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236 Pomona Speed Shop had a great time and we left fans of the track and of Austin in general. Brian and I drove out from So Cal Monday early to make a tee time in the hills over Albuquerque on a fantastic golf course Tuesday. Then we had a long drive Southeast through the heart of Texas to Austin arriving Wednesday. We had another round of golf at a very nice track called Wolfdancer Thursday before the painless registration process (thank you chumpcar), hooked up with my cousin Rodger and his gang from Burningham and fellow So Cal team Uncommon Friends in garage #20 then hit the town for dinner. Race day one and I am in for the start on an amazing facility that is making history every day. The BMW is running great and I am doing what I normally do, digging a hole for my mates to dig out of, nothing better than a 3:07. They drag my old fat a$$ out at 2 hours and we cycle through all remaining stints until last one where Skyler flat spots a front and needs a change, of course the rest of the team was enjoying air conditioning and missed that call, so I rally some help and handle it losing prolly a lap or two. All done I guess 16th overall for the day at the finish. All said and done we are ok with it because we had a clean run and didn't stink up the track or the pits, frankly the pace was much faster than I predicted. 

Sunday was a better pace for the team because I took myself out of the car and Skyler was running strong until a black flag got him for passing on the front stretch(not on board with the flag stations there). Had some good stints but all for naught because trans went south at a bit before 6 hours. 

I slept off the weekend and flew home this morning, Skyler and Steve got home around 3:30 pt for around 3000 round trip miles of safe travel. 

I have a new threshold for Africa Hot now. 

Great job Chump and all the drivers we were around. 

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This was my 3rd ever race, and I was blown away by the track, the event, all the people from Chumpcar, and especially all the other drivers. That was more traffic than I've ever driven in, but I never felt uncomfortable. Lots of on track courtesy and heads up driving. So much fun! And we got a load of help in the garage. We may be the least organized team in Chump. Everyone looked so organized and ready to go. We looked like our tool box barfed on the floor of the garage. But whenever we needed something we didn't have (or couldn't find) someone was right there offering to lend a hand.

 

Unfortunately, we had clutch trouble on day one, and our motor expired on day two. But when we were running we were actually pretty fast. Really cool to see our number on the big leader board for a while. Tons of thanks to our garage mates who helped us get where we needed to be all weekend, including pusing our dead car off pit road, and offing some great advice to keep the next engine running a while longer. We'll find a running motor somewhere and get the car patched back together. That was the best time I've had in a long time. Our team is mostly autocrossers, but man, this stuff is addictive! 

 

Thanks everyone. That is a lifetime memory. 

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First race and it was fantastic! What a venue. I felt like a F1 star when the checker flag came out.

My first 20 minutes of chumpcar was a bit overwhelming, everyone was blazing past us like crazy. But after a few stints we got the hang of it (still got passed most of the time).

 

Everyone working for/at Chumpcar was amazing. Thanks! Everyone was helpful and super nice.

 

Now we need to learn how to drive and improve our car. Looking forward for next race! We will be faster!

 

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Perry, thanks for starting this thread, I wondered why one was not already going.  Probably because everyone is still worn out from the heat and the travel.

 

I guess I'll report for both Burningham teams.  The Burningham Porsche 944 was a new car for the team because the old red/yellow/black one got totaled in a race earlier this year, so there were the normal bugs of a new car to work out.  The car immediately had oil overtemp issues, so they had to back it down on the back stretch every lap to cool it, so the lap times suffered accordingly.  The guys had it doing ok on Friday until problems with an alternator bolt brought them to the garage for a while.  They got it back out and toward the end of the day a shifter linkage issue ended the day, finished somewhere in the 30's.  They worked Friday night to get it ready to go.  Special shout out to all the guys at Cone Crushers for loaning them parts.  By the way, if any of you are on here, sorry you lost the engine Friday, but good job getting it back out there Saturday even if it was down on power.  Saturday, the guys were still having the oil overtemp issues, and I know they had a few electrical glitches but were laying down laps until the end when they had a control arm pin break.  Scary, could have been a bad deal.  Luckily Jorge knew something was going on so he pulled it over in the esses for the last few min of the race.  When they unloaded the car off of the roll back, they turned it to load into the trailer and the control arm broke and the wheel folded up into the fender.  If it had happened on track, would have been really bad.  Took an hour to get it back in rolling condition to get it in the trailer.  

