Sunday, April 23, 2006

Meet Max, my insane friend

I hope no law enforcement people read my blog.

On Anzac Day, after remembering the fallen, I set off to the office with Becky and Sam, to get them out of Mum's hair. Omi was off riding horses with her new horsey friend.

No, I wasn't being a workaholic. I had transferred Max to the warehouse in readiness for a CAMS logbook inspection and needed to finish off a few things on him.

Yes, I call my race kart "Max". Very unoriginal since the engine model name is FR125 Max. So I am sure I am not the first. I have also been known to occasionally talk to him. It. Whatever.

Sam and Becky rode around the warehouse on bikes, building ramps and generally trying to hurt themselves. Business as usual.

I know it doesn't look like it but Max needs to lose weight

Max was all prepped and ready for, I hope, a trip to Winton on Friday for a practice. But I thought, maybe I should make sure the engine will fire up. So I did, and Max made all the right noises.

Then I thought, I can struggle Max down off his stand and just get him moving around the warehouse and maybe out into the carpark. With Phillip Island gearing, it's not going to get off the slipping clutch but at least I can check steering alignment and ensure the clutch is working and make sure the new bodywork isn't bottoming out. So I did.

Then I thought, well, my office's industrial street is all but deserted on public holidays. The road is about as long as Phillip Island's main straight (although the views are not as nice). Maybe if I can get him down the kerbing onto the road I can just stretch his legs. Just once, to make sure everything's working.

With such tall gearing and dry clutch it was like this; Max and I drone down the road, building up speed very, very slowly. Eventually I feel the clutch grab and the engine driving directly, but still the motor is way off it's powerband so he continues to lazily, almost embarrasingly accelerate. He's vibrating so much I almost cannot focus.

I reckon watching these karts in a race from a standing start to turn one will resemble an army of elderlies on their buggys heading to the bank on pension day.

Then, I estimate at around 90 kays (your scale of speed is distorted at that height, or just when you're driving a small race vehicle illegally on a public road) Max jumps out of the phone box with his superman cape on. He lights up his big wick and takes off like a missile. Everything gets smooth, and violently fast. Verrrry bloooooody faaaaaasst.

Max didn't stop accelerating. By the time I went screaming past the warehouse, and a wide-eyed Becky and Sam, it must have been around 140km/h.

So there you are. 0-100km/h will take up most of your lunch break. 100km/h to Lord knows a nanosecond.

I've always wanted to drive something that scares the absolute knackers out of me. I think I've found it.

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