GridLife RD Three

Gridlife round three was the unofficial season ending track event for the year. Being held in michigan, at the friendly Gingermann raceway. New drivers to the track need not to worry for there is plenty of run off area and overall one of the safest tracks in the midwest to run. As the theme of gridlife is to bring car enthusiast together, the show car crowd got a treat with all the racing to watch over the weekend. 

This trip to gridlife was the most memorable I've had thus far, the journey was made together with my buddy Randy, his better half and myself. What some may not realize is the preperation that goes into a track weekend. Checking fluids, going over the whole car's nuts and bolts, while securing a trailer and booking a hotel. We met friday afternoon at our buddies shop MXPI TUNING to pick up his supra, we loaded the car onto the trailer and headed out. 

Checking into our hotels late on friday night, we wanted to get something to eat before calling it a night. I asked the front desk for a recommendation and the kind lady gave me two options. Go downtown to the tourist area or go to where the locals go. Praising the burgers, we choose to go where the locals go. We were for-warned that it won't impress you when you look at it and more than likely the kareoke will be in full effect. The kitchen was closed by the time we arrived but the place was juking. When us three cityslickers walked in, the record skipped. Not one to spoil a perfect opportunity for a good time, after a few rounds of liquid courage and the locals egging us on. We did kareoke, Montel Jordan "This is how we do it" and brought down the house. Getting back to the hotel around 3 with more taco bell than one should spend on taco bell the night was over. Only  having to be up at 6am for the drivers meeting (pictured above), I still would not change a thing because we had so much dancing and singing with the locals.

The drivers meeting over and done with, knowing what each flags mean is imparative for a successfull trackday for all participants. Then onto tech inspection for a quick once over the vehicle. Everything in order Randy'd supra passed inspection with ease. Before heading onto the track, one last overview of the vehicle called for a bit more air in the tires. The tire pressure now at a happy level, the supra makes his way to the grid for the first session of the weekend.

Although this is not Randy's first time on the track, he still required an instructor for this weekend. Which happened to be a buddy also with a same generation supra. The first session out is to familiarize yourself with your car and the track. Getting everything up to temperature, the tires, the pavement and the drivers is key to a safe weekend of racing. Once the warm up session is over, it is important to go over the vehicle again to check the fluids for any leaks. The supra showed no sign of dispair and waited for its next session patiently.

Our neighbor in the paddock was this k_swapped integra who I recongized from my facebook news feed as Nick Da Buckets. Having a 10sec turbo civic hatch, this all motor road race set up took a little getting used to he shared with me. Literally put together the night before on friday, the first fire of the engine was that saturday morning. It started right up, running a basic tune allowed for much enjoyment but realized that there is room for improvements. Being a drag racer, Nick told me that this integra he built for tracks like gingermann and is looking forward to more of this racing.

The track now live and the sound of engines climbing the rpm range and going through the gears, wake any and all that were able to sleep in through the early morning driver activities. Groups grilling breakfast filled the air with the smell maple sausage and gingerman raceway is fully awake at this point. 

Once the gates opened to the public, numerous cars rolled in. The showcase of cars would be held in the infield next to the consessions. While Chris Stewart (the man behind gridlife) could be seen in his little honda city van going up and down the paddock insuring a smooth event all weekend. While Randy and his supra wait for the intermediate and instructor class sessions to end thier outing on the track.

One instructor and car inparticular grabbed my attention from when we arrived before the sun came up, this black hatch with its super yellow lights caught my eye as I saw it in my mirrors. So once I saw it parked in the paddock, I approached the owner and began a conversation. Lots of custom work that the owner did himself. From the wing to the fenders, the list of custom modifications warrant its own feature. Check out the Ramblers on instagram to follow these hot hatches.

The instructor class now done with the track, the drifters prepare for their session. This rx7 belongs to a friend of the crew Peter and is eqquiped with an Ls-swap.  Straight forward build which can be summed up by his gauge cluster. "Don't Suck".

Plenty of drift crews came out to tear up the track. The infamous risky devil crew along with the tracer crew and touge factory smoked plenty of tires in thier session. The engines banging off the rev limiter and while the smoke screen builds in the drift train, the drifters continued to push one another as each laps gains confidence.

We see Peter tearing up the track and carring his angle through the corners. Coming down the straights, Peter would mangi the whole way, this was a treat to see his skill. All the skill in the world still couldn't save his side skirt which was torn off when Peter went into a corner to hot and went into the dirt. Wouldn't be a successfull drift weekend without losing one body panel.

What everyone was excited to was this 240 from the Risky Devils.The Chicago based drift crew that has been recently immortilazied forever in the new Need For Speed game had everyones attention. Its a beauty to look at with the new TRA-Kyoto wide body kit, with a beast of a motor as well. It was a pleasure to watch this 240 and its driver tear up the track.

Now that every group has gone out on the track, it was time for randy to go full throttle. With great instruction and even better car control on top of adding the guts it takes to go full out, Randy charged the corners, put the pressure on and made quit a few passes. Notibly garnered the attention of other instructors and earned the respect to go out on the track on his own for the next event.

The day of racing ended and we enjoyed a group dinner together. The mexican food we ate was on point and put us to sleep early. Almost too much fun was had this weekend with a group of friends I see only getting closer.


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