Misadventures of a Drift Newbie, Part 6: Chizuru’s Debut.

This was a big week for us! On Friday Nate came over so we could do some more work on Chizuru the 300ZX to get her ready for the public debut. He replaced some of the broken and duct-taped-together rubber bits in the intake plumbing, which cured a lot of vacuum leaks. She’d been pretty stubborn about starting, and didn’t like to run smoothly until warmed up. Fortunately that seems to now be a thing of the past! I did some tidying up of the body, and added some temporary Ika Musume graphics to serve as a placeholder until the full itasha wrap goes on. Still need to deal with some bodywork til that can happen. Satisfied with our achievements, we set off on our test drive.

Baby’s first fill up!

Our first stop was the gas station up the road. I didn’t realize the tank held 20+ gallons! $40 later we were on our way. We took some backroads and the car drove great! She seemed happy to finally get some fresh gas coursing through her veins and some miles under her tires.

First burrito run!

We ended up at Chipotle for dinner, impressed with her performance so far. It’s crazy to think that just weeks ago she was close to meeting the crusher, and now she’s parked front & center at the burrito shop! With full tummies, Nate drove us back home. Chizuru ran great and didn’t miss a beat, we felt reasonably confident that she’d get us to RIR for the big reveal.

As ready as we’re gonna get!

Finally the morning of Spirit.jp’s Soukoukai Practice Day 2 was upon us. I did some last minute cleaning and loaded up the cooler as I waited for Nate to get there. Once he arrived we hopped in the Z31 and I turned the key. She fired up and idled smoothly right away, so we were off! The drive to the track was uneventful. It was a glorious moment when we pulled up to the registration table to collect our VIP Parking pass!

Mission accomplished!!!
We even got a space right next to her grandchild.

It felt great to make our goal of getting her to the VIP section on this day, and she seemed to be a hit with the crowd! Nate and I spent the day talking to people and picking their brains about setting up the car and handing out Team Lemon House stickers. I’m still amazed how friendly and encouraging everybody is, it’s like a big family! I’m so excited to be a part of it. Now that the car is reasonably roadworthy it’s time to sign up for a novice clinic. Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it to the one in July, but next time it is on! I’m more pumped than ever to get this old 300ZX sideways. Once again, many thanks to Nate Ives, the Spirit.jp organizers, and all the rad people we’ve met so far!

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