It's RACE WEEK and despite suffering from a cold/flu at the time of writing this blog, I can't wait to be back behind the wheel. It's been almost 4 months since I've raced and I'm eager to get going. I'm sure this sickness will be gone by Friday and it'll be full speed ahead for the season.
This year starts off familiar and completely different all at the same time. On Thursday night I make my way to Willows, California for the SCCA Majors race at Thunderhill. Every December, for the past 7 years, I've race almost a season's worth of seat time at one race (the 25 hour) but this will be a sprint format and my first at this track. It'll be on much stickier tires (Hoosiers) and and new sanctioning body with new rules.
SE46 #7 is now #77 in T3 and only required a few minor upgrades from Advanced Auto Fabrication, the most obvious being a firewall installation in the rear (picture below) and the addition of weight to hit the 2950lbs rule. Long term partners BimmerWorld, Red Line Oil and AiM Sports were amazing enough to work with me for another year, leaving only a few new series contingency partners in Hoosier and Summit Racing Equipment to be embossed on the car for this season. This means #77 will look - all be it cleaned up expertly by Bryce Scott - more or less the same as last year.
But wait, what's this 'showtime!' all about? This year, I'll be live streaming my races from inside the car. Pretty cool, I'm sure you'll agree. A few years ago I tried this using a DropCam mounted in the car connected to a MiFi. It didn't work so I scrapped the idea. In recent times, however, digital encoders have become much more affordable and connected to a GoPro and MiFi with LTE allows anyone to broadcast relatively cheaply. I took a great deal of advice from my friend Cameron Evans (who has done this for a while now) and the following is the setup I'll be using.
The camera is a GoPro Hero 3+ that I already own. That plugs into a Cerevo LiveShell 2 digital broadcaster (I got mine 'like new' but not new on Amazon for around $250) via HDMI which connects wirelessly via WiFi to a Verizon LTE MiFi I already own. At time of build, AAF installed 2 USB power plugs close to my roll cage and with the 24hr battery on the MiFi and power to the camera and LiveShell, I should be good for the sprint races at minimum.
Thanks to my AiM videos, I have enough subscribers on YouTube to live stream and so I connected the LiveShell 2 (via the LiveShell Dashboard) to YouTube and scheduled this weekend's broadcast. It must be said that you don't have to use YouTube and I'm also investigating streaming to the new service called racecast.me designed specifically for racers.
So, that's it for this week. A little longer than 300 words (but I did skip last week) and I'll post again with more on the race weekend, next week.