june 20 2009

I spent the day at the Bridgestone Racing Academy, a part of Mosport Raceway just outside Bowmanville.  They’ve been open 24 years and get this – have a 24 year injury-free record.

There were 10 in my class, I was the only girl, and the only one who took notes during our morning class.  Some facts:

– they purchased a new fleet of cars just last year (above) – the Van Diemen Formula Car, $72K/each
– each car weighs 1000lbs and has an engine with 170 horses, the equivalent to a 500 horsepower street car
– there’s no neutral, no reverse, it’s a 5 speed sequential shifter without a gear indictator
– the car doesn’t like cruising, it likes only braking or gas (oh okaaaay) 
– driving in the rain (like we did all day) and hitting an oil patch (they’re everywhere) is like hitting black ice (musta spun out 7+ times)

We went out in groups of 5, and after your pit guy buckles you in and attaches the steering wheel you stall three times trying to get out to the track.

Made it up to 5th gear on one of the straight bits, and maybe the best moment was when I was zipping along, hit some oil and the car spun out.  It did a 360 but I pulled out of it and kept driving.  I felt like the coolest girl in the whole world.  Then I smacked the crap out of my right arm trying to cheer for myself and went right back to being Keri.

I filmed an episode (title pending) and you know, it was maybe my most nervous episode to film to date.  I mean, I am supposed to be concentrating on learning how to do something kinda dangerous, not having my mind elsewhere building an episode.