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British American Racing's Iowa Weekend


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British American Racing’s Chumpionship Weekend.

For those who are interested here is a recap of our Iowaweekend.

THE ROAD TO IOWA

After a good season in 2010 we started off 2011 with a lotof bad luck. In the spring we DNF’d atIowa and BIR. The BIR DNF totally friedthe motor when we lost the fan belt which stopped the water pump. By the time I figured out I had a problem themotor was about 200 degrees above very hot. We decided to scrap our next race and make the car more dependable. We got a used motor to put in the car andconcentrated on taking weight out of the car, cleaning up our electrical furball and improved durability by adding 846 zip ties.

FRIDAY

We got to Iowa early with a serious Friday testing plan sincethe car never turned a wheel other than going on the trailer after the motorgot cooked at BIR.

GOOD- We were first in line for tech.

BAD- We were assessed 5 penalty because our AIV was not asrobust as it could be. I thought it wasacceptable to include some convertibles since they are usually moreexpensive. I was ok with it if everyoneelse got the same tough scrutiny including the E36’s. To be honest I expectedtech to be tough, but I expected it to be a tough inspection of the car. Less time was spent looking at the car thanat our paper work which had been deemed fine at two previous events.

GOOD- We went through registration in 2 minutes, EXCELLENTcustomer service.

GOOD- When I saw very few other cars were getting penaltylaps I asked John Condren if he would listen to my concern. John explained if I wanted to go on theinternet that night and get more info they would consider it, I decided I’drather go out to dinner and let the penalty stand. I felt John listened to my concern, gave itsome thought and treated our team respectfully. I will have better documentation in the future.

GOOD- We completed our Friday test plan like clockwork. Run 90min. on the Roval , Then run 90min. onthe oval. From this test we calculated thatwe could probably go two hours on the oval on a tank of gas. That turned out to be important informationto have.

BAD- We put three hours of hard driving on the car the daybefore a big race.

Friday night we swapped in new brake pads and tires and wentto dinner.

SATURDAY

Saturday morning we assembled our crew of 4 drivers plus 3support crew. We originally werescheduled to have five drivers but one person had to pull out due to a death inthe family.

GOOD- The first few hours went well, our tires were decentin the rain and we were fast enough to run with the leaders. We started to whittle down our penalty laps.

We saw TBR leave to the paddock and then return and go tothe top of the charts. I asked JohnCondren for an explanation. While I maynot completely agree with his decision, I understand that decision need to bemade and made quickly. Also, John gaveme a transparent explanation which I appreciate.

BAD- Our second driver had contact with the BSD, (I laughwhen ever I think of their team name) Integra. I think it happened going into roval T4. We had a bent left rearbumper and a bent exhaust hanger that we quickly safety wired. BSD had cut right front tire where itcontacted our rear bumper.

BAD- About seven hours into the race I pushed up into theyellow Datsun. I went to apologize tothe Beach Dudes and they laughed at me. Their driver at the time was an old dirt circle track driver and hethought my love tap was funny. Also theyliked the doughnut on their door. Unfortunately we bent something in our front end because our car startedto wobble under hard braking. From thenon driving on the oval was fine but the roval became painful.

GOOD and BAD- During the last two hours Saturday we staredto lose power and the motor would not rev past 5000 rpm. Jon, our one and only team member that canlook under the hood and actually do something quickly diagnosed a slippingthrottle cable and jerry rigged a solution. The fix helped but we were still down on power. When Saturday ended we heard our fuel pump whining. We changed the fuel pump during the overnightbreak, quickly looked over the car and went to bed. BAD- the fuel pump failure, GOOD- if ithappened an hour earlier or an hour later it probably would have cost us atleast 30 to 45 laps to fix.

SUNDAY

GOOD-We started on the oval and the car was awesome. Both our drivers turned 31’s and 32’sconsistently. One of our crew, Ron, wasinvited primarily to spot for us during the oval sessions. Ron stood high in the grandstands all byhimself telling the driver when he cleared a pass and where the trafficwas. This was a huge help and allowed usto run consistently fast lap times on the oval. This turned out to be critical for our charge at the end of the race.

During the oval session I passed My Little Pony on theinside going into NASCAR 1. After the pass I got a bump in the rear and we havea mark on the rear bumper. While acouple of observers have told us we definitely did not move up into MLP. I have heard MLP may see it differently. I wish there was video of the incident so Iknew for sure what happened.

BAD- When we switched to the roval the car was unstableunder braking making T4 very ugly to slowdown for and passing under brakingdifficult.

One of our drivers had to leave Sunday morning which left uswith only 3 drivers. I asked John &Joey if we could borrow Bob Viau jr.for the last 2 hours from team Fugo . I was told that was fine.

