I arrived at the salt flats around noon and found the Lightning prototype in an advanced state of undress. Richard, ZZ and Jeff were scrambling to complete last minute preparations, “minor” details like drilling and mounting the fairings, safety wiring lots of bolts, fabricating steering stops, and—oh, yeah—making numbers from tape, since proper vinyl numbers were left in California. To be fair, it wasn’t all their fault—they found out just that morning that the dustbin fairing they intended to run was illegal, necessitating a switch to back-up Ducati bodywork. Welcome to racing! We stayed busy—we even put my father to work, exploiting his construction experience to ventilate the tailsection with a hole saw—but we finished with minutes to spare, leaving a bevy of satisfied tech inspectors in our wake.