Got to run Thunderhill Park in the reverse (clockwise direction) on Tuesday.
I enjoy this direction more than the normal orientation.
I put over 250 miles on the SVT and still left for home at 3:30. (I didn't feel like running back into town for more fuel.)
With a low turnout and the way the run groups were set up I was able to drive from 9:00am to 10:30 nonstop.
While not driving my focus this weekend, taking the trailer and my gear to be a driver of team Raatz, in the 13 hour charge of the headlight brigade. We practice and qualify on fri night and the race starts at 10 am sat morning, hopefully still running at 11 pm. Update on Sunday
Fri night up date, we put the car on the ITA POLE, by .003 , but its still bragging rights until the green drops and then who cares cause it's 13 hours. Did my first night stint, just driving with the mounted lights we have and the front straight has lights. Jump into the car for my first session, I was slow but the set up is really comfortable, if my focus was this easy to drive, oh my. Any way 20 mins in I smell something burning, make the slow turn onto the back stretch and pop, blew an axle, limp in, fixed in 20 min, turns out the brake ducting broke loose, wrapped around the axle, tore the boot and boom. Well at least it was practice, I will check in tommorow. )) certainly better than working.
Ok, update. 13 hours is really, really long, and the last hour has to be at least two in gray hair power. Started on the pole, fell to 2nd within one lap, after three hours we were 45 seconds up. At vir that's about 1/4 of the track. Well our killer first driver gets pushed off by an aggressive ITE Mitchum motor sports BMW, grand am car. Good bye rear bumper. Driver two great run, 2.5 laps up. My turn, oh boy, 90 min in bimmer world grand am car catches me in the downhill roller coaster, I looked in the mirror, looked back just in time to start the two tail slappers that stopped at the guardrail, hey lucky me really close to the pit entrance. Fender bumper, two tires, and two bent rims later back out, back in two laps later, bad vibration, change rear, back out, one cold tire, looped it at one. Boy am I having fun. Great guys on the radio, calmed me down and just two laps down. By the end of my stint, we are on the same lap, wow, after I screwed up with a rookie mistake, a great team got me to drive like I should and we were back even. Driver four got us a two lap lead. Fast forward to the last two hours, electrical issues, no rear lights, stewards gave us a two lap warning, we chased fuses, relays, flashlights to be ready when the car came in. Rear bumper in the first hour shorted out the lic plate lights system, 1 hours later two fuses, and one mag light taped in the bulb socket and we are out again. 14 min to go hood breaks loose, two budgie cords, racer tape and lots crossed fingers out we go. Yep my guard rail clobber now is treating us to a heart stopper. 302 laps, 6 tires, 5 fuel stops, one fender, two bumpers, two rims, we WON ITA, one lap ahead of all them miatas. Started 46th, finished 17th overall. My team of Kirk, Tom, Greg, Blake, Tyler, parents friends and support staff, were great, after my screw up even before I was out of the car they reminded me we win and lose together, so focus. Well I focused, they focused and we won ITA at the 2012 charge of the headlight brigade. My race season is finally over and now back to getting the focus ready for next year, with a couple of weekends off to make sure my wife is still talking to me.
Yep that was our trusty steed, slightly modified by me, cause it needed more character, mostly due to my talent running out long before I was on the front straight. . Hey we won, just shows what a well run focused Honda team can do.
Just got back from a Track Dawgs Tour of Watkins Glen, GingerMan and Road America. Roughly 2000 road miles and about 700 miles on track with the Powerworks SVT. We had a group of eight to ten folks depending on the the leg of the trip.
It started with Monday and Tuesday at the Glen with PhoenixCMR. Tuesday night in Erie PA. Wednesday took us to Rehagen Racing for a shop tour and a chance for some of my friends to score some new Grand Am Continentals for their Boss 302's. Wednesday evening took us to GingerMan for a private test and tune session. It rained most of the time but I was able to put over 150 miles on track between 5:30 and 8:30.
