Tuesday, January 20, 2015
2015 Sebring 48 Hours countdown….Well getting close to the beginning of the 2015 season, took the car into Intersport for a checkup and tightening of all bolts for Sebring’s infamous bumps. Found the dreaded leaking front caliper but otherwise the #37 fired right up despite the cold. Decided it was time to get a new seat with some side impact protection and headed out to OG Racing. Mark Francis was able to help me out and ended up with a new Sparco Circuit 2 since it actually has some Halo protection. Then Charlie was nice enough to help mount the new seat which took a lot more work than I was hoping…but it’s in there nice and snug now minus the sliders for head clearance. Bob Woodman Tires will as always be down there supporting the race and providing tires, I big thanks to that entire team for all their work. We should be loading up the cars this Saturday for the trip down. We have 9 cars going down on this transport. Will update with some pictures once they are all loaded up. As always a big thanks to all that make this possible: Karen Close Century 21 N1ew Millennium http://karenclose.com Intersport Performance www.intersportautosales.com Behe Performance www.beheperformance.com Ken Hills Photography http://kennerh1.smugmug.com Bob Woodman Tires www.bobwoodmantires.com
Sprint 1- 1st in class, 1st overall Sprint 2 – 1st in Class, 1st overall Sprint 3- 1st Enduro- 1st overall and 1st in class What a great event as always, had a HUGE showing from Intersport, Karen Close and the Century 21 team brought out several visitors who got to enjoy the track experience and root me on. Behe Performance was there making sure all went well, as well as Ken Hills Photography taking some GREAT pictures. OG Racing had Mark Francis there for all the parts needs as well as him trying to race himself (unfortunately mechanicals prevented him from getting many laps in). PCA Potomac had a great event and great dinner as well, always one of the best club races of the year. Sprint races all went well, was able to take the overall wins in each sprint and keep a good lead on the field. Clarke Simpson had some hilarious laps behind me trying to catch me going 4 wheels off MANY MANY times. Was fun to watch in the mirror (hopefully it stays that way in the future). Had only one real issue, early on in sprint 2 I think it was I had my gas pedal start sticking….if I went full throttle it stuck to the floor until I tapped it enough to release….if I went partial throttle it went to probably ¾ throttle right away….had enough of a lead I figured lets see if I can limp it home for the win…Sure enough I was able to take the win, had to coast in cause on the cool down lap it got stock on full throttle so I had to shut if off…Charlie popped open the tail and right away noticed the throttle return springs had broken…easy fix luckily..new springs and was ready to go. The Enduro was a good bit of fun as it added higher class cars to the mix. Clarke actually got around me on the 3rd lap into turn 1 but I was able to do an over under and take it back on the exit. Rest of the race I spent keeping the gap to Clarke and ran some nice consistent laps…..pit stop went well no issues or drama….came out and ended up seeing the checkered flag drop …for me….somehow had passed 3 or 4 cars in the pit stops and took the overall win as well as class win.
Sprint 1- 3rd in class, Sprint 2- 1st in class, Sprint 3- 1st in class, Enduro- 2nd Overall and 1st in class Got off to a slow start on some very old tires and then ran into the CV boot and axel issues again. Big thanks to Intersport for keeping me on track all weekend, Art and Jimmy busted their butt on all of the cars in our camp….Clarke Simpson had his E stock 911 out for the fun and was driving the wheels off the thing…actually he technically drove the exhaust off the thing with his collector falling off on the main straight and making it all the way to turn 3 by the end of the race. 1st Sprint - was interesting, came from way back and worked my way up into 1st place, then got caught out in traffic back to 2nd place, then was run off the track twice which left me back in third place …which I was happy with because I laid down a good race lap that was fastest in class by about .7sec which would put me on pole for the next race. 2nd Sprint – had a pretty good start and kept the lead in E class, sat up front the hole race, put down another good lap to secure pole for the 3rd sprint. Clarke put up a good fight sticking with me for the entire race, I thought I had a plenty good time and then found out that Clarke was only a tenth behind…..and I had set a new track record ….so had to step it up next race. 3rd Sprint – Had another decent start and then got bogged down the second lap, but then was able to put in a few good laps and make my way through some traffic. Unfortunately was a fairly uneventful race just maintaining a lead on Clarke. Ran another good race lap just slightly slower than the record and secured Pole in class for the Enduro. Enduro – qualified on the front row in second place overall and had a fair start with only 1 faster class car getting in front of me, was able to nock out some consistent good laps and took 2nd overall after the pit stop and first in class, Not much drama in the race just had a good run overall. Again great end to the weekend, big thanks to Intersport and Karen Close C21 New Millennium for the consistent support