THE AMAZING- We came to the last two hours about 7 lapsbehind first and 30 to 35 laps ahead of third. I told Bob Viau jr. to take it easy and bring it home in second. We felt we could not win it on the track butwe could lose 2nd. We had been watchingBSD add a half gallon of motor oil every pit stop and we wondered if theirmotor would last. Our objective was tokeep them under mild pressure so they could not just coast home. Bob started with a good pace and then TBR wasbehind him, I radioed to let TBR by and he did. Then I realized Free Candy was behind us and racing with TBR so I toldBob to let Free Candy by and just follow. Bob radioed back 2 laps later that he needed to pass these guys becauseit would be safer to go faster so he did not need to worry about traffic frombehind so I gave him the go ahead. With25 minutes to go we realized BSD was slowing and we had second in the bag. Nick told Bob to go for it if he feltcomfortable. All I can say is the nexttwenty min. was amazing.

FINALY- I’d like to thank our crew; Jeff, Jake and Ron whoworked tirelessly with a never say die attitude the whole weekend.

British American Racing wants to thankeveryone at Chumpcar for creating and maintaining a great series. It must be a labor of love, we figure the Chumpcarstaff probably earns less than 40 cents an hour when they added up all thehours they put into the organization. Also, thanks to the Iowa Speedway Safety team and the Chumpcarvolunteers, without them this wouldn’t happen.

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Enjoyed the notes as well! Made me almost spit out my coffee as I didn't notice them on the track just the pics afterward... It's the fierce competition we enjoy, with teams like BAR, Eggboy, Speedlab, Chump Faces, etc. we love to see how they've evolved their cars and strategies.

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Guest MaddogTBR

Great story, Lee! The fierce rivalry among us makes this so much damn fun. Last year's Iowa 24 was my favorite race when we we're able to apply some serious pressure towards the end and squeaked by with a 2nd place finish. This year's Chumpionship might be my 2nd favorite race. The harder the battle, the more rewarding the finish is.

It seems like there's something special about Iowa that brings together some great teams and puts on one awesome show. TBR loves racing at Newton.

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Great story, Lee! The fierce rivalry among us makes this so much damn fun. Last year's Iowa 24 was my favorite race when we we're able to apply some serious pressure towards the end and squeaked by with a 2nd place finish. This year's Chumpionship might be my 2nd favorite race. The harder the battle, the more rewarding the finish is.

It seems like there's something special about Iowa that brings together some great teams and puts on one awesome show. TBR loves racing at Newton.

As fun as this was. My favorite was last years at Newton and Gingerman, I just wish we had more cars a G-man. I think you'll see us at more races next year, we got so focused on the Chumpionship that we lost focus on the season. We have already decided to focus on more real road courses which we enjoy driving.

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  • Technical Advisory Committee

As fun as this was. My favorite was last years at Newton and Gingerman, I just wish we had more cars a G-man. I think you'll see us at more races next year, we got so focused on the Chumpionship that we lost focus on the season. We have already decided to focus on more real road courses which we enjoy driving.

I wish Chump would go back to Gingerman. As awesome as RA was, I did get bored at times running laps without seeing another car. Gingerman is such a fun tight twisty track! I also live 2.5 hrs from Gingerman which makes it even better!

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Iowa is not my favorite track, but it is one of my favorite places to race for the exact reasons the BAR and TBR teams mentioned.

Let's take the rivalry to Road America next year along with a hundred or more other teams and REALLY have some fun!

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John,

I understand your beef with G-man. I'm more concerned that you would ever get 35 cars there. I wish you would get a ton of cars there because its a fun, safe track in a neat town. RA is also a fun place and we will try hard to put it on BAR's schedule, I hope you concider running thr kink next time.

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  • Technical Advisory Committee

John,

I understand your beef with G-man. I'm more concerned that you would ever get 35 cars there. I wish you would get a ton of cars there because its a fun, safe track in a neat town. RA is also a fun place and we will try hard to put it on BAR's schedule, I hope you concider running thr kink next time.

I was at G-Man a few months ago, and ran against 60+ crap-cans. I wish we could get more Chumpcar Interest around Chicago. I want to run BIR next year, but the 10+ hour drive was brutal this year. It is hard to talk my team into driving 10+ hours when other events are so close we don't even need hotels.

You guys should definitely come to RA,the track is sick. If we could get 50+ Chumps to show at RA it would be ridiculous. I also want to run the kink....the motorcycle turn was the only bad part of the RA event. I hope one of the BIR events from this year ends up closer to Chicago.

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I think we can oblige that request, Mr. Eggboy. Maybe even twice...

John,

OK, I'm on board as RA is my favorite track and I'm sure the rest of our team, schedule permitting, will be more than happy to jump into a 50+ car field there! Not sure what ChumpCar's cars-per-track-mile is but I'd guess we could easily get over 100 if we can find that many midwestern Chumps.

You haven't raced until you've raced at RA IMHO.

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