Thursday, July 24, 2014

Avoidable Contact: Racing Into The Night

**12 Days Until Avoidable Contact Launches!**
**Read an excerpt of the book, and read the first post about the research behind it**

Something I knew I had to do, if I was going to write about a 24-hour race, was to convey just how long the race goes on. I mean, 24 hours is a long time to do anything continuously, and I expected that, to the teams, it could feel like an eternity. I wanted readers to feel something of that experience, and so I wanted the race to span the entire book I was writing. In the end, I cheated a little, and the total elapsed time in Avoidable Contact is in the 25-26 hour range. But I think readers will still get the idea!

One of the research experiences I wanted was to sit in the pits for hours on end, just as the crew does. Drivers come and go, and I knew that's what Kate would be doing. But I also wanted to understand what went on to keep the car running the whole time. And so, at the 2013 race, I sat in the pits for hours, listening to the radio transmissions between driver, spotter, and crew chiefs.

At five and then nine hours in, it already felt like we'd been doing this forever! See the posts:

I had one other important research task to accomplish in the depths of night during the Daytona 24: see how little sleep I could get away with! Many people don't sleep at all, or grab catnaps all day and night. I didn't think I'd be able to manage that ... and sure enough, I couldn't! I snuck away in the wee hours of the morning for some shut eye (but not a lot). That's the next post. 

I'll leave you with the panorama from the top of the spotter's stand at 2 a.m. An incredible sight!

The next posts take us into morning of the second day....

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