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2020 - Frozen Rotors Winter Classic at Road America


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Well I as a first time team captain with a newly built ChampCar and team, I had one of my best race weekends ever! The quality of the drivers on track was phenomenal! Especially being in a relatively

Thanks for all the great races in the last 10 years Mike Morrison.  Thank you RBank Racing and 90racing.com for the backup car we ended up running for this race.  Thank you MiElan for the brake

Great job by Troy when his team had an early end to their race and he went up and joined the broadcast team!  He would be a good guest announcer for future races. 

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Thanks for all the great races in the last 10 years Mike Morrison. 

Thank you RBank Racing and 90racing.com for the backup car we ended up running for this race. 

Thank you MiElan for the brake pads. 

Thank you Road America for the amazing flagging, hot pulls, and lack of yellow flags! 

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1 hour ago, red0 said:

Thank you Road America for the amazing flagging, hot pulls, and lack of yellow flags! 

 

THIS.  it was crazy how good they all were.  FCY really help our thirsty V8, so while sad to not see them i was super impressed by all the staff.  great job.

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Road America Corners, and Safety were great, but this had to be the worst most disorganized test-day that I've ever been to.  The team captain registered(He was coming Saturday) so no one else could pick up the packet, even though my name was on the registration.  Their argument was that they couldn't let me drive someone else car.  Its a liability, lol.  What does a MSR registration have to do with ownership of a car!?!?  It was a fluke that he registered and not me, but both names are on it.  I almost had to pay for a new one until they finally gave in.

Then when everyone's stickers were falling off because they are crap, they held a line of cars in false grid until we could go back to administration and get new ones.  They recognize the cars, and know we were registered and driving the last couple hours, but that sticker was SOOO important that they felt the need to hold a line of cars and jumble up peoples test plan.
 

Its just really silly when workers aren't empowered to make decisions to help their customers especially when the decisions being made fail any rational thought process.  Rather than thinking of solutions and trying to help, its just "no's", gatekeeping, and a complete lack of empathy.  

Once the timing was resolved on Saturday the rest of Road America made it clear why they are the best track crew in the nation in spite of everything else!

Edited by LuckyKid
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41 minutes ago, LuckyKid said:

Then when everyone's stickers were falling off because they are crap, they held a line of cars in false grid until we could go back to administration and get new ones.  They recognize the cars, and know we were registered and driving the last couple hours, but that sticker was SOOO important that they felt the need to hold a line of cars and jumble up peoples test plan.


Yea, we had that same problem and I was quite frustrated as well. 

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1 hour ago, Snorman said:

Yeah, the testing day stickers were ridiculous. Our car had been out 4 times and they turned me away and I had to go sit in the paddock for 15 minutes until we got a new one.

 

We rainxed both windows before loading the cars.  Slapped both stickers on and mine pealed off before I made it through turn 1, and I watched the one fly off the rental car 100 yards past turn 3.

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I am hoping to bring our car from California to Wisconsin to race in April, so I came back to get a sense of the hotels, restaurants, and visit the track. We had a nice cozy room in the cottage at Siebkens (thanks Tyler for the suggestion)-and the most confusing thing was there is a Sargento cheese factory in every town-I thought I was driving in circles!!

 

The Road America track and the facilities are amazing, it was great to drive around and watch from each turn (lots of access roads), the gift shop is top notch (Sears Point might be better?), and the track workers were awesome.  But I was more amazed by the quality of the competition and the level of driving!  Lots of wheel to wheel racing, clean passing with significant closing rates (you guys actually use your mirrors "back east"?), and no incidents that i saw.  There was a fair amount of attrition-but a high speed track with so much full throttle can be pretty hard on equipment.  

 

Mike Morrison is an amazing Race Director and I think he may have even had to pitch in and help fix the transponder loop.  He will be missed. 

 

Great job everyone!!

 

Bruce Mills

Uncommon Friends Racing #46 Datsun 280Z

Champcar Board Member

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+1 for Mike M being awesome.  Amazing we got 15 hours even after the rough start 

 

+1 for the sticker ridiculousness. Was thinking it was just us based on the lack of sympathy from the enforcer.  Amazed to hear that everyone had the problem and yet they still denied “familiar” cars on attempted re-entry. 
 

