Brian checks in while on the road and says, "A'ight man... We got 10 hours of driving ahead of us... I am not sure if this is fun anymore." Somehow, if Jawbreaker's "Tour Song" (which Scotto ref'd jokingly yesterday) was part of the broader cultural lexicon, the easy way out of this post would be to just say, "Cue 'Tour Song' and read on." Screwit. Y'all have iTunes. Cue "Tour Song" and read on.
The great Scotsman, Ol' Jackie Stewart, stressed that the fastest way around a track was to be smooth. Ken Block, not being one to trust others' advice, attacks his first lap at Roebling Road with the finesse of a three-legged dog. At each turn he drops at least two wheels into the dirt, leaving clouds of dust in his wake. Fast or not, it's surly one of the more gnarly things to watch (on the flipside the Honda Race Odysseys are great for a giggle). Rounding his last lap, the track marshal shakes his head and smiles as Ken hooks another corner. Hooking is when you sell your body...er, I mean when you drop two tires off the tarmac and use the edge of the road to keep the car tucked into a turn under full throttle. Not sure if Bondurant Road Race school teaches this rally move. Guess you can't take the rally out of this driver.
After 4 minutes, 21 seconds and some tenths of unorthodox driving styles, Ken finishes 17th overall. Nothing to call Mamma Block about, but still quite good considering this is the first race Ken actually finishes. Plus the STi is running like shit, and our competition is fierce. First, second and third are taken by an Ultima GTR, a fire-breathing twin-turbo Viper and a twin-turbo Porsche 996 that's also far from slow.
Aside from massive amounts of understeer, the engine management is set up for the other motor and everything is running out of whack. My butt dyno says we are barely spinning 340hp. During the break, we head out to get a new program that should straighten everything out. It doesn't; seems the mass air flow sensor is bad. Oh well.
I am not quite sure what Roebling Road ever did to Ken, but he sure is thrashing each corner with a violent nature unknown to road racing on his second run. I am almost sure there is a group of fat and bald One Lappers in the pits saying "Those damn rally guys." The car is running better and he is certainly running faster, but somehow Ken incurred one or two time penalties. We were not told exactly what, but I have narrowed it down to three possibilities; 1. Driving on the grass, a lot, 2. Having bright blue rims, or 3. Showing up late and out of our run group while wearing sneakers that match the Subaru Rally paint scheme. Whatever the reason, the slow time is a little demoralizing. But it gets worse: our next stop is a banked oval...Ken looks thrilled. NOT!
Our transit to Florence Motor Speedway is 200 miles, and aside from finding wireless internet outside of a Shoney's restaurant, there's nothing cool to report. The oval is under lights, Ken is wearing a BORING T-shirt (a mock of the NASCAR logo) and the first vehicle to do the deed is a Jeep SRT8 with a sprint-car wing mounted to the roof. Awesome! No really, it was kinda cool.
Ken skips on preparing rally notes for this course. He thinks he can remember "100 L4 100 L4, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat..." Now, I could go on to give you the exciting play-by-play of this minute-and-six-second race, but instead I would recommend three Excedrin PMs and four shots of Jack—guaranteed the same effect. G'nite! We got 200 miles to drive.
P.S. Clint Fast, You rock buddy, I owe you a Long Trail Ale!!!
More Scotto Jammin' on the One Lap [Internal]