 

For the Burningham Too Lexus, Friday started pretty good.  I took the lead in turn 1 of the green flag lap and held it for 6 or 7 laps.  The steering started doing something really funky, like super power steering or better described similar to if you jack the car up and can spin the wheel with no effort.  I thought something broke or come loose, I had no feedback in the steering.  Then it would hang.  Gave up the lead, which probably would have happened anyway given some of the lap times of others, but checked the steering rack, everything seemed fine so took the car back out and laid down some 2:51's after getting over being nervous about the steering.  Turned the car over to Chris at 2 hours. Chris picked the track up pretty quick and laid down some good laps, had some 2:50's and 2:51's.  I can't remember if he cracked the top 15 but I think he did before coming in.  He turned the car over to Casey at his 2 hour mark and about 30 min or so into his stint we lost a left rear wheel bearing.  Wheel bearings in this car are a chore to change, so we robbed the rear housing off of a parts car we drug to the track and about 2 hours later got Casey back out so he could lay down some laps until the checkered flag, I think we finished in the 40's.  Saturday Casey started and when he came in at 2 hours he had cycled to 2nd place.  I got in, started digging and had the car back to 3rd place about 1.5 hours in.  I passed a blue/white civic in turn 6 on the inside and in the very short straight section before 7/ just entering 7 he bumps my rear and spins me around.  Looked at the video to be sure, still don't know why we made contact, I had just begun to make the turn way outside in 7, was up against the red so we shouldn't have been close.  I came in figuring I was going to be black flagged anyway, Phil says he doesn't know about it yet, calls on the radio, says he is told it was a clean pass and bumped so I go back out.  I run some 2:49's and 2:50's and get the car back to 7th before coming in while running out of gas, luckily you can shake a Lexus and make 3 miles after it starts sputtering.  Chris goes out and starts laying some good laps, but then we lose the other rear wheel bearing.  Do the same drill as the day before, rob the assembly off the parts car and send Chris back out to finish the race and finished right behind the other Burningham car on the same lap.  We definitely have a brake heat issue cooking the grease, we just replaced the wheel bearings before Daytona so they should have been fine but obviously weren't.  

 

COTA was great, hot as hell.  The facility is awesome.  Thanks to Mike, Chris, Mike, Phil, Derrick, Dan, Bill, (and others I am forgetting) and Andrea for a great weekend.  You guys do a lot to pull these off and we appreciate the opportunity to race these places we do.  Time to fix what's broke and show up at the next one.

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First chance to get to a computer after 18 hours of towing home and a few hours of sleep.  We got most of our bad luck out of the way on Wednesday and Thursday.  4 separate flat tires on the two trailers towing out and then extra time at Walmart restocking on spares.  Then our team Captain and another driver missed their flight and had to purchase additional tickets to be able to make it on time.  

 

Once we got everyone to the track things settled down a lot.  First the facility is top notch and the COTA staff were great.  Even had a gentleman (Mr. Mays I believe) that said he was with the investors that built the track come around and start welcoming everyone personally in the garages and see if we needed anything. We were made to feel very appreciated by everyone we came in contact with.  The Chump Staff did an amazing job.  Everything seemed very organized (even when we weren't) and any requests we had were attended to quickly.  This is only our 2nd Central region race and both have been run smoothly.

 

The plan for both cars at this race was to keep them on the track all day and have fun.  The 935 ran problem free and was consistent both days.  The 66 had strange minor issues that put them back a bit but still got everyone in to drive this great track.  Both our cars were quick and a lot of fun to drive with the wide variety of other cars on the track.  The driving overall was very good.  Saw a lot of point by's and good clean racing.  Like to give a quick shout out to the 333 OB Prestige Auto Honda.  We fought hard for the last 30 minutes on Saturday for podium finishes.  It was very close,  fun racing.  Anyone that says a Honda cannot be a competitive in ChumpCar needs to take a look at this team.  

 

Thanks ChumpCar  for the opportunity to race on tracks like this.  

 

Edited by CWag27
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Real quick thrown together start and finish reel. uploading now. I was able to download my Facebook Live sessions. This is Day 2. 

 

Sorry for the lack of quality. Working to fix that issue.

when it is done uploading (7GB MOV file...)

https://youtu.be/drC11sHc3KA

 

Bill

 

Edited by Bill Strong
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We rolled into Fort Wayne at 7:30 am this morning.  We decided to stay on Saturday night after the race and experience Austin one last time before we took off the next day.  Yesterday we drove 20 straight hours to get home and my girlfriend was a champ and did a lot of the driving while I slept from being exhausted from the race on Saturday.  My race recap:

 

We left on Tuesday morning at 3 am and we arrived in Arlington at 10 pm to check in for the night.  We put in 19 hours and we were able to enjoy some Braums ice cream (this is some of the best I've ever had, my girlfriend said it was the best chocolate chip cookie dough she has ever had).  I recommend stopping if you are ever in TX.  We got up early on Wednesday morning to meet Mike (U-turn) for an alignment at City Garage #8.  He was very helpful in getting our alignment dialed in for the event and a very very nice guy!  Your beer is coming :).  We stopped in Smileys to get a rear view mirror I forgot to order then headed to Buc-EEs outside of Temple.  This is the Wal-Mart of gas stations, if you're in the area you have to stop by and check it out.  We loved it and look forward to going back next time we visit COTA.

