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Road America Double 8, April 2019

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18 minutes ago, csx135 said:

Drunken Squirrel had an amazing return to ChampCar.  After the wreck that bent the "original" rusty cougar in Pittsburgh a few years ago a few things fell in line and we ended up building a new car with a Coyote 5.0 Drivetrain swap.  We ran a few races with some other series on our home tracks of NJMP and Summit.  So at the moment we are running EC in Champ.  Our weekend started out interesting as when we opened the trailer after the 13 hour haul, the car had shifted and front left tire had fallen off the ramps.  We are using an ex-late model trailer and the tires only touch about half on either side.  After stacking a few wheels up under the car we where able to jack it up and get it back on the ramps with minimal fanfare.  From there the weekend went about like clockwork.  We had 6 drivers, so we all filtered through a few times in the rain on the practice day to learn the place.  Day 1 the car was flawless and we finished 3rd "overall" and 1st in EC.  Day 2 we had some clutch issues halfway through the day.  Cam Benty graciously stepped aside, gave up his stint to save us a pit stop.  We ended up 1st "overall" and had an amazing run with some of the other EC cars.  Matt Connolly Motorsports and the Cayman were running us down as we were down to just 3rd gear for the last 45 minutes, think we ended up all on the same lap.  It was good to be back with ChampCar and nice to meet the Central region racers and the staff.  Thank you again to ChampCar and huge thank you to the Road America staff and EV workers!!!!  This is my new favorite track. 

57377402_10219738100942308_1562148436701085696_o.jpg

 

 

Comment heard most often in the paddock:  "Those guys in the Cougar are really driving well."  Seriously...you guys did a great job.  Every one of our drivers commented about your car and drivers.  Well done!  It was a pleasure to share the track with you.

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Just now, Round3Racing said:

 

Comment heard most often in the paddock:  "Those guys in the Cougar are really driving well."  Seriously...you guys did a great job.  Every one of our drivers commented about your car and drivers.  Well done!  It was a pleasure to share the track with you.

 

Thank you R3R!!! We really appreciate that!!  Same to you guys, fast and predictable = fun, close and safe racing.  

 

Also neglected to congratulate Ludicrous.  Amazing sweep of the weekend!  Fast and well driven car.  

 

It was a pleasure being garage neighbors of the Parts Badger Miata and Premium Dudes.  Felt bad for the Parts Badger guys.  That car was flying Friday and then a motor swap with minimal track time after all that hard work on Saturday :(  Hope next event goes better!

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I'm not sure words can really do justice to how much I enjoyed this past weekend, but I'll give it a try.  I've been a lifelong racing fan, watching on TV or here at our local short track in Elko, and 10+ years simracing on iRacing, always assuming that was as close as I'd ever get to an actual on-track competition.  A few months back however, I had the chance to catch up with an old friend, and learned that he and another friend had been running a car in this series.   I immediately declared myself a member of their crew, and said count me in for the Road America weekend.   I'm pretty sure I also said I'd be willing to drive if they found themselves in a pinch, but never thought they'd be stupid enough to let me do it... that's the great thing about old friends though sometimes they trust you for no good reason.  :)


So, first of all, a huge thanks to Tim and Shawn for giving me a chance to do something I had long ago written off as impossible.   I'm sure it's an uncomfortable feeling to hand your car and control of the result over to a complete novice, but they did, and were nothing but positive and supportive, which is even more amazing.  Thanks guys for an amazing experience, I'm still smiling a week later.   As I was getting in the car to run my first stint, and Tim was helping me with the belts, he took the time to share some last-minute advice with me.... unfortunately I have no idea what it was because I was too busy having a panic attack.

 

Next a huge thank you to team #223 Limpy Screwdriver.  We had a transmission issue early on Friday, which almost certainly would have sent us home for good if not for the time and expertise these guys went out of their way to share with us for no other reason than they're just stand up guys.  They went above and beyond, can't say enough good things about them.    Just an awesome, fun group of guys that were a blast to be around.  It's too bad we're not closer, I'm sure we're missing some great happy hours!

 

Also, a big personal thanks to the #811 TCB Motorsports guys. You guys were exceptionally friendly and gracious, which I'm sure you always are, but it was particularly appreciated by this someone who didn't really feel like they deserved to be driving in this race and wasn't really sure what to expect.  It was great to meet all of you too, and I hope to see you out there again sometime.

 

And on that note, thank you to all of the rest of you who I only "met" on the track or in passing around the paddock. The posts I've read here in this thread only seem to reinforce the experience I had which is that this is a great racing community.   All of my experiences with staff and other teams were positive the whole weekend, I didn't really know what to expect but wasn't expecting this level of camaraderie.    I look forward to getting a chance to meet more of you in the future.

