Nelson's Ledges June 16-17
Double Race Weekend. This is Rick's first race since the old smash the company car into the Plain Dealer truck trick. Rick's pelvis is healing nicely and the doctor gives him the approval to go racing. We take both the Cabir FC and the F500 for this weekend. The F500 hasn't been to the track since July 1999 when it was destroyed by Flaming Fireball Patty at Mid-Ohio in a confrontation with a Punch Buggy wannabe Formula Vee driver.
Saturday morning is ugly. I mean it, it was ugly. It rained and filled the paddock with mud just to make things a little more interesting. Rick, Michael, and Ricky are the crew this weekend and there is a lot to do. Rick decides to race the Cabir today and hoepfully get the annual inspection for the F500. We miss morning practice as per schedule and prepare for qualifying. The Cabir hasn't been out since it's last little incident so a shakedown is in order. Rick is on the track for a few laps and realizes that he is having brake problems on the back straight. Since this is qualifying, he stays on the track just so he can lose control on the back straight, spin the car, and watch the diffuser splinter into 16 little pieces. No major damage! He has enough laps to qualify and its back to the pits for repairs.
We forgot the torque wrench and we need the spare diffuser from the shop. Luckily, someone at the shop sends the parts to Nelson before the race. While we are waiting, we take the F500 up for its annual inspection. Rick lets Michael drive the shiny new F500 up to tech. 3 feet from the trailer and plump!! A big mud pie the size of elephant shit lands right in the middle of the car. Ewww! Ahh! Inspection goes well and the 500 is ok'ed to race.
Rick re-bleeds all the brakes on the Cabir and finds at little air in the left front. He also resets the brake bias and replaces the diffuser before the race. Ricky found some new friends and he is off somewhere chasing sheep while Rick and Michael scramble to be prepared in time for the race.
Despite everything, Rick qualifies 3rd and it is time to race. The race goes without incident and it is lap 13 before Rick passes for the lead. He holds on for 2 more laps and wins the checkered flag. After the race, all cars are order to impound the race winner must provide a fuel sample. No problems!! The weather cleared nicely and the paddock is drying up. Good Day!
Rick decides to run both cars today! The Cabir is in group 4 and the 500 is group 6. Seeing as we won the FC race on Saturday, we decided to skip practice for FC's and take the F500 out for its first maiden voyage since 1999. This car drives like a brick on cement. First of all, it doesn't like to turn left. There is no shocks on the car, so it bounces across the track every time you hit a bump. It feels like it wants to bounce into the field. Then the brakes disappear. Other than those few things, the car drives fine and no mishaps during practice.
The next thing is qualifying for FC's. Rick goes out and turns a few laps and everything seems OK. Only thing is, Rick's times suck. He qualifies 4th. Worst than yesterday. Has a little arrogance set in? It's almost lunch time and the 500 needs some work. A toe-in adjustment, bleed the brakes, and re-align the rear axle need to be finished before 500 qualifying after lunch.
Qualifying goes much better than the maiden voyage although the brakes quit working after 3 laps. Rick chases another 500 around the course and figures that qualifies him. Guess What? Rick qualifies dead last!! But the car still runs. It 's a miracle! Next comes the race for FC's. It takes Rick 14 laps to catch the leader. He is in 2nd place on the last turn of the last lap and 2 inches from the first place car. He tries to put pressure on the leader but slips up and slides the car allowing the 3rd place driver to pass him. Rick finishes 3rd in FC and no damage. Good Race!
The last race of the day is F500. F500 typically run with Formula Vee's. A Vee is nothing more than a VW Beetle without a body. These cars suck and smoke and the drivers are even worse. When the race starts, Vee's fly everywhere. In the grass! Into each other! Off the track! Stay out of their way and work your way up. Rick finally catches the other 500's and passes them for 1rst place. He loses the brakes on lap 3 and has to finish the race pumping the brakes all the way until the race is over. Stay on the track and out of trouble!! The 500 finishes and Rick wins the race. Excellent finish to a great weekend. Later on, Rick figures out that the brake fluid is boiling and a simple fluid change should solve the problem.
Gingerman April 27th
This weekend, we are racing in South Haven, Michigan. Friday is a practice day so Greg and Rick are going to drive up Thursday evening. The trip was nice except that it started to rain just before we got to the racetrack. Luckily, the rain blew away and we were treated to a wonderful weekend of sun and warm temperatures.