Today was pretty relaxed – we got to ‘sleep in’ (I actually still woke up at 2:30 am but was able to go back to sleep till about 6-ish). After an actual breakfast and loading things like rain tires into the trailer we headed up the Mountain.
We were among the first to arrive which was good. The pit area is small so space size is limited. We were lucky enough to get one of the 35′ long spaces (vs 20′) but it’s up against the trees. Our trailer is 20′ long at the box, then about 4′ for the tongue, and the car is 9.5′ long. We’re required to keep everything inside the space. It can work but we have to nose the trailer all the way in. Question is, how?
The situation was communicated to everyone a while ago by the officials and we had the pit map, so we were able to plan. My solution was to bring a ‘Trailer Valet’ which is intended to move a trailer around manually, albeit on solid pavement. The general plan is to pull it in as far as we can with the van, then move the van out of the way and finish with the Valet device. How it might work on a slightly upsloped dirt parking lot was anyone’s guess. The backup plan was to use the winch from the gantry somehow.
The part about pulling in with the van worked well enough. Moved the van out and hooked up the Trailer Valet. Only about 20′ to go.
Initial attempts to move the trailer using just the device were unsuccessful, but with Tristan and I pushing and Jay cranking the Valet we eventually got it most of the way there. The last 6 feet were the biggest challenge due to more slope and softer dirt, but using our loading ramps and lots of pushing we were able to get it placed. Whew. Glad to be doing this now with nobody around.
A test-fit confirms we’re all set.
With that out of the way, some final setup of the car. Check everything, make a tweak to the gearshift program, mount race wheels/tires, install oxygen bottle. The latter proved the last remaining challenge as we noticed it had leaked down to about half full so we have to go to the airport later to get it recharged. Not a huge deal. With nobody else around yet we were able to sprawl out a bit which made everything much easier.
After getting the O2 bottle refilled our work is done and now it’s up to the drivers. And the Mountain.