April 16 - Washington : Track test day

When we originally considered the idea of doing One Lap, Taylor wasn't sure if he wanted to do it. It's going to be hard. It's super hard for all entrants to make through a week of racing, driving and repairing on very little sleep. Now imagine doing it in a wheelchair with all the medical bullsh!t that accompanies a complete C5-C6 spinal cord injury. Paralyzed from the chest down. Fingers don't work. One tricep doesn't work, the other 10% of normal.

After some soul searching, Taylor decided he would join Dad and me. Soon enough, we started considering the possibility that Taylor could do some driving on the track. His car, a 2006 Volvo V70R, has hand controls. Taylor had over a decade of racing experience before his accident. Why not?

Taylor contacted Brock Yates, Jr., the event organizer, to ask if he could drive the track events. Brock said if he successfully completed a track day using hand controls, he'd be good to go.

So on Easter, Taylor did just that. He signed up for the Advanced High Performance Driving School with Proformance Racing School at nearby Pacific Raceways.

The school building

The school building

The first part of the day was classroom instruction, followed by cornering and braking drills.

Classroom instruction

Classroom instruction

A decent turnout for Easter Day

A decent turnout for Easter Day

Track time commenced in the afternoon. Taylor was happy to find that the Schroth Rallye4 racing harness held him in place well enough to focus on driving. Because he is paralyzed from the chest down, he has no control over any core muscles, so he would fall over without such a setup.

Buckled in

Buckled in

On track, Taylor was very pleased to find the old groove coming back. The speed is returning, as he was catching cars on track.

We're going to make a couple tweaks to the setup that should allow him to get through slow corners more easily. Otherwise, it was a fully successful day.

Race car

Race car

As far as the car is concerned, we've had some work done to get it in shape for the event. The big 100,000 mile service was recently completed. We added a Eurosport Touring Exhaust, high-flow downpipe, and IPD anti-roll bars.

We weren't able to get the Hilton Stage 2 tune, K&N Intake filter, Ferodo DS2500 brake pads, or new rotors before the track day, but those are coming. 

Which is good, because Taylor got the current setup decently overworked.

Blue rotors = too hot.

Blue rotors = too hot.

Victory

Victory

This is a huge milestone. The idea of getting back on the track after such a terrible injury is overwhelming. Really amazing stuff, bro. Nice work.

Damen Hattori

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