Sprint 1- 2nd in class, Sprint 2 – 2nd in Class, Enduro- 1st in class Very good weekend, had a bunch of mechanicals this weekend from stuck gas pedal (screw behind the pedal) to my rear hub breaking. Luckily we were able to locate a spare and borrow the correct bearing from my friend Jack Strifling (also a competitor) and save the weekend. Also had some of the same CV boot issues (think we got a bad batch cause they seemed to be breaking far too often) In Practice I came up on Jim Buckley and was able to pass him, this does not usually happen….and I think it woke him up case the next few laps he reeled me back in and ended up qualifying just ahead of me. 1st Race I ended up second behind Jim Buckley who as usual was out there flying around the track. I set a new track record this session but unfortunately was not able to stay close enough to Buckley in the race itself to make it fun for him. Got to see his line a few times and I think that helped me gain some time at the oak tree. His car is sweet to watch with so little body roll, he really has his suspension dialed in. 2nd Race Jim took the lead early after missing a gear in turn 4….did not get the greatest start and just kept a consistent gap with him out front for pretty much the entire race. Enduro….had a good start and kept in contact with Buckley this time, tried to run hard but consistent and keep the pressure on Jim. He had a good gap on me the whole time but I would real him in then he would step up the pace…so it was fairly entertaining chasing his white rabbit (white beautifully built 911). At some point he went into the pit, ended up throwing a fan belt, so when I came in to the pits a lap or two later he came over and let me know he was out of the race…..a few laps later he was back out on track hunting me down….unfortunately after my pit stop the gas cap had not been put on correctly…I was DUMPING fuel out of the filler….watching my gas gauge go down the last 5-6 laps the car was hiccupping in certain corners and my lead went from a little over a minute down to just under 20 seconds at the end I think….But was able to limp in for a first place finish…Jim set a new track record during the race and I set my new personal best just .2 off his time. >Great end to the weekend.
Watkins Glen…..lots of things going on Sprint 1- 1st in Class, Sprint 2- 1st in Class, Enduro 4th in class Had a new sponsor come on board with Century 21 New Millennium, brought out some very nice new scheme and are very happy to have them on Board, as always www.karenclose.com for all your real estate needs in the Northern Virginia area. You don’t have to trust me, check out the website or just search her name and you will see she is one of the best in the area. Here are some pics of the new stickers going on.
Sprint 1 – 1st in class, Sprint 2 – 2nd in class, Enduro – 1st in class 1st Sprint - Had a great start to the year. Qualified fair for the first race and got a great start, eventually clawed my way up to first place 2nd Sprint – Had another good start and ended up in first, was passed by Mark Hupfer after a bobble in a turn….unfortunately he ran into engine issues and I inherited the lead (I guess last year was my mechanical year). Had a good lead over my competition and was able to just run a pace to stay out front….late in the race had a higher class car holding me up in sever corner to then accelerate away down the straight letting my competitor draw me in….Then last lap turn 1 same higher class car makes a mistake and I take action to avoid rear ending him, loose 1st place….attempted to regain the lead and well…the video speaks for itself… not sure if he saw me make the move to the inside or not but im glad to have come out of it without incident…though I was not happy and came in second with fastest lap in class so gridded well for the enduro Enduro was great, kept a lead the entire time….then at the end after a double yellow got caught…and I mean CAUGHT in traffic…ended up a drag race out of turn 17 to the finish…I believe there was less than a half second between 1st 2nd and 3rd …I ended up taking First and was very happy. Car ran great all weekend which was great and then we loaded them all up for the trip back home
Its about time to start updating this blog again, has an issue with a computer and lost the updated version so I am back to using this one. 2013 … Had a great end to the year with a 5th place nationally and first place for our zone (actually think it ended up being 4th place because of someone being ineligible because of a 13/13. 2014 was a good year, Came in 2nd place nationally and 1st for our zone. Set 2 track records (Summit and NJMP) for my class and some personal bests at others. A BIG thanks to Intersport, Karen Close and Century 21, Behe Performance, OG Racing, and of course the continued support of my family. Will get a summary of each event to post up with some videos hopefully as well.