OK, this might be a bit long, but it was amazing to me.......
I was racing my GTV at Willow Springs in Jan. of 1992. I had only been racing with the AROSC for a year or so, and I wasn't (still am not) much of a mechanic. My car was sponsored by Foreign Auto Menders, an all-Alfa shop in Poway, CA. My mechanic, Mark Del Muro was at the track with me. I went out for the final practice session before the race, and only drove 3 or 4 laps. The car was perfect so I brought it back in, and told Mark not to touch it. It was very cold and windy that day. An hour later, we decided to warm up the car before the race. When I started it, a huge pool of oil formed under the car. I paniced! The gasket had blown out of the oil filter. Mark suspected that the pressure relief valve had siezed, as a result of the cold weather. I told Mark that I would tell race control that we would be a scratch. Mark said no. He told me that I needed to find a pan to drian the oil into, some emery cloth and a gas torch.
The ememry cloth we had.
The pan to drain the oil into was Alex Brown's cat box, as their cat travelled with them in the camper. We put the litter into a trash bag, and washed it out. We drianed the oil into that.
The torch we couldn't find.
The race was in 15 minutes. Mark took the bottom of the pan off of the car, and pulled the distributor out. Sure enough, the valve was siezed, and wouldn't release pressure. They began calling cars to pre-grid.
Then, to my amazment, Mark took a bottle of Berryman's Chemtool (basically brake cleaner) and lit the arosol spray ON FIRE (!!!) and used the spray bottle as a torch. The valve popped out!! He told me to put on my driver's suit and strap in. I thought there is no way we are going to make it! They announced last call to the grid! Mark polished the valve w/ emery cloth and reassembled the distributor. He then bolted the bottom of the pan back on (all 30 +/- bolts!). The pace car was leaving the pits. Mark poured the catbox of oil back into the motor, and we fired it up. Off I went, to catch the pace car, which was already thru turn 7.
I had a full head of steam as I came around 9 and the green flag fell.
I am still really proud of the "first place" trophy I won from that race! And it came with a pretty good story, too!
Somewhere I have pictures of Mark torching the pressure relief valve with the aroesol can. If I can find it, I'll post it here tomorrow.