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The Official Road America Thread (April)

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Good morning and welcome to Road America, in the beautiful Kettle Moraine region of Wisconsin. I’m Lou Mindar (Brother Lou) and I’ll be letting you in on all of the action from this weekend’s Optima Batteries ChumpCar World Series race.

Despite what the calendar says, we have been greeted with winter-like temperatures since our arrival at the track. The good news is that today is supposed to be warmer than yesterday and tomorrow should be warmer still.

Drivers are currently making their way to pit lane for the pre-race drivers meeting. The green flag is scheduled to fall at 9:00 AM CT for the start of today’s 7-hour endurance race.

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I can hear you asking, what is a moraine? And what in particular is the Kettle Moraine? Good questions. According to Wikipedia, the depository of all knowledge, a moraine is:

any glacially formed accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris (soil and rock) which can occur in currently glaciated and formerly glaciated regions, such as those areas acted upon by a past glacial maximum. This debris may have been plucked off a valley floor as a glacier advanced or it may have fallen off the valley walls as a result of frost wedging or landslide. Moraines may be composed of debris ranging in size from silt-sized glacial flour to large boulders. The debris is typically sub-angular to rounded in shape. Moraines may be on the glacier’s surface or deposited as piles or sheets of debris where the glacier has melted. Moraines may also occur when glacier- or iceberg-transported rocks fall into a body of water as the ice melts.

Again, according to Wikipedia:

Kettle Moraine is a large moraine in the state of Wisconsin, United States. It stretches from Walworth County in the south to Kewaunee County in the north. It has also been referred to as the Kettle Range and, in geological texts, as the Kettle Interlobate Moraine.

Aren't you glad you asked?

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Road America History

In downtown Elkhart Lake, WI there is a historical marker commemorating the days of open road racing in this small burg. The marker was erected by the Milwaukee Region of the SCCA and reads:

The Village of Elkhart Lake and the roads surrounding Elkhart Lake hosted open-road sports car racing in 1950, 1951 and 1952. The races were sponsored by the Sports Car Club of America , organized by SCCA members Jim Kimberly, C. Bayard Sheldon, Karl Brocken, and Fred Wacker. Bank president James Johnson, fire chief Ray Kramer, resort owner Ollie Siebken Moeller and dozens of volunteers provided local support. The inaugural races were held with great success on Sunday, July 23, 1950. around a 3.35 mile circuit on what are now CTHs P, J and JP. [sic] Thirty-three cars were entered in four races and as many as 15,000 spectators arrived for the event. The race circuit was expanded in 1951 to a 6.5 mile circuit running through the village on Gottfried and Lake Street and around the lake on CTHs AJ, A, P and J. Two races were held on Sunday August 26. The events drew 98 entries with attendance estimated at 75,000. The 1952 races run over the same circuit, were held on September 6 and 7 and featured three races. A total of 238 cars were entered and attendance was estimated at 130,000. No admission fee was ever charged and revenue to offset expenses came entirely from program sales and parking fees. European sports cars gave the races a decidedly international flavor. Allards, Ferraris, Jaguars, and MGs dueled with American-made Cunninghams for racing supremacy with each taking home its share of glory. Sports car racing legends Briggs Cunningham, Jim Kimberly, John Fitch, Phil Walters, Fred Wacker and Formula One World Champion Phil Hill all raced here and left their mark. Although open-road racing ended after 1952, momentum from the open road events lead to the establishment of Road America in 1955. Road America and the Elkhart Lake area continue to draw sports car enthusiasts from around the world.
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We're 20 minutes from green flag. The temperature at the moment is 27 degree with 10-15 mph winds. That may sound bad, but it's better than yesterdays 30 degrees with 25-30 mph winds and snow. We should see a high of 43 degrees today with plenty of sun.

For those of you familiar with concession food at Road America, you know that the local Lions Club provides some of the best track food in North America. Sadly, the cold weather froze the pipes in the Lions Club shed and they were unable to cook their delicious food. However, disaster has been averted and the pipes have been thawed. Food is now being cooked, and ham and egg breakfast sandwiches are now available.

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Lots of great teams in this race.

Cheap Shot: Barry and team are fast and after double podiuming at this race before and I expect them to be out front early

BAR: always in the mix, this team either wins or breaks.

Danish Flash: This fast Mustang team never gives up and should be in the hunt for the podium.

ABR: Glen and team have a secret weapon this weekend so watch out

NNM Motorsports: this Neon is a missile and we hope Noel's hard work keeps it together so it doesn't blow up like one

Holy Rollers: Andrew and team's creative engineering and impeccable build quality means this Acura, if finished, will podium

Slugworks: the turbo magic of this team has the speed needed, avoiding brake melting issues will be key

Two Ford SHO teams: These fast cars are limited by the fragile glass like transmissions, if they don't detonate, they are out front

Four MR2 teams: fast cars naturally and proven rockets with the Camry v6, it good to see Shake and Bake's cars live on with new teams

Standard mix of Miatas in this race. I hope the Miaro keeps away from and walls but they like good beer so always winners

Team Flying Circus: my prediction for the win if they don't break as the car is a brand new build

Alfa teams: my favorites and the teams I am rooting for! Belle macchine e auto veloci!

Lots of new teams at RA! Welcome and you'll be hooked!

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