Here ya go gang, just one mans review of the Fire and Ice event put on by the Iowa Corvair Enthusiasts at the Iowa International Raceway go cart track in Marshalltown Iowa.
We headed out from Bovey Minnesota Thursday afternoon, heading to Minneapolis to stay with my folks, then on to Marshalltown the next day. After we left Friday morning, we got nearly to the Iowa border when I was again cursed with the strange clutch cable trouble I had on the way to Buffalo. I still haven't figured out HOW the slack gets into the cable. Stopped at a rest area, backed up on the curb, scootched under and adjusted, and again, it's been fine since!
This is my first time attending this event, and it was a great time! In fact, I was so impressed with Iowa, and Marshalltown itself, I'm about ready to move South! As you know, Ryan has moved to Topeka and couldn't make the event, so I brought the wife along as pit crew and photographer. Upon arriving in Marshalltown, a city easy to find, by the way, we drove directly to the hotel, a very nice Best Western, where were promptly checked in by friendly, polite staff. We dumped out stuff and went in search of the things you need at an event such as this. First of all...a car wash. Just a couple blocks away we found the finest self serve carwash I've ever visited in my life (OK, so maybe it doesn't take much to impress me). This facility took quarters, paper money, or even credit/debit cards, right there in the bays! Clean, neat, everything worked, heck...even had hot air dryer hose! It was swell! After scraping off nearly 500 miles worth of bugs from the car we went in search of gas. Hmm..looks like most stations only had 89 octane at the top of the chart, so thought I'd pick up a bottle of Lucas octane boost, me brand of choice..low and behold..just a couple blocks from the hotel....an auto parts store where we were again treated to friendly helpful staff who sold me the right fuel booster. A cruise thru town and we found a station with 91 octane gas, filled 'er half full, dumped in the boost, and headed off to find the track so we'd know where we were going in the morning. Found it also with no trouble and found a couple kids racing go-carts and again, friendly folks to chat with. Feeling darn pleased with the whole thing thus far, we popped into Perkins which was also just a couple blocks from the hotel....where our waitress, Allison, was extremely cheerful and efficient. This was shaping up to be one of the most comfortable road trips we'd ever been on! I was about ready to start looking at real estate. Back to the hotel to find the wireless internet service in the rooms worked at blazingly fast speeds. Found a mess of Corvair folks down in the parking lot where we proceeded to BS the evening away.
Up early for free breakfast at the hotel, which was a complete breakfast buffet, not just donuts and coffee like I was expecting. Good BS session over french toast and orange juice and it was off to the track.
Pretty much everyone arrived at the track on time and registration and tech seemed to go very smoothly. Walked the track, then things got underway. Cars were split into two groups, 11 cars in one, and I *think* 10 in the second. I made it into group one. Pretty basic runs, roughly three laps per run, first lap is really about 3/4 lap, then you hit it, make two laps, each timed and separate lap times and total for the run times are posted.
As far as the racing myself, I remembered to add air to the tires this time, and near as I can tell the car handled really good. Of course, different tires than last season, more air too. I still have to suffer with the horrible turn cutout trouble I have but I was expecting that as I just haven't got to dealing with the carbs yet. But had a great time and was very happy with the car and my performance. And I wasn't the slowest car this time!
After my last run (the fastest naturally) my fan/generator light came on about halfway thru the last lap. Got to the pits and had thrown a belt, and it had a nasty split area in it. So, went to put on a new belt and as I was tightening it I discovered that a mounting tab for the generator had busted off, allowing the generator to pivot up and down. Hmm..what to do. A hose clamp of course! Of course, no one seemed to have one, since Corvairs don't have radiator hoses, but got a ride from a "racer wife" (wish I could remember who) to the auto parts store got some clamps and snugged it right down and it was fine!
You can't really see, but in this photo I'm showing the hose clamp that wraps around the generator and the mounting bracket and holds it in position. Worked just great!
Overall we had a great time, I actually got first in my class! And we got the award for longest distance driven to the event, beating the Kansas guys by about 20 miles.
We left Marshalltown feeling darn good, got to interstate 35, went about 30 miles and the rain started. It POURED HEAVY rain ALL the way to Minneapolis, blinding driving rain, all the way. Made it to my folks house in one piece and relished the great time we had. Can't wait for next year!
I'm going to [post an album of photos from the event that include much more than the few snaps above, but I'm not gonna get to editing them right away, but when they're ready, you'll find them HERE. So if you try 'em now and it doesn't work, try again in a day or two!