+1 for the best track crew in America.  

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52 minutes ago, wvumtnbkr said:

That's why you always tape those stickers to the inside of the windsheild....

 

It took us 3 types of tape to get something that stuck on the inside too.  Cold + RainX anti fog made the glue on the tape worthless.

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What a weekend! We have worked pit row for so many years and we decided to race this one and very glad we did.

 

Practice went well with the 150 car and for the record the sticker was stuck to the Tire Rack banner and stayed to entry time so

maybe the guys weren't driving fast enough 🙂

 

We started near the back on Saturday and worked our way forward, had an overheat in the 5 car with an air bubble and the 150 exhaust 

pipe broke at the base of the manifold so stopped to properly repair and all drivers finished in 5. 

 

Sunday started well and marched forward with both cars until 5 had an issue and was stopped. 150 marched on and finished in 4th overall.

Fun race with the finish in the snow.

 

Thanks to Champcar crew and a special thanks and good bye to Mike as he will be missed. The track crew was best as always and a special thanks to

all the teams and drivers as everyone was in rare form and clean driving.

 

On to Barber in about 40 days!

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8 hours ago, SonsOfIrony said:

What a race.  Even with the delay Saturday, we still got our full 15 hours of racing.

 

I feel a bit bad for the pace car driver though.  Besides race start, they didn't get to have any fun all weekend.

You should feel bad. 40MPH in a C8 was boring.

 

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ChampCar races at Road America never disappoint! 

 

This one started out rough for the Premium Dudes, as I've said a few times, the BMW had last minute issues and we had to call an audible. Fortunately, Andrew maintains the RBank CRX and gave the OK to run it at RA. I work on this car from time to time but have never driven it (I have unique skills like fitting under a dash and wrenching upside down). We got to prepping and finished it up Thursday night, loaded the trailer, and headed to RA on Friday.

 

First things first... The CRX is impressive and driving it was a great privilege. Power is pretty good (honestly, I was expecting more)... it's tricky to drive... it took me many laps to get comfortable... but in the corners (once I got used to it) it just sticks and grips and as fast as I dared go, it was still holding. Whatever they did with the aero and suspension is working very well. Stints 1-3 on Saturday went as planned and we were holding top 3 for much of the day. I drove stint 2, saw nothing but great driving from everyone on track.

 

Stint 4 rolled around and it was down to us and Crowd Control. Our last driver pulled out about a 20 second lead by the time pit stops synced up and then a clevis pin came loose from the clutch master cylinder. He pushed it into 4th gear and then tried to make the most of the single gear. Lap times fell off by about 10 seconds and he was quickly overtaken. We held on to 2nd place and finished on the podium for the 3rd Saturday in a row. Sunday, just like every other Sunday for us this year, ended in the first stint. This time it was a distributor failure. We fixed and went back out for some fun laps but ended up loading it on the trailer around noon, not wanting to put wear and tear on a borrowed car.

 

Big thanks to www.90racing.com , providing fast free shipping on all our last minute orders this year!

 

The yellow e30 will be back at Road America in April! See you guys there!

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"If you change it, it will break"  This should be the mantra of endurance racing.

We've done a total of three test days to prepare for this race and the national championship.  After Gingerman we made the decision to move to a hot tire and purchased 205 RE71Rs, 245/40-17 RE71Rs, and 245/40-15 Rivals after running the RS4 since the car was initially built.  Tire testing was inconclusive other than the hot tires are faster but the 20 minute sessions of lap days didn't allow us to get the grainular data we needed.  Normally we run very low pressures (19 cold) and little camber (1.8 to 1 degree).  Friday was a mess, so we went into Saturday planning to run our small RE71Rs at first and switching to the Rivals.  

By turn 3 apex our throttle cable became dislodged, and we were impacted in the rear.  The tow took a little longer than we thought, but we figured we still had a shot at A class.  Shortly into the stint, we were missing on Cylinder 3.  We resolved the issue which was the ECU plug that had come loose (WTF) but in the process replaced an injector off a donor motor.  The day turned into a test day and we were able to lock-in a tire combo and run nearly two full stints.