 

We got to the track and unloaded the car and trailer then hit Rainey Street for the night (BTW a lot better than 6th Street).  Thursday we ate lunch at Wild Bubba's Wild Game Bar which has been featured on TV.  If you missed this spot then you missed some of the best burgers ever and it was a short distance to the track. 

 

Friday was race day!  We started with a 2 lap MOV from Gateway and we just wanted to be competitive.  I went out first stint and thought I was turning some pretty good lap times.  I only got passed by the top 5 teams which were flying!  Cone Crushes, the Datsun and Jacky Icks was absolutely flying!  We went in for the first pit stop and changed drivers.  Our 2nd driver was putting down very good times compared to the rest of the field and we were moving up quickly on the leaderboard after we had our MOV worked off.  Our 3rd driver was in who was not as experienced but was putting down 3 minute lap times to keep us in the running to be close to the top 10 at the end of the day until he radioed in and said he had no gears.  He was towed in and I first asked him if he could shift into gears and he said yes.  So I said well it's probably just the rear axle.  Low and behold we blew out the driver's side rear axle.  Bucksnot let me buy one off of them and I had it changed in 30 minutes.  We were back on track and finished 41st.  

 

Saturday was another race day and we still had a 2 lap MOV.  We started dead last once again.  I was able to put down some good lap times in the beginning and then the other two drivers took over for the next two stints.  Since I was the fastest all weekend we decided I would run two stints and the last one would be a full two hours.  In the last stint I set our fastest time of the weekend and had fun racing with a lot of the top teams.  I gained 9 positions in the last two hours and get us in the top 10 excluding EC teams. 

 

We had a blast at COTA!  We would go back if it comes up on the schedule next year.  It was worth the 20+ driving one way for a D7.  It was worth the TX heat, which actually wasn't that bad when you got in the car with the cool suit.  The BBQ was awesome, the beer scene is awesome and the track staff is top notch.  Also those chicken fingers and fries in the cafeteria were awesome!  Thanks to the central region staff and the Chiseks for their help with this event.  It was top notch and look forward to seeing everyone at Gingerman.

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38 minutes ago, BryanPendleton said:

Talk about a pucker moment.  My heart sank when I completely lost brakes going into T11.  Shout out to the driver of #28 for being aware of my presence and avoiding me in my situation.

 

 

I'm sure you saw money signs in front of your face at that moment.

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42 minutes ago, Crank Yankers Racing said:

Thursday we ate lunch at Wild Bubba's Wild Game Bar which has been featured on TV.  If you missed this spot then you missed some of the best burgers ever and it was a short distance to the track.

 

We did the same.  Great place just outside the track.  Elk, kangaroo, or wagyu burgers were all good.

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1 hour ago, BryanPendleton said:

Talk about a pucker moment.  My heart sank when I completely lost brakes going into T11.  Shout out to the driver of #28 for being aware of my presence and avoiding me in my situation.

 

 

Great job man.  Damn that's scary.

 

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1 hour ago, BryanPendleton said:

Talk about a pucker moment.  My heart sank when I completely lost brakes going into T11.  Shout out to the driver of #28 for being aware of my presence and avoiding me in my situation.

 

 

Brought it home in one piece, and no contact !   All you can ask for in that situation.   

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1 hour ago, BryanPendleton said:

Talk about a pucker moment.  My heart sank when I completely lost brakes going into T11.  Shout out to the driver of #28 for being aware of my presence and avoiding me in my situation.

 

Great job saving the car, and this is a testament to good driving decisions and how well this track is set up! 

 

Also - with these video game simulators this has me thinking I should practice handling brake fail. 

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21 hours ago, fast_eddie_72 said:

This was my 3rd ever race, and I was blown away by the track, the event, all the people from Chumpcar, and especially all the other drivers. That was more traffic than I've ever driven in, but I never felt uncomfortable. Lots of on track courtesy and heads up driving.

[sarcasm] "But I thought ChumpCar was a total crash-fest, with people being punted off at ever corner...." [/sarcasm]

 

This sort of reporting needs to be more-widely disseminated, true?

