Racing for a Cure 6 – Edmonton

The 613 mitzvot already being outlined elsewhere, tzedakahi was never such a rush! It was a spotless Saturday morning, nary a cloud until midday, and the venue for hooning from central casting was on full display.

Now in its sixth incarnation and for the first time on this highly chicaned river valley circuit, Racing for a Cure took place on a closed loop of otherwise public roads running through downtown and around the provincial legislature groundsii on June 24th, 2017. Given that I recently added a semi-supercar to my bustling garage,iii I finagled my way into the line-up as one of the sixty drivers with the priviledge of piloting the 2.1km loop for paying members of the public.iv Here are a few photos and anectodes from the eventv :

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Tucked in behind Blackzilla here was an Ultima GTR, a lightweight British track car powered by a stonking Chevy LS-series motor. Enjoying the cool shade were the R8s, GT3 RSs, Turbos, FGTs, Evoras, NSXs, SVRs, 650s, Gallardos, Huracans, Aventadors, 360s, F430s, 458s and 488s.

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It soon became clear why the shade was such a valuable commodity for the Italians in particular. Unlike the German, Japanese, and even British machines, the mid-engined wares from Sant’Agata and Maranello were prone to overheating! After just a handful of laps, breaks were required! Just a few hours into the six-hour marathon, one F430 was completely bricked by the stress of the event, turning the $200k stallion into an overpriced pylon at the bottom of River Valley Road. The Datsun, by comparison, despite being heavier, blacker, and more powerful than pretty much everything else, never needed a break. My bladder needed breaks more frequently. A true tortoise and hare adventure, especially when you take into account some of the vanity plates.

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Still, not having driven Blackzilla with such verve previously, I was keen to keep an eye on its temps. Thankfully, the Polyphony programmers were there for me. The readouts seen above, which the Gran Turismo developers designed, displayed critical temperatures and reassured that this purpose-built vehicle was still well, well within normal operating ranges. This, despite the fact that I drove more laps and harder laps than pretty well anyone else, certainly according to my passengers (more on whom in a moment), but still apparently nowhere near as hard as the ‘Ring record-holders.

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Though the twin-turbo V6 drank heavily in a combination of impatient idling and damn-the-torpedoes banzai. Three-quarters of a 74L tank of premium was dispensed of in only about 90km. That should be closer to 61.7 L/100km (3.8 MPG) but as you can see here the trip computer is slightly more optimistic.

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These being the settings that laid such waste to the dino juice and the Michelins they propelled. From left to right, these toggles control the transmission speed, damper firmness, and level of traction control intervention. As you can see they’re in Race, Race, and OFF, respectively, the last “R” having intervened a metre or two into drifts that would otherwise have been, and soon were, more crowd-pleasing 20m drifts. It wouldn’t be too hard to find examples of my hoonage on social media if you were so inclined. I’m not particularly, but you’re you, right ?

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Not that my high-flying antics could match the pure theatre of this purple Lambo SV Roadster with the BARNEEE license plate. Nothing there was louder, more brash, nor more expensive (call it C$900k at current exchange rates. Oof!).

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But is the Aventador 10x more fun than this ? Hmmm.

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Given the keys to anything else seen here in my sideview mirror, I’m not sure I would’ve traded. Certainly my passengers at the event wouldn’t have. Speaking of which, as far as passenger highlights from CFAC6, of the 20-odd rides I gave, they were four-fold :

  • 13yo lymphoma survivor who’d been driven in pretty well every vehicle there before he hopped in mine towards the end of the day, yet he was so smitten with Blackzilla and my balls-to-the-wall driving style that he politely asked if we could take a picture together after the two laps were complete, adding that he’d never asked another driver this before! I happily obliged. Apparently the other drivers were there to show off the fact that they owned exotic metal rather than pushing them to their limits ?vi And somehow the GT-R sounded better than Ferraris ? Thank drifting school for the former and COBBvii for the latter.
  • 7yo boy with the widest smile and the most awe-struck expression at the end of his ride. Super cute kid.
  • 30yo woman, 7 months pregnant(!), and her 3yo son strapped into the car seat in back. I couldn’t drive aggressively enough or hold a big enough drift for these unbelievable adrenaline junkies. “This is the best thing in the world!” was the quote of the day.
  • 60yo woman who had never left the continent and loved fast cars more than life itself. She drove 200km to be at the event and she screamed in delight the entire time.

I dunno what the rabbi would say, but that’s at least four mitzvot in my book. In one day! That being accomplished, the next stop on my automotive fun train : a track day!

Stay tuned, I have my eye on one in August.

___ ___ ___

  1. #250
  2. Track outlined here : RFAC6 track layout

    The two best corners for tire masochism (aka “drifting”) were the definitely ones on the far right side of the map. The lower-right one had a longer straight-away that allowed for pushing fully through second and well into third gear but its road surface wasn’t nearly as smooth. The upper-right corner was a shorter section of pristine asphalt but because it was so steeply graded, it allowed for some pretty damn hilarious mid-corner shenanigans! I was definitely trembling with adrenaline after a few of the more spirited laps.

  3. There have actually been more Audi R8s sold in the country since 2008 than GT-Rs, to put the exclusivity in some perspective. To this point, there were six R8s at the event and but just my single GT-R. In fact, of the sixty cars in attendance, mine was one of only two from The Land Of The Rising Sun
  4. Passengers of the $100-$400k cars were charged $50 for two laps while the $400k+ cars cost $150 per ride.
  5. There were a dozen professional photogs hired by the organisers but they’re being slow so I’ll cross-post a few of their better shots whenever they’re finally up. Until then, these will do.
  6. Because I was the only one who didn’t give a fuck if I totalled my car and I was the only one who had experience drifting a W126 Merc in the winter ? Hey, fatalism is a thing. So too body control. Also, having one of the least expensive cars there was a huge bonus in this regard!
  7. New 3″ COBB intakes and the TX tuner’s latest Stage 2 tune were added in the last week. Who knew that installing software on your own car could be so fun ? And I’m barely scratching the surface

4 thoughts on “Racing for a Cure 6 – Edmonton

  1. Vexual says:

    I doubt Blackzilla could have found a better garage to land in.
    I don’t seek video – Your salacious verbiage is quite satistfying.
    I do look forward to more entries on how to train your datsun.

  2. […] in the eyes of the law. This is the same fatlogic as “Who even needs a car that has 600hp ? Where can you even use it ??” […]

  3. […] a couple of days here we’ll see how “taxi” handles full-on track duty because RFAC6 just gave me a taste and now I want the whole enchilada! It’s a remarkably multi-faceted […]

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