On Sunday we made the decision to increase our pressures nearly 10psi in order to get heat in them in the morning.  We never ran that high of pressures before so it was a big risk.  This turned out to be a big issue with handling.  None the less we were able to work our way up to first overall (non-EC) and were putting down good-enough times.  We also had something going on with the steering that turned out to be the rack bolts (which had lock washers, locktite, and were properly torqued) which came loose.  We had added spacers to the rack to decrease bumpsteer which might have expanded and contracted too much with the temp changes.  This resulted in an extended stop.  We also ended up snapping a splitter support rod and got a mechanical which was another extended stop.  Finally our mis-fire came back, which ended up being our donor injector that had begun to slowly fail then completely failed by the fourth stint.  We swapped the injector back but at that point our race was over.

I made a promise to our crew, two of which are registered drivers, that I would let them drive the car if the day goes south, our lead mechanic took me up on my offer and had a blast!

I think we are taking a step back and will have a much lighter schedule next year.  My co-driver/co-owner is out for next year (not fun anymore).  I need to see how GBU is impacted, but the leaps we would need to make are just too large to compete with them and overall it took a lot of wind out of my sails.  It sucks that they are a lock for the national championship, but we are going to at least give that a shot and hope they break.  

Sunday Video:  

 

Edited by LuckyKid
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1 hour ago, LuckyKid said:

By turn 3 apex our throttle cable became dislodged, and we were impacted in the rear.  The tow took a little longer than we thought, but we figured we still had a shot at A class.  Shortly into the stint, we were missing on Cylinder 3.  We resolved the issue which was the ECU plug that had come loose (WTF) but in the process replaced an injector off a donor motor.  The day turned into a test day and we were able to lock-in a tire combo and run nearly two full stints.

 

Was your driver out of the car walking around on Saturday?  I came thru turn 3 and called in that some guy was walking around on track and the door was open on your Miata.

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12 minutes ago, MoparBoyy said:

 

Was your driver out of the car walking around on Saturday?  I came thru turn 3 and called in that some guy was walking around on track and the door was open on your Miata.

Yup.  He was a former Indy driver so old habits die hard I guess.  Overall he was a great, humble, and courteous driver and he did do the intro school and was in all the drivers meetings, so its just a slip up, we also failed to remind him on the radio.

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1 hour ago, Racer28173 said:

It’s a bit depressing to keep checking back on this thread and basically there is nothing here.  Meanwhile the GBU thread is hitting yet another page.  Then it gets more depressing when you realize that 3 of the teams posting in this one are leaving the series...

It's unfortunate, but was great to spend some time hanging out with you guys on Saturday evening at the track! 

 

It was a busy weekend for Crowd Control Racing and seemed like nonstop go. Aside from @MoparBoyy, we haven't been to Road America. After a 20 hour tow up, we were delighted to arrive to cold, wet, miserable weather. Friday was rainy and wet, but we've obviously raced in rain and snow so we took out the car for testing and to get familiarized with the track. By late afternoon, the track was drying and I jumped in the car after @Snake around 4:30. Getting out of the car, he reported that the car was popping out of 5th. After two laps, I lost the trans coming up the hill out of T5. We suspect it sheered some teeth somewhere on the cluster gear assembly. 

Scott from JSK put me in touch with Aaron at Quantum Performance and literally within 20-minutes we had the car loaded and were on the way to Fredonia. We arrived at ~5:45 pm. By ~6:45 @MoparBoyy had swapped in our spare trans while we did the brakes and threw on a set of fresh tires. We got pizza and hung out with Aaron and his guys at the shop and had dinner. Aaron is top notch, a great guy and I am happy to have met him and his guys. 

Saturday morning worked in our favor. We were pit stall #2 and they drew #33 for the random start. The #978 Camaro completely blew the black flags during the formation laps and continued to take an extra lap around the track while the pace car brought the field into pit so that the timing loop could be repaired/resolved. About a dozen cars followed the #978 and we found ourselves in the top 10 when the grid left pit. Alex quickly brought the car up to P1 and we ran our race. It was a pretty solid day. The three of us ran within .8 average lap times for the first 4 stints and we kept the car near P1. Last stint out @Snake knew our gap and two laps out of pit was able to regain P1 and hold it while the #194 CRX struggled. We nailed our pit stops with our (smaller) crew of rock stars Lyndon, Garrick and Jim. A little over halfway into the final stint, we updated @Snake and just kept the car clean and brought it home for P1 overall. 