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COTA was some of the best driving and racing I've been apart of. I went from turn 12 to turn 17 side by side with BAR and at times we were under an inch from touching. We never did and it was awesome! The only issue was passing under yellow.....

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14 minutes ago, Crank Yankers Racing said:

COTA was some of the best driving and racing I've been apart of. I went from turn 12 to turn 17 side by side with BAR and at times we were under an inch from touching. We never did and it was awesome! The only issue was passing under yellow.....

COTA is a great track - wide with lots of places to pass and good run off.  

 

For me the flag stations were hard to discern, far away from the track, and the long laps made it easy to forget the local yellow from the lap before!  For me it just required more focus than usual.

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My personal story............

 

I don't fly, seem to remember being in a 4 seater when I was a child but other than that I don't remember it.   So Thursday morning I wake up like a kid ( I'm 49 ) on Xmas day and was pumped up !   First flight on a big jet and get to go to a real F1 track !   Whoot !   Always watched F1 ever since it has been on TV that I can remember, and have always, always wanted to drive on a track they race on.   Wasn't worried about the flight, was excited and looking forward to it.  Well, as some of might have heard we missed the plane ! Found a flight thru Dallas that would put us there about a hour or so behind schedule.  So that worked out, but buying plane ticket right before the flight is rather steep on the price of a ticket ! 

       The take off was amazing !   LOVED the thrust, absolutely had the biggest smile on my face that you couldn't tear off during that moment.  Kinda unnerving at the angle of attack for reaching altitude.  Wasn't expecting the steep climb, but it was fun.  I had a window seat at the very rear of the plane and enjoyed when the pilot had to bank the plane around numerous thunderstorms in our path.  Other than that it was kinda surreal sitting in the back.   I kept waiting for a zombie attack, or snakes to fall out of the overheads, or even was looking for Leslie Nelson to come walking down the aisle.  All my experience with planes is from movies mind ya !   :)    Anyway, flew to Dallas and got off just to find out we were getting right back on the same plane, go figure.   The only thing I really didn't like was the landing, that was the only moment it didn't feel smooth, but I guess that's just normal as all 3 flights were very similar in feel.  767 going and 737 coming home.   Loved that flight too, but I fell asleep before the plane reached cruising altitude and woke up with black sky's on my left and the sun had probably set about 30 minutes before.  All I could see was a little bright pink on the horizon ( sat in the rear again, window seat  ),  the ground was beautiful with all the lights on in the cities and towns we cruised over.  Won't forget it soon !!!

 

The RACE........... 

 

Friday...........I went out for the last 2 hour stint on Friday in the 66.  At pit road exit waiting for the timer to expire I turned on the cool suit, IT DIDN'T WORK !   I flipped the switch numerous times and nothing.  Oh well, it's gonna be hot !  Took off and worked on learning the track, caught on pretty quick and settled in for the stint.  Keep flipping the switch on the back straight hoping it would come on.  Nothing,  I was starting to get hot and I knew I was drinking my water way faster than normal.   I ran out of water about 40 or 45 minutes into the stint.  I kept going, breathing thru the nose to not dehydrate myself any more than necessary.  I lasted about another 30 minutes before I really started to feel the queezy stomach and the light butterfly's in my head.  I know I had to do something and called the team saying I needed water.  They thought the car was overheating at first but I said no, I need water and they knew I was serious then to come off track during a stint for myself.   Once in the pits I drank a full bottle there and they replaced my on board bottle.  Finished the stint with no problems after that.  Solid 10th of the non EC cars, good day considering we lost 6 laps repairing a wiring harness.

 

Saturday........Cool suit fixed and I start the race and it's a blast.  I know the track now and work my way up to the lead of the non EC cars.  Me and Mike ( Uturn ) were stuck together for close to a hour and probably were never more than a 1/2 mile apart from each other for the entire stint.  It was very enjoyable racing with someone that you could trust not to do something silly out there.   Thanks Mike, I hope you had as much fun as I did !   If the camera worked I got a lot of good video of you !   And I finally caught up with the leading EC car just minutes before I had to pit.  He pitted first so I had one lap in the overall lead. :)     Brought the car in the pits in the lead, all I could do !   Good stint !   Happy !

