So here we are again. I definitely wasn’t going to let this entire winter pass without attending one of these events! So when a #GRIDLIFE IceBattle event showed up on my Facebook feed, I had to jump on it. I wasn’t sure what was going to be different about this event, as opposed to a regular event, but it turns out it was pretty much the same, just that they printed some vinyl stickers for us to stick on our windshields and doors.
Unfortunately, it’s been rather warm this year, which created two issues today. First, and most importantly, it meant that all the plowed snowbanks lining the course had been given several opportunities to slightly melt, and then re-freeze overnight. This meant that the track was now lined with rather icy walls, which meant only the folks with beater cars that they didn’t care much for were going to be going all-out around the course. The rest of us had to be slightly wary because going off course would almost certainly mean noticeable, and possibly significant, damage to our vehicles. It’s never as fun when you can’t go crazy, but luckily the course was plenty wide in most locations so I was still able to have lots of sideways fun.
The second issue was the fact that it got rather warm during the day, which meant that the icy surface started melting. This was good in the sense that it made the racing surface a bit more predictable and grippy, but bad in the sense that ruts started to form more readily, and water started seeping up through the ice to pool on the surface. This was only a one-day event, but there was a local ice racing event the following day that we also participated in. Unfortunately, I was
I meant to take a lot of photos at this event, but I was pretty distracted, both by the event, and by the fact that my girlfriend was out here with me ice racing her STi, because she’s awesome. In any case, here’s a photo of our cars, along with a quick recap video (I make a brief appearance… sitting on the track with my hazards on waiting for another car to be pulled out of a snow bank, lol.)
Here are two more videos. The one on the left is a brief video taken by my friend Nick G on his phone, showing me linking a few turns together in a manner that makes it look like I almost know what I’m doing. On the right is an in-car view of my last run of the evening. So many people kept getting stuck on the stiff, icy snow banks that the event ran pretty long, so by the end of the day, our last few runs were run pretty close to dark, making it a bit more difficult to tell where the course went!
Oh, and while plenty of cars took a beating at this event, I emerged relatively unscathed. However, I didn’t get out entirely untouched. On one of my runs, I lightly grazed a snow bank with the right front corner of my car. This did no damage to the bumper, but in pushing the bumper back, it did snap one of the clips that secures the side marker to the fender. I guess that just means it’s finally time to upgrade to those JDM clear side markers!
And yes, there was an event the following day, but I don’t actually have any photos or videos, and we only attended it half the day anyway. Everything started melting pretty significantly, and there were some ruts that developed that got deep enough that I didn’t feel comfortable taking my car around the course for fear of doing even more damage.