Sunday wasn't so smooth. At about 3 hours we lost 5th gear again. We conferenced on the radio and decided to retire the car rather than try to battle on without 5th and with a race at Sebring in less than 2 weeks. The car is in the shop, and we should have it prepped and ready for Sebring by early next week. Looking forward to what appears to be our final race in the series with the possible exception of the National Championship and what is beyond that. 

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We unloaded with the goal to score a top 10 maybe a class win each day. Friday was gross like everyone knows. We spend the day figuring out how to keep our window from fogging, logged some laps. Changed brakes and called it a night.

 

Saturday we started back half of the pack. I took the green and worked through the field up to top 10. I had some pucker 10 moments. One with the corvette oiling down the brake zone and middle of turn 5. Had a fantastic battle with Visceral was able to set our fastest lap ever while getting a good pull down the straights off of that porsche. Good clean racing before the end of my stint that was a blast. Mike ran 2nd, Matt 3rd and Andy 4th stints everyone was uneventful and clean. Good battles with cars throughout and they brought the car home to a P5 and class win Saturday.

 

We were struggling with fuel consumption so going into Sunday we knew we needed to run 2:54.xx laps to make fuel or go full send and run sub 2:52.xx and commit to a 4 stop strat. We knew we would struggle to maintain a 2:52 since that was most of the teams quick laps so we went with a 2:54 time and try to conserve the car.

 

We were set to start from the front half of the pack Sunday when Matt calls in he has oil smoke in the car BAD. We had to bring him in on pace laps to access. When he came in we found the Dipstick was not seated....that was me all me. I checked the oil before the car went out and never pushed it all the way back in. So the Dipstick forgot the Dipstick rookie mistake that cost us a top 30 starting spot back to taking the green in 72 shotgun on the field.

 

Matt took the 1st stint and did a great job, we had 1 minor off in the bend and 1 hardcore code brown in turn 1 when a car came out of the pits with fuel spilling out of it. Matt hit the fuel slick at the apex of turn 1 and shot the car out onto the runoff. He was able to bring it back onto the track before the grass but it was not cool. Mike took 2nd stint and logged consistent laps for 2 hours using all bout a few ounces of fuel. Andy takes 3rd stint and ran perhaps his best stint ever in the car.  Running 4th gear for the whole track he was able to crank great times. this was awesome because we got great data on his inputs to allow the rest of us to try and improve upon what we are doing. Towards the end of his stint we notice Oil pressure dropping in left handers pretty hard, down well below 20psi. Andy took it very easy last 20 minutes and brings the car into the pits in the top 5 again using all but a few ounces of our fuel. We add 2 quarts of oil in the pitstop and I took over for the final stint knowing we had MiElan about 1 lap behind us and Tuttle in front by 1 lap. We couldn't keep up with Tuttle on speed so we decided to run 2:54's make sure we can finish. With just over an hour left i struggled getting the car slowed down, locking the fronts up in very odd spots. Push the clutch in and yep throttle was hanging in random spots. So for the last hour i drove the car as carefully as i could, by the end of the race the throttle was hung around 4500 rpm trying to drive in the snow yeah i was glad Sunday was over. We finished Sunday P3 overall and first in class.

 

Given the competition we had at this race, we had a helluva weekend. Great teams, great comradery we enjoyed our time in the garage with other teams helping where we could. @wvumtnbkr made my weekend proudly wearing his unicorn onesie i found. Road America continues to show why they have the best safety crew and facilities around and as always Champ ran a fantastic race. A BIG thank you to everyone involved.

 

We are looking forward to spring and heading back to Road America for the Nat. Chip.

Until then we will pull the old girl apart clean her up and bundle up for a cold Wisconsin winter.

