Final Bout: Special Stage Central

Proceed, Villains, Breaking

Went to Final bout this weekend, here’s what i thought about it:
– Awesome event, By far the best year to go.
– Less people was a plus.
– The team competition format was a lot better this year.
– Less teams this year but they all looked the part and drove well together.
– The driving this year was A+, A lot of dudes were killing it out there. Most notably the dude from GHOST in the white S14.

All the photos I took can be viewed and downloaded here.

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GHOST FC and S14

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2016 Miata Update

Winter is over, the snow all gone, and i finally have the Miata out of storage. A few things have changed over the past few months, here’s a quick run down.

Nearing the end of winter i started getting serious about buying some new wheels and tires as the tires on my stock wheels were in need of replacement. Ideally i wanted to buy a set of 15×8 Enkei RPF1 in SBC finish with 205/50 Star Specs but at $1700 they were almost double what I told Sam i would spend. Lucky for me a friend of mine (GEEDEETHREE) had drove down to TF Works to buy some maintenance items for his new S2000 and noticed a set of RPF1 in standard Silver finish in my size. These were significantly cheaper than the SBC set from TireRack and still quite a bit cheaper than anywhere else i had looked for them in the Silver finish. After a few emails and about 3 minutes of “thinking about it” i made the call and they were mine.

Not sure what to do with this huge sticker they threw in with the wheels.

Also grabbed a set of Muteki SR35 lugs in black.

Black lugs and fancy Anodized blue valve stems are going to look real good.

So now that i have one of my favorite sets of wheels for my car i just need to get a set of tires and to get the fenders rolled… Unfortunately i had to set these wheels aside for a bit while i finished off my semester and got moved into a new apartment.

Nice to have a secure place to store and work on the car.

Fast forward 2 months and i’ve got tires, DZ102s, and a fender roller.

Tires mounted.

Fenders rolled, wheels mounted, and ride height set.

Car looks great now and I’m enjoy driving it around. Plans for now are to continue regular maintenance on the car and to start driving it at the local SCCA Solo events.

Florida Trip – March 2016

I was able to get down to Florida for my birthday, which conveniently fell on the same weekend as the Indycar season opener. Flew down there, crashed with friends, drank beer, and went to the race track. It was a good weekend.

On to the photos. We had great seats in the grand stands at turn 1 but they were not great for taking photos since there was a pair of speakers and a fence blocking my way. I only really took pictures on Saturday during the Pirelli World Challenge Round 3 race and again on Sunday during the PWC round 4 race. I had a lot of trouble with getting good shots as well, i’m not sure if my older 70-300 is starting to go or if this was simply user error.

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No. 77 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Driven by Preston Calvert

No. 9 McLaren 650S
No. 9 K-PAX McLaren 650S Driven by Alvaro Parente

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No. 43 Acura TLX-GT Driven by Ryan Eversley

These photos are from Round 4 on Sunday. This race was run mostly under caution after a GT cup car Hit the wall hard on Lap 1. Then later on there was another incident at turn 1 that they were able to get cleaned in time for a 2 lap rush to the checkered flag.

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Round 4 Race Start

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No. 41 Porsche 911 GT3 R Driven by Michael Lewis. Michael ended up winning both races this weekend.

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Race restart after the Lap 1 crash

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Race restart after the Lap 1 crash

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N0. 33 Nissan GTR GT3 driven by JD Davison

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Ryan Eversley making a pass on Alvaro Parente

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Patrick Long, Michael Cooper, and Johnny O’Connell after finishing the race

Here is a recap of race 2

You can view and download all of these photos at the link below
https://flic.kr/s/aHskwB1e25

Winter is coming… i think.

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well its been a few weeks since i parked the Miata for the winter and started driving my new-to-me $1300 winter beater. Other than needing  a new battery its been good so far.

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We had some snow last weekend but it all melted within a few days and there is no snow in the 10 day forecast so not sure whats going on with that.

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Went to the storage unit today to put away a bunch of baby toys and summer stuff and look at the Miata a bit. Went ahead and pulled off the side markers because I’ve always wanted to swap out the amber for clear, may try to make some soon. probably not though, i thought it would be easier to separate the lens from the assembly.

Other than that im just going to try and buy a bunch of boring stuff over winter for the car. New radiator, hoses, ball joints, blah blah. Would like to make some changes to my Bilstein coilover set up and buy some wheels but i dont see that happening this winter.

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Also found an old valve cover that I previously removed the letters from to smooth out the top. I may try and get this powder coated to replace my current one that i painted black a couple years ago that is starting to show its age.

We have been trying to focus on buying a house ASAP which will be cool. Been spending a lot of time on the garage forum looking at cool people with cool garages that are doing cool things, ill get there one day.

Other than that I’ve just been focusing on family and school. Close to wrapping up my first semester back and will start looking at earning some certifications. Exciting stuff.

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Not sure if she really likes, or really hates the Hotwheels Evasive FRS.

My miata – 2015 Recap

This Weekend i made it a point to wash the car up real good and go and take some pictures of it. By the end of the month i will be parking this car for the winter which is completely new to me.
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Ive had this car for about 4 years now and 2015 was by far the best year for this car. It got a new engine in March that has been very reliable so far. Also upgraded to “budget Bilstein” shock and spring setup and Flyin Miata Frame rails.
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Aside from those big upgrades ive also done a lot of small things to the car. New speakers, door panels, interior trim pieces, High flow cat, new soft top, and i steam cleaned the hell out of my 10th Anniversary seats.
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I drove the car as much as possible after i got the new engine installed. Took it out on the country roads a hand full of times with Sam, my dad, and some other miata people that i have met up here. I also drove a 400 mile round trip to Shawano Wisconsin for Final Bout 2.
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Over the winter i hope to find a way to buy a set of wheels and tires as well as some needed maintenance items.

Final Bout 2

This past weekend was the Final Bout 2 event hosted at USA international raceway in Shawano, WI by Club FR. Ive been waiting for this event since i moved to Wisconsin last year.

Saturday morning we woke up and made the 2 hour drive to the event. a friend of mine saved us some perfect spots right on the wall at the top of the hill so we didnt do much moving around all day and just enjoyed the event.

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Congrats to Risky Devil on winning the event.
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Sunday was even better than Saturday. it was much more relaxed and you could tell that everyone was having an absolute blast.

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looking back at my photography

I bought my first camera, a second hand Nikon D60, about 7 years ago. Since then I’ve taken several thousand photos in a lot of different environments. Unfortunately, I haven’t had any motivation to pick up the camera and get out and shoot for the past couple of years. That is, until recently. I am finally settling down after moving across the country and its time to jump back into things.

I’ve been going through old photos and have decided to do a sort of recap of my photography and where it has taken me.

2It all starts here, I took this photo on a group photo shoot set up by some people on the local car forum. This was about a month after buying my first camera and I met a handful of really helpful people, a few of which I am still good friends with.

From there, I took every opportunity I could to shoot my friends cars. the photos were bad.

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and even worse.

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But I kept on shooting, taking advice from others, and getting better. I met a lot of really cool people and really cool cars.

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Some friends faded.

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Others became lifelong friends.

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I found lots of excuses to travel to Sebring and meet new people.

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I got the chance to work with a few blogs

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And even had a feature in S3 Magazine.

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Looking back on all these good times and good people, I cant really say why I lost interest. After thinking back on these times, and dusting off the camera for a trip to Final Bout 2, I think I have found the passion I lost for photography and will get back into the swing of things.