection to the road and so much grip, you start to unconsciously tense yourself and brace. It's exhausting...

But it's also crazy fun. It had been a long time since I'd had a run like that. I was just starting to get comfortable before we got thrown out the last corner and the Elise pilot threw the thumbs up in approval. The run was over. I'd managed to keep up and not embarrass myself. Moments later, the rest of the pack started to emerge from that final corner, one car after another. We slowed down to enjoy the scenery as we rolled into the Cane Bay beach area...

Elapsing two minutes of time between two of the cars out there, that was just one of the stories of the day. In all, over a dozen cars were out, attacking some of the best roads St Croix has to offer and taking the entire afternoon to do it....


Needless to say, it was an awesome experience...

...It started at isles, earlier in the day. The turn out was unlike anything I'd seen before on St Croix. Car enthusiasts were called and they represented- in force. I'd say the group could have just parked up somewhere and created a show at least as good as any car show on this island's seen for the year...but we didn't meet up to park and chill. We met up to drive.

To name some of the cars, we had an Evo 8, three Subarus Imprezzas, an Integra, a Cobalt, a 3000GT/VR4, a BMW 3 series, a pair of 3rd generation RX7s, some Corollas, Civics, Sentras, a S2000...and others, we even had a Suzuki GSX-R600 bike...












From Sunny Isles we made our way through town where we passed dozens of people holding hands down the main street. The first thought was that they were environmentalists...which would have been a problem given that none of our cars were ...er...green. Luckily though, they weren't... and instead they were holding hands in protest of violence. I guess I could feel that. Although, I think if they'd ever been in any of our cars they might not have been as happy to see us. Peaceful, our convoy was not.

Out of town we passed a sprinkle of a shower which thankfully was the only rain we saw for the day. It was barely more than a drizzle and nowhere near enough to fully wet the cars, much less the road... which was left nice and hot through the day. We continued out to north shore road where we made our way to the Pizza Bar at Divi...

After emptying Divi's supply of Pizza, we made our way back on the road, taking South Shore back towards Hovensa. Once we got to LaRaine we stopped short of heading back to North Shore Road as we waited for the rest of the pack to meet up. As we waited there, I snapped off some more pics... then once everyone was together, I put the Lotus in the lead as we went through his back yards....

Against a beautiful sunny day, it was a great drive. Coming out onto the road and seeing all of the cars follow was a great moment in time. This, at the end of the day, is what being an enthusiast is about. Sharing the love and sharing in the experience. The fact that we would have done all our manufacturers proud, well.. that was a bonus.



Thanks to everyone for coming out! Feel free to share your pics, videos, and stories... I've uploaded about 170 pics from the day. Click here to go to that thread.









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Old 08-11-2009, 09:02 PM
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DomesticChiney DomesticChiney is offline
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Default Re: StreetSeen Sunday August 9 Ride Out

Great first time out! The Godzilla is a beast that will forever terrorize me and the hearts of many other Asians for years to come...... Because tokyo is still in ruins......... Episode after episode......

GODZILLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: StreetSeen Sunday August 9 Ride Out

Oh Tekk! I need a group shot in High Res!!!!!

GODZILLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


You know what....... I have a shirt that you HAVE to wear next time you go to Japan.... It says.... "Godzilla was a big lizard that F*CK up your country..... No wonder you lost World War II"

Please let me know how far into Toykyo you make it. If you get in trouble let me know. I'll take care of the GTR.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:22 PM
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Default Re: StreetSeen Sunday August 9 Ride Out

That was an awesome ride and surprisingly enough no one got hurt from the hard driving we where doing I kinda forgot for a sec we where on public roads with people that where basically onyl getting to and from places...dis is what I'm talking bout dis was great and the turn out was fun no beef just pure fun from all...
that last video with the RSX and the nitrous perge that was funny lol that was a high friggin speed bump not made for alot of our cars..or low exhausts lol

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Last edited by VIZuki; 08-11-2009 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:24 PM
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Tekknikal Tekknikal is offline
I put on for my city...
 
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Default Re: StreetSeen Sunday August 9 Ride Out



CLICK HERE for a really high res version of the group shot
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:25 PM
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92vr4 92vr4 is offline
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Default Re: StreetSeen Sunday August 9 Ride Out

See how evenly dispersed the white ppl are? Thats called

Assimilation....

Bitches
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:49 PM
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Default Re: StreetSeen Sunday August 9 Ride Out

Very Very Good Write Up.

Mad Me Feel Like I Was There!!

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Old 08-11-2009, 11:59 PM
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Default Re: StreetSeen Sunday August 9 Ride Out

tekk, that was a brillant and creative write up once again!!!!! man the subbies picture is just bad!!!
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:16 AM
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Default Re: StreetSeen Sunday August 9 Ride Out

Nuff respect to streetseen!!!! an the crew.. bup bup...
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:25 AM
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Default Re: StreetSeen Sunday August 9 Ride Out

nice write up.....when's the next ride out.?

meen self realize my son catch with the real bunny ears.......lmao
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Last edited by mehsehmikey; 08-12-2009 at 01:13 AM.
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