I love driving the RX-8. But it's been nearly two months since I last sat behind the red-and-black leather wheel after my little Nurburgring accident
. But the other morning I finally drove the scraping, battered Rex up the hill from the Mazda dealer in Adenau to our Rent4Ring workshop in Nurburg.
Damage hopefully just skin deep
All the best advice is that I shouldn't do any repairs until the insurance companies come to some sort of conclusion over who's paying who. But I just can't wait any longer! There are so many reasons to get the car repaired and on the road; the weather is definitely one of them. As I write the Nurburgring is basking in sunshine like a giant 21km asphalt snake.
Lead us not into temptation
It's been so achingly wonderful that I even took to the track on a BMW S1000RR motorcycle in an effort to sate the adrenaline demon. Demon definitely sated by that shot of fear and excitement, for now, but it's definitely another major reason to repair the car and get back within the safety of my four-wheel 'cage', if not for me, but for my wife and kids.
What was that about not riding bikes again?
Thankfully most of the damage to my car is cosmetic, so I'm planning to be on the road again soon. A rough-and-ready repair with secondhand parts. The brand-new Toyosports cat-back exhaust system (that was only fitted for a few days) is now bent in half a dozen spots and dragging shamefully on the floor.
This will be replaced with either another example of the same or a secondhand system. I could just put the standard system back on immediately, but having sampled the two-stroke buzz of the twin-rotor wankel, I'm keen to put a sports exhaust back on. So we'll see what the forums or eBay throw up in the next couple of weeks.
Are we aligned on this?
Alignment check on the to-do list...
The front wing looks purely cosmetic, with no signs of scuffing to the front wheel. I'll be borrowing the laser alignment kit to make sure that is indeed the case.
At the back of the car, the bumper is also a complete mess. Right now I'm actually thankful that there are so many blown-up RX-8s lurking around the country. Because the price, and choice, of secondhand parts is pretty amazing. I'm hoping to pick up the bits I need for only a few hundred quid! Not bad for a Japanese sports car less than 10 years old.
...as is sourcing another suitably loud exhaust
As with the exhaust, I've got my eyes on eBay and the usual forums. So by the time my next pay cheque lands I should have some options lined up and the 'send money' of my Paypal button in sight. Then I can get back to what I love, driving the RX-8, instead of fixing it!
Car: Mazda RX-8
Run by: Dale Lomas
Bought: December 2011
Purchase price: £2,800
Last month at a glance: Rescued from the insurance compound, assessing the damage
It hasn't been a good month for Dale's Mazda...
Ordering pieces of paper to pass the German MOT
Dale makes a new RX-8 mate
PH fleet intro: Mazda RX-8