 

Edited by Gkuhn41
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5 hours ago, Gkuhn41 said:

Given the competition we had at this race, we had a helluva weekend. Great teams, great comradery we enjoyed our time in the garage with other teams helping where we could. @wvumtnbkr made my weekend proudly wearing his unicorn onesie i found. Road America continues to show why they have the best safety crew and facilities around and as always Champ ran a fantastic race. A BIG thank you to everyone involved.

 

We are looking forward to spring and heading back to Road America for the Nat. Chip.

Until then we will pull the old girl apart clean her up and bundle up for a cold Wisconsin winter.

 

 

To be the only car in impound on both days, I would have guessed it had gone a little smoother. I'm even more impressed considering the whole story, congrats!

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6 hours ago, Gkuhn41 said:

IWe unloaded with the goal to score a top 10 maybe a class win each day. Friday was gross like everyone knows. We spend the day figuring out how to keep our window from fogging, logged some laps. Changed brakes and called it a night.

 

Saturday we started back half of the pack. I took the green and worked through the field up to top 10. I had some pucker 10 moments. One with the corvette oiling down the brake zone and middle of turn 5. Had a fantastic battle with Visceral was able to set our fastest lap ever while getting a good pull down the straights off of that porsche. Good clean racing before the end of my stint that was a blast. Mike ran 2nd, Matt 3rd and Andy 4th stints everyone was uneventful and clean. Good battles with cars throughout and they brought the car home to a P5 and class win Saturday.

 

We were struggling with fuel consumption so going into Sunday we knew we needed to run 2:54.xx laps to make fuel or go full send and run sub 2:52.xx and commit to a 4 stop strat. We knew we would struggle to maintain a 2:52 since that was most of the teams quick laps so we went with a 2:54 time and try to conserve the car.

 

We were set to start from the front half of the pack Sunday when Matt calls in he has oil smoke in the car BAD. We had to bring him in on pace laps to access. When he came in we found the Dipstick was not seated....that was me all me. I checked the oil before the car went out and never pushed it all the way back in. So the Dipstick forgot the Dipstick rookie mistake that cost us a top 30 starting spot back to taking the green in 72 shotgun on the field.

 

Matt took the 1st stint and did a great job, we had 1 minor off in the bend and 1 hardcore code brown in turn 1 when a car came out of the pits with fuel spilling out of it. Matt hit the fuel slick at the apex of turn 1 and shot the car out onto the runoff. He was able to bring it back onto the track before the grass but it was not cool. Mike took 2nd stint and logged consistent laps for 2 hours using all bout a few ounces of fuel. Andy takes 3rd stint and ran perhaps his best stint ever in the car.  Running 4th gear for the whole track he was able to crank great times. this was awesome because we got great data on his inputs to allow the rest of us to try and improve upon what we are doing. Towards the end of his stint we notice Oil pressure dropping in left handers pretty hard, down well below 20psi. Andy took it very easy last 20 minutes and brings the car into the pits in the top 5 again using all but a few ounces of our fuel. We add 2 quarts of oil in the pitstop and I took over for the final stint knowing we had MiElan about 1 lap behind us and Tuttle in front by 1 lap. We couldn't keep up with Tuttle on speed so we decided to run 2:54's make sure we can finish. With just over an hour left i struggled getting the car slowed down, locking the fronts up in very odd spots. Push the clutch in and yep throttle was hanging in random spots. So for the last hour i drove the car as carefully as i could, by the end of the race the throttle was hung around 4500 rpm trying to drive in the snow yeah i was glad Sunday was over. We finished Sunday P3 overall and first in class.

 

Given the competition we had at this race, we had a helluva weekend. Great teams, great comradery we enjoyed our time in the garage with other teams helping where we could. @wvumtnbkr made my weekend proudly wearing his unicorn onesie i found. Road America continues to show why they have the best safety crew and facilities around and as always Champ ran a fantastic race. A BIG thank you to everyone involved.

 

We are looking forward to spring and heading back to Road America for the Nat. Chip.

Until then we will pull the old girl apart clean her up and bundle up for a cold Wisconsin winter.

 

Great performance from your team.  Well done.   Out of curiosity, we were looking and had this been the Championship race, you guys would be the Champs.  

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