Gecko Cup Final round in Lublin 26 September 2010

After running the event Malardalen Open, Slight return one week earlier,
the swedish dragrace season has definitly ended.
Why not go to Poland and run the sss 1/4mile season final in Lublin 150km south of Warsaw?
We had some trouble with water contaminating the oil since Skaraborgs Street Finals in late August.
Changed head gasket a couple of times with no change. Like in a desperate search for the reason
we poured some magic leak fixer into the coolign system...
...and it actually helped! =)

The ferry arrived to Gdansk harbor at friday noon, and we set off for Warsaw at once.

We were told the roads to Warsaw were good, and in Polish measurements they were.
Only problem was that people kept crashing all the time so the police had to close the roads.
We arrived to the hotel right after midnight and was all suprized by the weather.
Not cold at all even in the middle of the night.
Great stuff traveling 1100km south and finding a slight bit of summer left. =)

The competition was on Sunday so Saturdays action was to show the car on the main square in the center of Lublin.
We borrowed a conference room in the hotel to put our tools, fuel and tents in during the day.
Then we washed the car in the back of the hotel with a garden hose.

At the square three lovely ladies distributed flyers for the event.
An armed guard took care of the security and one guy polished the car.

These were the flyers:

While the car was shining at the square we went to see the town.
We were by the car every now and then, but most people could not english so it was rather hard to comunicate.
At 19.00 it was already dark and we took the car back to the hotel.
At the hotel there was a big wedding party. I went to bed quite early while the rest of the team
took a taxi back into the center of Lublin to visit some clubs.

Sunday morning 07.00 it was tome to head off to the track/street.
I was quite happy being the boring one the previous evening.
Here we have just arrived to the pit area/street.
The pit area/street was a cross road from Jana Pawla II wich was the place for race.
The pit was really tight so there was no possibility to put up the tent.
It was first going downwards and then upwards with only some 20m of flat area in the pit.
Easy to roll down, impossible to push the car up. =)

Warmup of engine and gearbox atracted lots of attention in the pit.
Check out the rear wheels in the air when the car is jacked in front.

Finally it was time for some racing.
The crossing that attached the pit street to Jana Pawla II was right at the finnish line,
so we had to wait for the crew to give clear signal before we went out on the track/street heading for the start.
After passing the start we had to make a U-turn to get to the start again.
In the end of the track/street there was a similar procedure.
Right lane got both normal lanes to race in and left lane both lines, so at race the whole street were occupied.
It were not a simple task to make all of this to work, and I must say the crew did a really great job.
Both regarding safety and organizing this with over hundred vehicles.

First round we ran in bracket qualifying. We broke second gears synchro at once.
Really anoying this little bastard that keeps braking all the time.
We have done all kinds of upgrades to make this little bugger happy,
but nothing seems to help. It just brakes anyhow.
The only probable cause left is the engine rpm exceeding 9000rpm.
I was told these gear boxes dont comply with 10000rpm,
but lowering the rev limit is just not an option.

Anyhow, the gearbox was broken so not much to do at that time than to simply fix it.
The pit was simply too small for us so we took the car outside the pit to a parking space right outside,
took the gearbox down and repaired it.
About an hour later we came back to the pit. The police that took care of the entrance waved hello.
Some people didnt even belive we renovated the gearbox but here is the evidence:

When we got back to the pit the finals in bracket had already started.
Since we didnt qualify we waited for the real 1/4 mile qualifyings to start.
The bracket and the 1/4 mile competition were separated
so that everyone could participate in both without problems.

We ran two qualifying rounds and turned out as No 1 qualifyers with 11,32-232kmh.
-Eh, eleven-what did you say? Didnt you renovate the gearbox after all?

Oh we fixed the gearbox and it worked fine.
Just that we had only parts to renovate it once so to play it safe I shiftet extremely slow into second gear.
One could think it would be possible to shift cauchus but not THAT slow,
but unfortunally I just cant. Its speed shift or painly slow shifts. I know nothing in between. =)
Remeber it was just an unprepaired street in the city. I still ran 1,70 in 60-ft.
Thats better than the track in Skaraborg this spring and Borlange late summer.

As I ran the semi finals there had ben some light rain.
The track was dry but it was really getting dark.
We got one head lamp and one parking light to work.

When it was time for the finals it was completely dark.
The only light available apart from the cars and the traffic lights flashing yellow at the finnish line
were the road lights. One really good thing with racing on the streets.
The tree were really close to the start photocell so my only chanse to get a peak at it was thrue the window net.
It had also started to rain and with no whipers it was a real challenge.
I tryed to do a burnout but it was completely smokeless since the bleach box were 402m...

I must say, I wasnt too keen on checking out the Hoosier slicks wet track abilities,
but I was forced to race. Other wise the other dude would have won on WO.
I figured it would still be the same challenge for both cars and since mine is the quickest I would still win.

The final run was really crazy.
First gear was a simple search for traction, shiftet to second gear and it started to feel a bit dangerous.
When I shifted to third gear all fragments of traction or controle was whiped away completely.
Now I got really scared so I held on as far as I dared and then let go of the throttle and pulled the shout.
After passing the finnish line and the crossing in 184kmh, the street got a bit tighter and turned left
and slight uphill. My biggest fear was to take the turn in 200kmh with no traction what so ever.
Luckily I passed the crossing in only 184kmh so I managed. =)
I now know the wet track abilities of my Hoosier slicks.
There are none. =)

Here is the results for FWD Turbo:

All classes results are available online through this link

Later in the evening after we got back from the track
we went to the crews hotel. They gave us food and a beer. A one and only one beer.
Then there were no limit on the Vodka.
Guess who in the team that got most wasted. =)

Thinking it took us almost eleven hours to get from Gdansk to Lublin,
we thought we better start mooving from Lublin 05.00 at the latest.
We had to check in at the terminal at 16:30.
Only problem we got back to our hotel drunk like sailors at 03.00.
Naturally we didnt woke up until 08.00.
08.10 we were all in the car traveling towards Gdansk.
Therese who had stopped drinking vodka really early got the honor to drive...
...and oh, she drove almost quicker than the polish drivers.
Almost crashed a couple of times but she sorted it out.
The afternoon traffic jams around Gdansk was solved by going in bus lanes,
zick zacking and not stopping for anything. Basicly.
We arrived to the terminal at 16,38. =)

At the baltic sea there was a big storm making the trip a bumpy one.
Waves or at least whater were flying over the top sun deck,
so we steyed in the rear end bar celebrating.

Some 30km from the ferry terminal in Nynashamn we ran out of gas.

Apart from that most things worked out better than planned...
...or should I say just according to plan?
-Who sayed we even had a plan? =)
I could not think myselfe of a better way to end the season anyway.

Here is a film from the event: