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Burningham

Road Atlanta - It was a hot one on a cold day

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Funniest moment of the weekend for us:

 

Two guys walk up to our driver Ron Hugate and ask for a photo.  Ron's a pretty bad-ass surgeon from Denver, but not exactly photo-worthy.  So, I was a little puzzled.  The guys snap the photo and walk away.  I asked Ron, "Do you know those guys?"  He says no.  It is at that moment that I realize what happened.  Ron is tall, slender, wears black rimmed glasses, and was wearing a driver's suit.

 

The guys thought that they just snapped a photo with Randy Pobst.

 

If anyone has two buddies who were bragging about getting a photo with Randy and you see the photo and the guy is definitely not Randy, please send it to me.  I've been scouring social media to see if someone posted it, but no luck yet.

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1 minute ago, Round3Racing said:

The guys thought that they just snapped a photo with Randy Pobst.

Didn't see him all weekend, was Randy driving with you guys?

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Just now, Team Infiniti said:

Didn't see him all weekend, was Randy driving with you guys?

 

No, but apparently his doppelganger was driving with us.

 

I was told that Randy was in a Lexus.

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1 minute ago, Round3Racing said:

 

No, but apparently his doppelganger was driving with us.

 

I was told that Randy was in a Lexus.

 

Not in the Lexus, he drove it Friday for some promo video but not in the race.

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9 minutes ago, Team Infiniti said:

Didn't see him all weekend, was Randy driving with you guys?

He showed up Friday and did a "talk-around" video lap in danger racing's SC

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We had a lot to look forward to this event.

 

The pressure was on coming off of last years finish, but there are always a gaggle of fast cars who show up for road atlanta.  This year was no different, and we won by surviving the attrition instead of outright speed.

 

The car actually made it through the race with zero contact that I am aware of, which is a challenge at road atlanta with 80 cars.

 

The pro pits are awesome, I hope we get to use them again.  

 

Thanks to Champcar for a fun weekend, as always.  See some of you in 3 weeks at VIR

 

10 minutes ago, Team Infiniti said:

Thanks for the chat and congrats on the good run!

Enjoyed chatting with you too.  Hope you learned all you wanted, but as discussed the cheaty bits are between you and I only 🤣

 

 

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EDIT:  OH yeah, thanks to @sgtskid for the race winning trunklid, purchased and installed the day of the race.

Edited by Huggy
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4 minutes ago, Huggy said:

This year was no different, and we won by surviving the attrition instead of outright speed.

 

Looked pretty dang fast to me.  Watched a lot of the race from your stream (on mute, PLEASE fix the wind noise).  Could tell the final 4 hours was fuel save with enough pace to stay out front.  @Burningham looked real quick in the car too.  Congrats on the win!

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3 hours ago, Jer said:

I'm not saying I would have punted anyone.  I've never intentionally punted another car.  

 

Before Edit: I don't think anyone with half a brain would think that, however most of us racers only have half a brain so....

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1 minute ago, Jab31169 said:

 

Looked pretty dang fast to me.  Watched a lot of the race from your stream (on mute, PLEASE fix the wind noise).  Could tell the final 4 hours was fuel save with enough pace to stay out front.  @Burningham looked real quick in the car too.  Congrats on the win!

 

First race with the YI-4k camera.  Its not the "Plus" so I cant use an external mic.  I may try to move it up to the dash since the FOV is so wide, which I think will help the wind noise.  Maybe some foam taped over the mic hole? 

 

@Bill Strong do you do anything special to help with wind noise?

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Huggy said:

 The pro pits are awesome, I hope we get to use them again.  

 

Sooo much better than usual. 

Almost felt like we were at Gingerman or Brainerd. Maybe not quite as nice, but about on par with Road America. 

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+1 for pro-pits.  SOOOOOOOOO much nicer.    The only issue i had was leaving with a 48' trailer it was dragging the back trying to get up that hill. 😂

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25 minutes ago, MoparBoyy said:

+1 for pro-pits.  SOOOOOOOOO much nicer.    The only issue i had was leaving with a 48' trailer it was dragging the back trying to get up that hill. 😂

A hat tip to your Mustang on its braking ability, I was very surprised to see it braking at the 200ft mark along with our car, impressive.   We might need to ditch our factory cast iron, single piston 10” rotor setup. 

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4 minutes ago, Ronh911 said:

We might need to ditch our factory cast iron, single piston 10” rotor setup. 

 

Especially since the Wilwoods are free. 

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2 minutes ago, Burningham said:

 

Especially since the Wilwoods are free. 

And 20lbs less in unsprung weight! 🤔

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20 minutes ago, Ronh911 said:

A hat tip to your Mustang on its braking ability, I was very surprised to see it braking at the 200ft mark along with our car, impressive.   We might need to ditch our factory cast iron, single piston 10” rotor setup. 

 

200? our driver must have been taking it easy. ;)   I got rear ended going into 10a by a BMW was trying to follow my lead passing 3 miatas on the brakes. 

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1 hour ago, red0 said:

 

Sooo much better than usual. 

Almost felt like we were at Gingerman or Brainerd. Maybe not quite as nice, but about on par with Road America. 

 

Totally agree. It could still easily take another 10-15 teams over what we had already. The only down side is that that paddock has no structure for tech/podium but I can live with that over not having to go up and down hills all day and being closer to your pit stall. Only suggestion for next year is to assign paddock spots based on the pit assignment to make things even better.

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We had a blast at Road Atlanta.  We attempted to run it last year, but ventilated the block on the back straight during practice and leaked oil all over anyone who tailgated us all the way back to florida.  This year went much smoother.  I went out first thing in the morning on our brand new wheels and tires and with 5 degrees of negative camber dialed into the front of the contour.  It was pretty twitchy when trying to go straight (thanks, alignment...) but felt like it was on rails through damn near every corner (thanks, alignment!).

 

Unsurprisingly, the amount of negative camber really killed our ability to put power to the ground out of the slower corners, like 7 and 10B, but otherwise, the car felt just stunningly planted.  We're really happy with the handling on the new wheels and tires.

 

This was the first race I've ever felt even remotely competitive with some of the field; there was a stretch of about 15 laps during the first stint where an E30, myself, and a white miata kept trying and trying to find someway to leave the others behind, and none of us managed it.  The 30 would leave me behind on the back straight, and I'd leave the miata, but I'd catch the E30 all the way down the front straight and get him on the inside of turn 1, only to watch him pull back ahead of me up the hill.  Then, by the time we left the esses behind, the white miata was rubbing up against the rear bumper again.  Honestly, it was a blast!

 

Also had a great time swapping spots with the Never Start Racing neon as he did his damndest to leave me behind and I just did my best to keep the pressure on until he made a mistake.  After about five laps of lighting up his world, he overcooked it into turn five and got stuck in the rocks!  It was a great few laps; Justin really made me work for that, and it could just as easily have been me to make that mistake!

 

Not all was smooth, though.  During my first stint, I mentioned that I thought I could feel the driver's CV going.  It blew apart around 2 pm. During my second stint, I mentioned that I could feel the passenger CV going - the last driver elected to bring it back to pit about 9:35 in lieu of blowing it apart and having to push the car back on to the trailer at the end of the night.  Sadly, on our seventh race, we've finally failed to take the checkered flag at the end of the night for the first time.  =(

 

Still, Road Atlanta is absolutely my favorite track to date - the elevation and high speed sweeping corners are just absolutely incredible to experience.  Also, the driving was generally much less aggressive than I've seen in other races in our region.  I think everyone is pretty aware of the difficulty of the track and kept that in mind when deciding whether that move is a good idea or not.  Not that there were no questionable moves made, but much fewer than last year at Daytona!

 

I haven't yet had a chance to go look at the video of the encounter that left the Crowd Control Cobra in the penalty box.  I'm not completely clear on what happened, but it took them from first to seventh or ninth, but didn't involve any contact with us.

 

Thanks, everyone, had a blast!  We'll see some of y'all at Daytona and Sebring later this year.

 

We've got about 14 hours of in-car video, plus some pictures of Cone Crushers soon after their car was extinguished.  Will post that all up when I've got some free time.

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Edited by krispykritter
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37 minutes ago, gsmith2424 said:

Only suggestion for next year is to assign paddock spots based on the pit assignment to make things even better.

 

+1.  The parking was pretty messy.  Except, of course, for the guy who parked his RV in the traffic lane.  That gave me a good laugh, every time I drove down into the paddock.

 

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 We had four cell phones watching live feed from the never start car during that battle,  we were narrating and cheering even as he was running off  track, Justin is one hell of a driver! 

 

 Saying that, I rode up with John and the never start crew a.k.a. dirty neon, hats off to those guys it was a blast hanging out, thank you! 

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1 minute ago, Round3Racing said:

 

+1.  The parking was pretty messy.  Except, of course, for the guy who parked his RV in the traffic lane.  That gave me a good laugh, every time I drove down into the paddock.

 

Yes, it was very nice of him to park in the lane and cause two way traffic to have to squeeze by on lane.

/shaking my head at clueless people who would park their RV in the middle of the street

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@Huggy  how do you connect your YI-4K?  I've tried for several races now to get it to work right but it never seems to connect to my youtube account except for when I'm testing it at home. I've been using the hotspot on my phone and mount the phone in the car. Also, if anyone else has suggestions, please let me know. I'm getting very frustrated, and just like to be able to live stream the entire race.

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48 minutes ago, Corman said:

@Huggy  how do you connect your YI-4K?  I've tried for several races now to get it to work right but it never seems to connect to my youtube account except for when I'm testing it at home. I've been using the hotspot on my phone and mount the phone in the car. Also, if anyone else has suggestions, please let me know. I'm getting very frustrated, and just like to be able to live stream the entire race.

I use a Iphone 6s as the hotspot.  Its sometimes glitchy and gets stuck on "connecting to wifi".  I find it works better if the camera was recently connected to the phone using the cameras wifi - so I turn on the camera, settings, wifi, on - go to the phone, settings, wifi, connect to yxkhaoihgiahsf whatever wifi channel.  Then i use my other phone to set up the live stream and get the qr code.  Go back to the camera, turn off wifi, go to live stream, scan the QR code, and hope it connects.  If it doesn't connect in 30 sec, shut it off and start over again. 

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For Running Bulls Racing the 14-hour Road Atlanta ChampCar event was almost more about the time before the event than the race. After a crash at Barber in the rain-soaked event in December, we were not even sure if the current e30 chassis could be repaired. We sent it to David Walsh, an e30 crash specialist that did a great job to straighten and repair the damage along with parts we got from a local donor. But even after getting the car back to our shop in mid-January it was still a big push for the team. Engine and transmission were out, suspension replacement, complete front end aero of splitter and air dam needed to be fabricated again, just everything we looked at needed work. But we made it and even had a few hours to dress up the livery a bit.
On test day Friday there were some sketchy impressions of the car, but it looks like much of that was related to an older set of tires, gusty winds playing with the car on some corners and a way too large replacement steering wheel. But at the end of the day on new tires, we thought all was good until our last practice session claimed the newly installed windshield that had not survived a day! So, a quick trip to Strictly German for a replacement and by 6:00 it was all installed and ready. The next morning pre-race we swapped the steering wheel back to a proper size and the car was back to what we knew.

We started the race 46th, Andrew Sides starting and made steady progress moving up. Our strategy was for 1:45 stints with 4 drivers. But with things going well we made a change to try to get full 2 hours stints early to get us “ahead” on the strategy and then maybe work with some yellow flag stops. Mike Merrill took 2nd stint, continued to move up but got called in for a black flag for contact, but we had none. ChampCar did get us right back out and gave us back 1 lap to cover the drive through. David Boring was in for stint 3 and moved up with a good clean stint, then to Michael Bulls for another good full 2-hour stint. By this time, we saw our position was strong and had to make the call on the rest of the race and we decided to only run three more stints and continue with the full 2-hour stints for strategy since fuel had not been an issue. Mike Merrill did stint #5, only issue was the engine getting hot during the red flag stop. Then Andrew Sides picked up stint 6 and all was well until about 45 minutes left when he commented that 4th gear was starting to not want to play! He nursed it with different shifting and then handed it off to David Boring for the final stint. David was left with the worst transmission but found a way to just drive most of the track, or at times, the entire track with the car in 4th gear and still maintain good lap times.
At the end, we were eyeing that top 5 spot and were watching the battle with Tuttle and McKibbins at the end thinking if either got too aggressive and even had a lengthy spin it might be enough to elevate us out of 6th to 5th but it wasn’t in the cards.

Regardless it was a fantastic finish for Running Bulls with a 6th place in this strong field of cars especially with a car that was all but destroyed 8 weeks prior. Good team work and consistent error free driving helped us to this finishing position. It was especially nice to hear from teams recognizing our good finish and complimenting us on the race, it means a lot when your competitors say you have done well!

Special thanks to all that supported us. David Bulls and his buddy Zach were a great team of fueler and fire bottle man! SooZee Merrill also was over the wall on every stop to help with driver and car. James Brooks Automotive as always helps with all our tire mounting and other items. It was a ton of work for the team but a great finish.

Photo Credit: Bill Land

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Edited by jakks
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