Thursday was a travel day from South Haven to Elkhart Lake with a stopover at Sprechers for a brewery tour and a chance to pick up some of their great tasting sodas.
Friday - Sunday was on track at Road America with the Northwoods Shelby Club.
The car ran great except for a rear bearing failure at the exit of the Carousel at RA. Thankfully the Focus caliper mounting brackets capture the rotor or things might have been really exciting.
I had checked it before the Glen and all was good. No noise or play and the torque was spot on, but a weeks worth of right hand turns at speed killed it. I didn't hear any bearing whine before it let go but it was bad enough that the races were welded to the spindle. I carry a ton of spares with me so on went a new spindle and hub and away I went. On the way home it felt like the left half shaft was going south. Inspection showed it pushing grease from the boot. So a new shaft needs to be installed before the next trip in September.
So after having my second baby, I was out of driving for a while. Then it got to a point where I couldn't stand it anymore...so I got back out there and I'm auto-xing again. This time, I injected by buddy with a full on addictive dose of it and now he is an auto-x junky as well. We are co driving his 2004 Subaru STi on RS3s in STU. He has never driven competitively before or even pushed his car for that matter, so I'm showing him the ropes. And kicking his ass. In his own car. :lol: Feels kinda good having never driven one prior to that, but I must say...that is a GREAT car out of the box, just about as great as the SVT is, stock. For being heavy and AWD, it doesn't drive as heavy as it is...its pretty light on its feet and flicks pretty easy. It feels great to be driving again.
Another Track Dawgs Tour in the books, Watkins Glen, New York Safety Track, Nelson Ledges and Mid Ohio.
The trek started Wednesday and Thursday at Watkins Glen. Wednesday was pretty hot with a huge Thunderstorm rolling through at the end of the day, Thursday was much cooler and rain free. The Glen has to be one of my favorites.
On Friday we ran the new New York Safety Track near Oneonta NY. A brand new facility with pavement smooth as glass.
It rained much of the day, but that allowed us to figure out the track for some fast dry track running later in the day. We spoke with the owner, who laid the track out using a topographical map and I must say he did an excellent job. It is a very technical track that was designed for motorcycles, but cars do just fine.
Saturday was a travel day for the next stop, Nelson Ledges on Sunday. Well, from the smoothest track I've been on to the roughest piece(s) of asphalt known to man. I had heard it was a dated facility but it was rougher than I imagined. Yet that is one fast track, very similar to Willow Springs speed wise.
Monday found us at Mid Ohio. A track I'd been to twice but never got a handle on. This time I figured out some of the intricacies that make Mid Ohio fun and challenging. Maybe I'll figure out more next time.
The only part failure this time was a CFM cat pipe that cracked after the cat. It started to fail at the Glen then came completely apart at NYST. Good thing they don't have any sound restrictions. I was able to put the stock cat back on before Nelson Ledges but I had to drive 100 miles back to my friend's place while wearing earplugs. The CFM part was two seasons old and the substrate was completely gone when I pulled it off.
It has been literlly years since I took my 4 door automatic ZX5 out and had fun wiht the old timers like Slidemaster, Airforce 1 and the crazy Cobra guys. Lorin, you remember Waldo?? My ride still runs but needs love. I have been itching to get back to Wilow, Buttonwillow, and CA Speedway. Life may get in the way, but ou never forget your true love, racing.
Gotta love the weather in Northern California. It was 70 degrees and sunny at Laguna Seca today.
A light turnout resulted in a twenty minutes on-twenty minutes off format which gave tons of track time.
By 3:00pm I was beat and out of fuel. (I won't pay $6 a gallon for 91 octane at the track.)
How did the car run, any mods over the winter, just curious as I have spent the last four weekends under mine, except for 5 hours tied to the dyno, can't wait to make a turn, and my two trips to That track years ago down the cork screw were amazing.
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