WDMS - Chapter 238 - March 2015
PIRELLI WORLD CHALLENGE AT COTA
Sadly there is not a huge story here, but I'll post up some good snaps. Anna and I had talked about maybe going to the PWC race at COTA but were on the fence. I had to work in Austin that Friday and when Fair from Vorshlag called mid-week it all pretty much fell into place. He would be attending the event to put their big red mustang in the Optima booth in the paddock to promote the optima street car challenge series. The plan was to put 6-8 normal street cars so folks could see the types of cars that run the OSCC and hopefully bolster their attendance as well as supporting PWC.
The 'optima guy' had called Fair early in the week and said that several of his "oh yeah, I'll be there" folks had backed out and left gaping holes in their lineup. Fair said he knew that Anna and I might make it and asked if a twin-turbo supra and a 911 would help and he was emphatically told yes. Optima would give us credentials, free access and feed us so all we had to do was show up. Done deal! So, I took the silver supra to Austin late Thursday and then Anna and our daughter came over on Friday afternoon. We stayed downtown and scooted out to the track very early to get our cars in the paddock before it got busy. We got special credentials and passes to get into the track and quickly headed that direction.
Above: Neil from ThinkFast engineering works for HPD and had a pretty sizeable hand in some aspects of this car
Once we got into the paddock, we broke out the detailing kits and cleaned the cars up and put on a few decals. Fair showed up as did a few of the other invitees and then the 'optima guy' showed up as well. He was bummed because the graphics for the cars with the big OPTIMA decals did not arrive over-nighted as planned and so we didn't have any graphics for the cars. Regardless, the Optima 18 wheeler and big canopy were pretty obvious and we moved the cars around to stage them where he wanted and it looked really good. As the morning wore on, race cars went out to practice and the paddock woke up a lot and then spectators began to show up.
It was incredibly fun to hang back and watch clusters of spectators walk the paddock as they came upon the optima trailer and the display. Depending on age and how they dressed, we could usually guess which cars they would gravitate to as their choices were 2010 mustang, old pro-touring plymouth, audi R8, Anna's 911, or Anna's silver supra. I'd say we were right about 90% of the time!!
Above: Fair and the R8 about to do some laps, Below: Anna in the 911 heading into the stadium section
At lunch, we got to take some folks for rides around the track and while we were not allowed to really push it, it was a good time. I had an advertising guy, but Anna's right seat was empty so a longtime buddy/crew/racer with us Chris Rivas hopped into the passenger seat with our daughter Rossi in the back and away they went to see the track and crowds. And yes, first time I laid into the boost and spun the big Pirelli's at speed my passenger duly grabbed the door handle and started the "whoah whoah whoah" thing... heh.
Above: Racing action and the Supra and 911 about to make some laps
The PWC GT field was absolutely incredible. PWC made a recent change to allow any FIA GT3 car legal in PWC and they have come in droves. Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Audis, Vipers, Aston Martins, AMG Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Acura, Cadillac, Nissan, Bentley, etc. For the main GT/GTA/GTcup race there were 49 cars starting the race!! The sounds were awesome and they put on a great race.
Also there was Louis helping out Marc and Jeremy in Touring Class B (TCB, or as SCCA calls it, spec-B) that were running with Touring Class (TC) and Touring Class A (TCA). On one of our paddock walks between their races, Louis was checking out the back of the Fiesta and after a slightly loose backing plate was fixed we discovered one of the drum (!!!) brake in the rear was dragging pretty good. I spun it and asked Louis if he was going to adjust it and he gave me a blank look and it was that moment that (again) I realized I was old. He said "I've uh....never worked on anything with drum brakes". So I got in there and showed him how the thing works (tiny drum with all the levers/springs/shoes packed in!) and he's a brilliant mechanical mind and picked right up on it, but it had us laughing and hopefully would help Marc on the long straights and eliminate some of the wandering he was indicating. The day I get to teach Louis something about a car is a rare day indeed.
Above: Louis and I doing some work #BecauseRacecar, and Anna's 911 at the Optima Trailer in the paddock
Above: Race traffic and a photo-bombing kiddo!!! Below: SNOWCAMO!!!
Back at the Optima trailer the paddock was getting more and more busy and we hung around with the Fair's and talked to a TON of spectators doing paddock walks. All kinds of questions and comments and some folks just wanting to chat about cars. It was a very fun time.
Optima got us access to the hospitality tent so we got breakfast and lunch and that was nice. The kiddo loved the dessert table and we all ate very well. After lunch we walked around again, watched more racing and took more pics and chatted up more folks. As the day was wrapping up, we were cleared to head home. On the way out, we quickly setup and snapped the picture below because...well....because we could.