Written 7/28/2011. Many thanks goes out to Alex Renderos of 2nd Chance Roadster for his unyielding determination and skills for putting together Monty so well for the short amount of time we had, while having to drive many hours between Lake Forest and Victorville multiple times to do so. Much gratitude to Emilio Cervantes of 949Racing for shop time and space (and giving me and Alex his expert and wise advice). John Wing for his sheer kindness and saving me from my own grossly incompetent electric wiring skills. And William Chen for lending us his old rally light setup, with which he and Emilio won Team 949Racing’s first enduro win last season.
Last Saturday (7/23), Alex and I took Monty out for another test. This time, it’s at Streets of Willow in the dark, as you may have guessed by photo above of the lighting setup mounted in front of Monty. This was a crucial test before Monty goes into endurance racing at night. This was also the final shakedown for its NASA debut on 7/30-31.
As life always is, it happens to get in the way for getting time to further prep Monty, so we really had only 2 working nights to prep (Thursday and Friday). And with lighting having to be done, it was a mad dash for me and Alex. By email and phone calls, Team 949Racing’s William Chen and John Wing stepped in to help me and Alex figure out the what’s supposed to be easy wiring scheme. However, for me, I’m a terrible electrician and essentially was useless at it. Alex did most of the wiring work as I focused on other bits of the car that needed finishing Thursday night. When pressed for time Friday afternoon, I had to bail for my second job in the evening and I have yet to finish the electrical work, as Alex was unavailable on Friday, but John came over and rescued me from potentially killing Monty and myself by electrocution.
So Saturday came about and yet again, I haven’t given Monty a full-on proper alignment and cornerbalance and didn’t have time to mount R-comp tires on the car, but then again, Alex and I were lucky that we got the car ready for the test at all. And despite all of this, Monty once again showed great potential. As I was watching Alex drive around the track, Monty was at home on technical racetracks like Streets of Willow and Buttonwillow. And as night fell, Alex and John’s help and handy work was paying dividends as we were able to see in the darkness.
Don’t be fooled by the film above. The lights are definitely working and the camera doesn’t deal with big contrasts of light very well. The flickering is mainly the car pitching and rolling the light beams off the ground and Alex and I could still see a good distance ahead when that happens.
Overall, Alex and I are relived that what we set out to test is finished. Now, it’s all about prepping for Monty’s big NASA PTE debut this weekend on the July 30-31 at AAA Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA.