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Tracks Unlimited #300 Post Race Report


Mikelly
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Team Tracks Unlimited #300 - Post race report

Friday evening we got the car unloaded at about 4:45 PM and thru tech by 5:30. We started working on a few aero mods, and installing my radios out of the Ford Escort (Green 89 GT from VIR) into the 300ZX. Radios would plague us ALL WEEKEND and I'm still at a loss how new radios would not work properly once the race started two races in a row... I'll have to get with SRC to find out what we are doing wrong... Anyway, By 7 PM we were done with the car, happy with the progress and ready for food an showers.

The car at the beginning of the race:

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Saturday morning comes and I am first out in the car. We sit on pit road for an HOUR with fog issues before we get the 5 minute signal. We're off and running yellow laps. I was at the front of the pack in 4th position and thought we would be starting at the front. But somehow we ended up at the TAIL of the start. Still unclear how that happened. We started the race at 46th position and the car feels great. I'm running conservative laps and just feeling the car out. All is good for the first 30 minutes. Then I passed two cars exiting T2 and headed off to the Bus Stop. I hit my marks, turn right, and the car simply slides straight into the furthest bundle of tires to the left side of the track. I honestly thought I ran through something because the car was fine there, and I didn't think I did anything different from the first 30 minutes in the car. I assumed the damage was massive, but once I got back to the pits, the crew assured me that the car was leaking nothing and driving well. So off I went, a little banged up, all our pretty aero work a little worse off. 30 minutes later, I notice the car is smoking exiting the Chicane up onto T1. I dropped down onto the apron and rode it all the way around to the busstop. This brings up a valuable point for future events at a ROVAL. We need an ESCAPE ROUTE for when things go bad. I drove off line right to the Bus stop and then slowed as I drove through the busstop and then back down to the apron to get to pit road. I knew the car was smoking but was unaware it was on fire. The tailshaft seal on the trans was the culprit. We took the car to the garage and it was re-installed and safey wired. That seal would last the rest of the race. Before the tire wall impact and seal had failed, we were up into the 20s.

Barry Brickner got into the car next and he ran his 1 hour 45 minutes fairly clean with no reported contact. He runs the car back in to the upper 20s/lower 30s position and brings it in. After Barry's stint, Tom Harris jumped into the car and was running good laps when at about 1230 car #184 (Toyota Celica) drove up into us on the front straight. Race officials claimed it was a race incident and I'm sure it probably was. Tom manages to get the car into 21st place before turning it over to the next driver.

Our next round of drama came at the end of Kenny Martin's stint behind the wheel of the car. He came in with no brakes, and the right front caliper smoldering. The car was on fire due to the head of what we would later find as a backing plate welded to the caliper with NO PAD MATERIAL left. Kenny should have taken the car behind the wall, however, none of us knew how bad it really was. He was out there running hard enough that he got us up to 17th place, and then during the comedy of errors with a crewman gassing the car because he thought the fire was out, an extinguisher man to close to the gas man to do any good, and then a BAD EXTINGUISHER when it was needed, we deserved the 5 minutes penalty and the tongue lashing from the race officials.

This brings up another valuable point and lesson learned... How many of you have tested your fully filled extinguishers? Ours was full, looked just fine, but the plunger was frozen completely and simply would NOT operate. Our gas man eventually got it to work, after the stop was over, but the ensuing mess got the ire of the race officials yet again due to the mess it made. More unwanted and unneeded attention for the Tracks Unlimited 300ZX. Valuable lessons learned as I continue to grow with this sport.

Later in the afternoon during a brief discussion with the pit exit track marshal, I was informed that I was HIT from behind when I drove into the tires on the back side of the busstop. Later, at the end of the race one of the fire crew said she reported it when it happened. It confirmed my suspicion that I'd done nothing different.

The owner of the car, Micheal Peden took the car out and found there were simply no brakes on the car to stop it, blew through the chicane and around thru NASCAR1 and brought the car straight into the pits. We put some brake pads on it, cleaned up the rest and went back out. Micheal was able to run from 19th place down to 16th within the last 45 minutes when with 4 minutes to go, a CV axle in the rear of the car broke and the car spun backwards going into the busstop. Our day, and the race was done.

Car at the end of the race:

It was a lot of fun, and I wanted to thank all of the officials and crew for the event. Glad we did it and we've gained more experience we will take into 2014.

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Car looks pretty good considering!!! I was surprised that the tires were as gentle as they were when contact was made.


 


Always nice to have a witness to let you know what happened and to confirm you are not going crazy when you have one of those moments in the car that you are not sure what the heck happened!!


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LOL

 

We sport not a dent or flag all day after this tire-bundle-chicane-puntfest, admitting  the back chicane was a challenge to exit properly it was not impossible for more then several teams.

 

After race pic ;)

 

Oh see you @ NOLA?

 

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Yeah we're planning on it, Hope more teams gives Nola a shot.Thinking about bringing our clubs with us since the PGA course is across the street. ;)

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