WDMS Chapter 176

12 March 2011


E30 goes boom, folks make laps, and Costas scores some wins!!

Quick update on the day for NASA. Sadly, Scratcher was not quite ready after the uberthrash at HKE to get the motor completely freshened in 49 hours, so I meandered out to MSR-C to instruct and see what else would turn up. On Friday afternoon Fair and Hanchey took the E30 and the uber-Legacy out at the end of the day to run some practice laps and it all went smooth, thankfully. We were a bit concerned about the E30, but with the alignment re-set and a few other things attended to, Fair reported that it was a joy to drive and very, very quick. Countryman was in attendance with LaCucaracha (which was shook down in chapter 174) and was unsure if he was going to do the TT and race or both or what. Magyar was there in his '11 GT along with Amy in the Vorshlag '11 GT, and Cody in his Z28 and The Alien (Gary) in Knocker running CMC2. Since me and the Fair's would be autocrossing the next day, this was a one-day deal for us and we got to the track early.

FULL VORSHLAG PICTURES HERE: http://vorshlag.smugmug.com/Racing-Events/NASA-MSR-C-031211/16196575_M8Fre#1223685776_t7reG

Fair heading up into rattlesnake

Cody, now signed off in HPDE4, overtaking a Panoz into rattlesnake.

After getting there and attending the instructor meeting with Mike and Terry we all got with our students and did our first rides. All went smooth and Mike decided to do the TT only today and offered me LaCucaracha for the SU races if I wanted to snag some points in my  normal class. Additionally, he wanted another butt in the seat to help shakedown the car and begin the sorting and since I've got some tube experience it seemed like a fit. Sadly, there was only one other SU entrant and it was a Caterham with a lot of horsepower (for its weight) and on hoosiers also. This would be interesting.

Meanwhile Gary was representing WDMS in CMC2 with his LT1-Knocker and took some on-board videos. Enjoy the ride! Saturday qualifying with some nice saves http://www.vimeo.com/21272550 , and then in the first race some excitement http://www.vimeo.com/21277028 and then the last race of the day with more fun http://www.vimeo.com/21282898  Thanks Alien!!!

Sadly, Fair was driving the now-fixed E30 and it broke early on Saturday. He did Friday just fine, but coming over the transition bumps from the 3.1 back to the 1.7 he stayed in the gas while the rear of the car unloaded and then reloaded and it was more than 3rd gear could handle. Zing! No more teefus on teh gearz! He came in on the rope, but drove it in the trailer. Transmission #3 coming up!!! The mustangs soldiered on doing well, as did Cody, jumping into HPDE4 and running some sessions with the TT guys. He did great and will be ready for competition licensing whenever he chooses to take that step. He is fast and smooth in the car, has great situational awareness and works traffic well. He is ready. 

Amy working the yokos!!

LaCucaracha getting air pressure adjusted and a damaged Caterham taking the pit road as LaCucaracha soldiers on to the checker flag!!

So after Mike's TT session I take a few laps and qualy for SU and the caterham had issues and would start at the back. I was not much in front of him in LaCucaracha on 3 year old tires and in a borrowed car. My plan was simple: Don't stick the nose anywhere it could get lopped off, take it easy, bring the car home in one piece and shiny side up, and, if possible, win my class. With a very mild smallblock, I was much slower than the corvette ST2 cars and that was fine. I was all about staying out of trouble this event and picking up SU points. Last places would be juuust fine.

So the green drops and I'm in the middle of some GTS battles and I just back out of it and let the gaggle of german cars fight on their own. After a lap or so the Caterham eases up on me and I slide over and let him by and then pick up the pace and stay on his tail. I'm not using the car fully, but pushing decently hard. About an 8 on a 1-10 scale. The car is running great on temps and feels stable. Brakes have a great pedal but don't have the bite I thought they would. Car is pretty neutral in the fast stuff, pushes a bit in the slow stuff. Very docile though and easy to drive quickly. The jerico box is familiar and nice allowing quick upshift with just a clutch touch and then an actual clutch application on the downs. I didn't have to use the clutch at all, but again, not my car and I try to be easy on equipment, mine or otherwise. So I'm trailing this Caterham now and he begins to get erratic. Countryman has run with him before and told me before the race this might happen. Sure enough after another lap the car goes wildly off course. Sadly, my eyes were not on him the moment it happened so I'm not sure exactly what DID happen, but it ended with a big cloud of dust and him not looking very in-control as the racing surface was exited. As he re-entered I merely hung back for a bit and then he exited to the paddock. At that point I felt fully up to speed with the car and pushed one lap turning the dial up just a bit to make sure I had a quicker lap and then backed off and finished the race. The Caterham went on the trailer with the back damaged and left. I took the green for race two, stayed out of everyone's way, conserved tires and fuel and won the hollow victory. A win is a win, but they mean a lot more when you earn them!

HUGE thanks for Mike for letting me score LaCucaracha's first race win! With both of us driving it that day we were able to discuss the handling and such and help him get it dialed in. Good times!!

Costas at speed in LaCucaracha!!

Mike chasing Amy

Headed back to Witchdoc HQ after a long day at the track...