        So then we had the PS fail at about the 3 hour mark of the race.  In the pits and lost 6 laps again !  Geez !  But Keith finished the his stint and Chris M took over and was able to run his entire 2 hour stint.   During the meantime Philippe, being the stand up guy he is offered his stint to me for compensation from missing the plane flight, I said no at first but he talked me into it.   And Keith had drove the car without PS and said it wasn't that bad once you got used to it.  HE LIED !!!! :D   Oh he lied so much about it.  It was the hardest thing I've ever done !   Imagine having a 24 pack of beer taped to the back of each hand and try to operate the car effectively.   It was so tough, I'm still sore in my back, fore arms and shoulders.  And all was going as well as could be, worked my way up to 7th of the non EC cars and then I screwed the pooch.   With about 20 minutes to go in the race I passed a car at the bottom of the hill going up into T1, at least I thought I was past him by the time I saw the yellow flag.   Guess i wasn't ?   Black flag and in the pits for 6 minutes.   I've never had a black flag penalty before for passing under yellow.   And I really considered giving it back for a second when I did see the flag, but I didn't.  I my mind I had completed the pass back on the flat of the track.  I think fatigue rendered my judgement useless at that moment.   In the pits the car hot soaked and pushed a lot of water out.  I went back out but couldn't get the temp back down, the needle was pegged.   I shut the car off and coasted as much as I could to save the engine.  I may have scared a few drivers in the slow corners and I apologize if any of you ran up on my during those moments.  I tried to get as far off line as I could.  Parked it for the day after that.

 

I do feel terrible about it, I cost the team another good finishing position and top ten's for both days by pulling a boneheaded mistake.  It won't happen again I promise all of ya !

 

Anyway,  COTA,  one badass track.  Had a lot of fun and learned a thing or two about myself in the process.   Hope you all had as much fun as I did !   

 

Mark T

 

 

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We drove down Thursday and arrived at the track and Mike promptly put us to work doing gear check. Had a chance to talk to a lot of fellow Chumpers and was able to put a face to a few forum regulars.

Day one we started about 50th and worked our way into the top ten until our 3rd stint and the car developed a bad vibration which turned out to be one of nuts that holds the carrier bearing bracket fell off. Fixed that issue and returned back onto the track about were we started the race.

Started working our back through the field until our last driver got black flag because we pulled out both hood pins. We were done for the day. Thanks to KH Motorsports for selling us his spare pins so we could race the next day.

Saturday was in forth when they dropped the green flag. Lap two was able to move into first place until the e46 M3 decided he wanted the postion. Finished my stint in 3rd. We stayed in 3rd or 4th until the car developed an odd misfire under full throttle. Brought it in and the car was missing until it cooled off and started running again so we put it back on the track and it ran fine until the last couple of laps and the problem returned. Got ready to load the car on the trailer and it wouldn't start and had to push it to load it. Went to unload it thos morning and started right up. Geez I think our car hates us. 

Had some awesome racing with Evilwheel and the Gas Monkeys. Great drivers and a blast to race with. 

For as many teams that attended it was by far the best driving from all teams at any CC race we've ever been to. Great job drivers! 

No red flags and one FCY.

From what I've heard COTA said it was one the best races they've had including some of the pro series.

 

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42 minutes ago, Evilwheel said:

  And Keith had drove the car without PS and said it wasn't that bad once you got used to it.  HE LIED !!!! :D   Oh he lied so much about it.  It was the hardest thing I've ever done !   Imagine having a 24 pack of beer taped to the back of each hand and try to operate the car effectively.   It was so tough, I'm still sore in my back, fore arms and shoulders.  And all was going as well as could be, worked my way up to 7th of the non EC cars and then I screwed the pooch.   With about 20 minutes to go in the race I passed a car at the bottom of the hill going up into T1, at least I thought I was past him by the time I saw the yellow flag.   Guess i wasn't ?   Black flag and in the pits for 6 minutes.   I've never had a black flag penalty before for passing under yellow. 

 

I can relate to both of these - but from Charlotte the week before.  We removed the power steering on the Saturn after a broken pulley in 2013 and it is fine on all road courses - not so much the high banks of Charlotte!  I was about healed up as I arrived at COTA Thu AM. 

 

I also got the PUY at Charlotte.  We were running second at the time well after the mid-point of the race!  I just missed the flag - fortunately I saw the car off and the flag in corner of my eye or I would have been in denial when they called me in.  Penalty there was not as long as at COTA but it FELT LIKE AN HOUR.  My first black flag also.  Yikes.   

 

At COTA the E30 I was in had power steering working and I was extremely paranoid about PUY yet still almost did it twice.

 

That's racing

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13 minutes ago, mostmint said:

At COTA the E30 I was in had power steering working and I was extremely paranoid about PUY yet still almost did it twice.

 

That's racing

Some of flag stations were tough to see until you were right on them.

I came close twice myself.

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