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cornwall enduro, cornwall fireball, cornwall 2010 | Woods Racing

And what magic this race day is.
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We spend 20 or so hours building a beater car, only to destroy it within an hour. It’s really unbelievable, but there is nowhere on this earth, where you can have more fun on 4 wheels.
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As some of you know, we entered 2 cars in the line up. First was a 6 cylinder 1993 Acura Legend with me the driver, and the 4 cylinder 1991 (or 92?) Chevy Cavalier with my brother as the pilot. Here’s what they looked like before we left for the race:

Derby Cavalier

Derby Acura
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I towed down the Cavalier on Saturday and pre-registered both cars. Saturday afternoon, we finished up the Acura and had a bachelor party to attend to…it was about 1:30 in the morning when we got the truck packed and the Acura on the dolly.
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Bright and early Sunday we were off. We convoyed down to Cornwall (which is about an hour or so west) with fellow derby driver Jason from Barrett Metals and I guess you could say it’s always better to travel in packs. Just before the Ontario border, a tire blew out on one of his tow-dolly’s and out of all the tires and spares we had, none of em would fit on the hub. Jason and my brother hopped in Catherine’s Pontiac and headed back to the shop for a quick tire change while Catherine and I headed on to the track.
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blown tire
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Once we got there, we waited in line. Not as long as some others did but i’ll tell ya, it’s good we got there early.
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line up
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Once we were in and passed tech/safety inspection. All we had to do was wait. The weather was nice in the morning, hot/cold/hot/cold then the spits of rain came around noon. It was on and off all day, but it wasn’t enough to cancel the race.
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I walked around and looked at all the cars while we were waiting. People do all kinds of creative things with the cars and some don’t…to each their own I guess. We stayed with the Irish flag theme for not only our heritage reasons, but it’s makes it a whole lot easier for the lap counters to spot you if you’re car sticks out.
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When it came time for racing, the women’s 4 cylinder race was up first. Now, let me tell you something. Women can drive…and fast. With only about 30 cars in this race it was easier for them to get speed. They were spaced out…and fierce. One girl, the only person of the day, actually got black flagged for being too rough and knocking ppl out. Now, it is kind of the point to be the last person standing, but noone wants to see anyone get hurt so there are some “take it easy” rules. After all, half these cars don’t have roll cages.
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After the women’s race got cleaned up, it was my race up first. The men’s V6. It’s funny the feeling you get before you start to head out on the track. All this preparation, hoping you didn’t forget anything…that lil butterfly in the stomach…looking around at all the other cars you’re about to smash into…it’s indescribable past that. Here’s my view from on the track.
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front on track view
rear on track view
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Then you hear it…”We’re gonna go green in 3! 2! 1!”
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MAYHEM
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You’re flooring the gas, getting hit from behind, spinning out, smashing into the wreck in front of you, reversing, back on the gas, clipped from the side, into the wall, lost the steering, spun out into a pile of cars…back on the gas then…red flags…we all stop.
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This is where you catch your breath a bit and remind yourself that you’re not crazy for getting onto a track with 96 other sane folk, speed around a track and crash into each other.
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It gets pretty hectic out there, especially when the pack thins out. Pretty much, when you’re car dies. You get out, and they leave the car there. Turns into an obstacle course by the 5th lap. You have to watch out for rollovers and such, cars sticking out, and making sure if only one lane is open, you push the guy next to you into the wall so you don’t plow into the wreck blocking the other 2 lanes.
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About 12 or so laps in you start to feel it. The tranny starts to slip…you’re tie-rods feel like they have found the perfect nesting place inside the engine bay, you’ve lost power steering, and maybe you’re running on a pair of flats. You just keep going until the car won’t go no more. I took a real good pounding in the front which knocked out my rad..and so it wasn’t long before you could hear the knocking from the engine sounding like the devil on you’re doorsteps. You keep on, hoping to get one more lap in and well, this wasn’t the case for me. I came to a halt on the infield of turn 3 and tried to let the car cool. It was going anywhere with the CV shafts removed, engine blown and tranny temps on the North side of the sun. My buddy Robbie saw that I was having trouble so he came behind me and gave me a push but since I was already jammed up on a pretty steep ridge, I pretty much just got more stuck and I felt the engine come to a final shutter and stop. That was it for me. Waited for the red flag and got out and looked at my car.
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It’s always shocking.
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And that’s it. All the work, the time, money, scratches, welding burns…all over. Worth it? HELL YA!
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Now, I didn’t have too much time…had to get my lil brother in the Cavalier and give him an update on track conditions. His race was up next. He’s never driven in one of these before so, but let me tell you, the Woods Racing in him came out on the track. His awesome driving combined with one tough lil Chevy…he actually made it to the checkered flag.
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He did a great job muscling through the wrecks, but did have some nasty frontals that left us wondering if the car could continue. It was after a head on clip that almost had him airborne when the officials sent him to the pits for a tire change. We had it swapped with the help of the guys from Deboer Auto and he was back out in no time.
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When it was 2 laps to go…he was maybe doing 20km/h around the track with 3 flats and a steamy rad…he kept on at it as our section was cheering him on. The tough lil car finally came to it’s final resting spot about 15 feet past the start finish line. It, and my brother completed the race which is no small feat. I was a proud brother.

Here’s what it looked like in the end:


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Overall it was a great day. Nobody got hurt and everyone had a great time. I want to thank everyone who came out to support us, either at the shop or at the race, we really appreciate it!

Now let’s get started for next year!

Sep 13th by Bannon



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