 

Someone had asked about sharing pictures, and I was lucky enough that my parents were able to come spectate and bring their cameras.   Most of the pictures are of us, but there are a handful of other cars as well if you want to take a look.   Also some short video clips... the hosting service I use isn't great for video, the videos I believe are all HD clips, but they take a while to load/cache so they look pretty grainy at first until they load fully.

 

If you want to take a look, the link to them is   here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Lux said:

Someone had asked about sharing pictures, and I was lucky enough that my parents were able to come spectate and bring their cameras.   Most of the pictures are of us, but there are a handful of other cars as well if you want to take a look.   Also some short video clips... the hosting service I use isn't great for video, the videos I believe are all HD clips, but they take a while to load/cache so they look pretty grainy at first until they load fully.

 

If you want to take a look, the link to them is   here.

 

 

Those are great!!  Thank you for posting them.

 

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8 hours ago, Lux said:

a complete novice

Lux this is what it is all about and really glad you had the opportunity to enjoy and bring your dream to reality.

 

Welcome aboard and now you can list as experienced :-)

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On 4/25/2019 at 3:01 PM, csx135 said:

we ended up building a new car with a Coyote 5.0 Drivetrain swap. 

What????? I thought all swaps had to come from the vpi list?? Am i missing something?

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We got our video uploaded. Minus our motor issue, our new car was really fun to drive. I noted a few fun moments, I am sure there is more. I will update it when I find them.

  • In the first lap at 3:40 the white 180 misses the bend, and has to go though the tires maze. In the next corner we had to brake hard to avoid them. No biggie, they are just getting out the pre-race butterflies.
  • 37:50 Our driver gets the bends :P He goes too far left and ends up bringing the car around.
  • 1:08:35 An awesome pass made by giant wing.
  • 1:09:00 The Road America safety crew take a turn as fast as our cars!

 

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@Mike.g Need to get that mic sorted so we can hear that sound better!  Sounds good even still though!

 

Should probably link 1:37:45 just so youre driver is reminded of the good job hes doing!

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1 hour ago, Mike.g said:

1:08:35 An awesome pass made by giant wing.

 

Holy smoke, that little Miata is gonna be squashed like a bug before the summer is through...

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We're waaaay late to the post-race party but I thought I would share the highlights of TR Motorsports (#318) eventful Road America weekend. After crunching our left front, not once, but twice at last falls race, we focused our resources on fixing the damage over the winter. During the test day, were relieved to find the cars performance was identical to last fall, running 2:59's on half worn tires during the short periods of dry weather on Thursday. Race Day 1 found us at the absolute back of the field (Pit #2) so we had nowhere to go but up !  I took the first stint  (Chirs H)  and managed to work our way to 19th by lap 5. Unfortunately, I missed a yellow flag displayed on the outside of carosuel while passing a car on the outside. After serving our penalty in the sin bin, we rejoined in 37th and pitted on lap 36 in 11th place. Our next driver in (TJ) had never turned a wheel at Road America and he put in a clean stint while consistently dropping time as he learned the line. TJ pulled in on lap 72 in 9th. Next up, Woody drove a fast, consistent stint, pitting on lap 110 moving up two more positions to 7th overall. The final stint went to our car chief and Road America veteran, Bob K. He battled hard on worn tires, maintained our position throughout the stint and moved up a spot with 7 to go when the TCB Miata ran short of fuel. 

 

The team was extremely happy with the result . (5th overall, 2nd in A Class)  We've had some recent success at our home track Gingerman, but we've been unable to complete a full day at Road America in our three previous attempts. Engine, Engine, Crash....uggg.  

 

Race Day #2 - we were optimistic for another strong day with some fresh rubber installed and we now had the chance to start from Pole for the first time. Our 318i is not exactly a torque monster, so we knew our best bet was to stay out of the way on the first lap and put down consistent, quick laps while the fast cars worked by. This worked well and I managed to finish the first stint in 6th as the fast guys cycled through pitstops ahead of us. Rejoining in 12th, Joe W took the wheel and unfortunately ran into clutch trouble just a few laps into his stint.  I guess we found the time limit for the clutch disc as it has survived for 3 seasons of use/abuse. 

 

It was great to finally get the season started and see a number of our ChampCar family again. It was also great to meet some new teams and see there excitement for the series. Huge thanks to all the ChampCar staff and volunteers....we can't wait for the next event !

 

 

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Edited by TRMTrent
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