So I ran into a lull for a time, but I am back now.  My next HPDE is just a few weeks away, so I have some updates to go along with that.  I’ve done a few things to the car.  Pictures will come a little later.

First things first, the bad.  I dont know how it happened, but I damaged my front bumper.  If I hit something, I never heard it, didnt see it, never knew about it.  It was along the bottom on the passenger side (i dont have a picture, sorry).  The paint was scraped along at an angle that would make you think that it would hit the tire, but there is nothing on the tire or rim suggesting that it hit anything.  It seems that it will be a mystery forever.  I got it fixed by Freeman Brothers Body Shop in Pensacola.  It cost me a little over $500, but I have to say, they did an amazing job.  It looks like it never happened.  The paint matches up perfectly.  I would recommend them to anyone in the area needing body work on their vehicle.  In the process of all this, I learned how to remove a bumper.  It turned out, on my car, to be pretty easy.  Now I know how to do it for the future.

In taking out the bumper, I ran into some other issues.  The LED turn signals that I had installed in the front were rather particular about how they sat inside the sockets, needing to sit just right to make contact and work.  In taking the bumper off, I had to remove them and then put them back in after I got the bumper back.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get them to make consistent contact anymore, so they are no longer in use.  I had to switch back to the blah yellow ones for now.  I also had a LED running light go out, so I removed those and am going to be replacing all of them shortly.  It all seemed to happen at the same time, so I guess it just wasnt a lucky time for my lights.

Onward to the good stuff!  I got the windows tinted.  I went with a ceramic film, 30% (means it lets 30% of the light through).  It took about 2 hours to get done and turned out great.  It had several bonuses.  First, the car just looks better in my opinion.  Its not so dark that it looks cheap, but its dark enough that you have to get close to see through it.  It also has made a noticeable difference to the interior temperature.  If I add the window screen, the car barely warms up, even on a 90 degree day.  So it has definitely been worth it.

Also, I received my new race brake pads for the track!  I ordered some Hawk HP+ pads for the front and Hawk HPS pads for the back (which receive noticeably less wear for obvious reasons). They will be sitting on my counter, waiting for the opportunity to go into use at the track.  I will have to bed them in first which will be a new experience for me.  I will wait until I get to the track to do that though.

Of course, I am excited to go back to the track.  The date is June 22-23.  It will be a HPDE1 event, meaning I will have an instructor again.  I decided that I want an instructor in the car for the next several times still, just to make sure that I dont develop any bad habits.  I also figure that each instructor will have a different approach and perhaps different good ideas that I can pick up.  I will be at NOLA (New Orleans Motorsports Park) again.  The campground reservations were made last night, so it is all set and ready to go.  Now I just need the 2 and a half weeks to pass so I can go push my car to the limits again.

I have some more things I am thinking about and looking into, but for now I think it is best if I hold those back and wait for another day.  It would be nice to have things to post later.  I should have pictures up soon (need to get the car washed again), so you can see the new tint.  Take it easy.

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