Monday, June 30, 2014

July 4th weekend at BIR

Sunday, June 22, 2014

SCCA-LOL Race July 5th & 6th @ BIR

Monday, June 16, 2014

Gingerman 2014 w/ ChumpCar. in progress......

Lining up....
Fiesta lost a rear wheel on turn 3!  Doh!

Front right outer pad, decided it had enough and decided to leave the car!  Paul continued to race this way for  30 minutes!
A view of the damage that was caused by the #99 BMW attempting a low probability pass.

Hour 7, Day 1
Hour 13 Day 1
Lining up for Day 2

1st place Saturday and 2nd place Sunday awards.

Monday, June 2, 2014

12 hours of World Racing League @ BIR 2014

A very, very wet event, and MANY mosquitos....24 cars signed up, including a C5 Corvette that had the motor downgraded to an LT1 350.  Three race groups were represented.  NMN's turbo charged DOHC Neon that weighed in at 1850lbs was the sole unlimited competitor.  GP1, which was by far the biggest class, was nearly all BMW's.  Somehow our Golf barely made the cut into the GP2 class, which the Hyundia "Hackcent", a BMW 318 convertible, and and Fart-hinder's Saab also populated.  No GP3 cars present.  Friday night it rained, much beer was consumed thanks to a generous donation from the Four Firkins.

The race started under rain and continued to roughly 2pm, then started back again at 3pm or so.   Rookie driver Scott, who only has one HPDE event under his belt (courtesy of SCCA-LOL's PDX event) who has never driven the BIR before, took the wheel.  Two pace laps then a double wide rolling start!  Trial by fire!  Scott went mowing the grass only once, didn't break the car, and didn't add any wrinkles!  We brought him in at 2hrs 20 minutes, we could tell the stresses of racing were taking a toll on him.

2nd driver John went out, he mowed the grass twice!  The 2nd time required the help of the safety team to tow the car out of the pea gravel. We brought John in at 2 hours 40 minutes.  I went out next, right around 1:00.

Turn two, which in many people's opinion is the scariest part of the track, as it is the highest speed, and has no camber to it.  Normally most cars can go wide open throttle from turn 13, to turn 1, turn 2, all the way to the 110 degree right hander of turn 3.  In the wet, turn 2 scares me even more, the back end of the golf starts moving around above 85mph and wiggles.  Trying hard not to focus on the soft sand and water puddles on the inside of the track, knowing the only way to keep the car stable is to 'hammer down'!  The solution is to 'chicken lift' on the short straight between turn 1 and turn 2, but soon as one enters turn 2 the car must be under power, even if it is only 50%, if you lift off of that gas pedal, you will be spinning at high speed off in the weeds, and hopefully not hit a concrete wall!

As time went on, the rain changed to drizzle, the track started to dry, lap times dropped from 2 minutes 13 to 2 minutes 1 second.  Random puddles and wet spots were still on the racing line.  Many BMW's got overconfident and spun.  I still could not muster up the courage to take turn 2 flat.

One and a half hours into my stint, just after turn one, I went change into 5th gear, 'zing' goes the motor!  WTF??!?  I say to myself, did I miss the gear and mess up the shift?  Back to 4th add power, good, back to 5th, 'zing, zing'.  CRAP!!!  5th gear is gone!  I radio into pit, and report.  We have a brief discussion to continue on, or bring the car back in hopes to save some parts from this gear box.  I soon learn that 6300rpms the car will do exactly 100mph.   Not enough!  Normally 112 is what we enter turn 3 at.  Plus running the car that hard is really hard on the motor.  Park the car, we are done.  At this time we were in 6th place, 7 laps down from the 5th place car and closing.

(there is supposed to be teeth on that gear)
The team decided not to spend the 1~2 hours to swap to our backup transmission.   One that gear box isn't as quick as our primary gear box, and it the time required to swap the gear box would certainly take us out of the running.
Fart-hinder Racing
With 10 minutes to go, the Saab did a slow roll onto it's side.  At this moment they were still in the lead for GP2, the driver was fine and climbed out of the car.  The question became where they enough laps ahead of the #2 GP2 car.  Also the rules state the car must finish under its own power to take the checker flag.  Race Control decided to leave the car on it's side so that the race wouldn't finish under a yellow flag.  The #2 GP2 car did not make enough laps up in this time.   After the race finished, the Saab was flipped back down on all four wheels, and miraculously was able to start back up, drive across the finish line, and take home a trophy! 

*Photo Credit to: