June 15-16 Daddy's Day
May 25-26 Double Regional
Jeff will be racing this weekend. The car finished up last season with no problems, so just a minor setup routine and we should be ready for Jeff's first race of the year.
Rick is trying some new quick disconnect features for our diffuser so on this first session, we going to do a few laps, come into the pits for a check up and then continue on. Jeff is on track for about 2 laps and cycles into the pit. Rick's diffuser apparatus SUCKS! It does not work. Hastily, we install some wire ties to hold the diffuser in place and send Jeff back out for some more laps. After 5 or 7 more laps, Rick sees a spray from the back of the car at the Kink. Suddenly, Jeff slows and coasts around to the front straight and stops.
We tow the car back to the paddock and try to determine what happened. The car won't go into gear. After some brief research, we find, Mother of Transmissions! The son of a ************ Transmission exploded into tiny fragments of silver and black goo glitter!! We're DONE! No parts for this bad boy! First DNS I can ever remember. For those of you who don't know, DNS = DID NOT START
May 11-12 Driver's School
This is the second school for Michael and if he completes the school satisfactorily, he will be able to race all of the upcoming regional events. Michael had a week of thrashing repairing the damage to his car. He learned fiberglass techniques, metal straightening and few other skills that are important to his future as an architect.
It's another cool weekend. Like Eskimo pies in the fridge cool.
2002 Welcome Back!!
April 20-21 Driver's School at Nelson's Ledges
Michael Fisher is our newest addictee to be added to our racing wall of fame! Michael turned 16 years old in September 2000 and we are off in search of another SCCA license. Before, we get to the weekend, let's recap a few things.....
The F500 has been in moth balls for a few years with exception of a few days out last year. At the end of 2000, we decided to do a test day at Nelson to give Michael at little heads up before school in 2001. Two laps into our test day, we lost the engine on the little squirt box, thus ending our season. So we begin the thrash anew!!
Rick, being the 4 cycle engine genius that he is, knows exactly nothing about 2 cycle engines! This engine is dead!! It melted! The pistons are frozen in the cylinders and we need some new stuff. Keep in mind, we start getting ready for this school in early March. After determining we need new pistons, we send the cylinders and pistons to the only shop in the country that knows anything about a Bombardier engine. These types of engines are used in snowmobiles and ultra-light airplanes. They engine shop guarantees we will have our parts 3 weeks before we need them. WRONG! We get the last parts on Monday and we are racing Saturday. Then there is the license issues.
If you are a minor (under 18), you must jump thru hoops according to SCCA. You can't fax forms or download from the net. You need original papers from Denver. Try to get those forms! It took 2 weeks and FEDEX OVERNIGHT 3 times to receive the forms from Denver. The same Monday that we go the engine parts, we also got the forms so that Michael could take his physical. Then the forms had to go back to Denver Overnight and then come back to us before Saturday. The novice permit was delivered on Friday but no one was home! Luckily, we were allowed to pick them up at the FEDEX distribution center Friday Night.
Then there was the car! We got the engine running Tuesday night, but we were not sure if the engine was getting oil and we still didn't know why the engine melted in the first place. We didn't have the car ready to test until Friday night. Michael climbed into the car and did a few test laps around the parking lot. 3 laps later, Michael misses the turn around and disappears around the corner. Guess what? NO BRAKES! In all the confusion leading up to the weekend, we didn't check the brakes and now we find we don't have the parts!!! I've got an idea! Let's make brakes! 30 minutes later, our brakes are made and we are back in the parking lot doing laps. Everything works and we are READY!
Saturday Day 1 of School
After a week of 85 degrees and Sunshine, Saturday starts out in fine fashion...... 50 degrees and rain. Michael is in the classroom with the instructors all morning and so we make til lunch with no car damage! That is about to change! After lunch, the students get their first lapping session. Michael is doing good. He is accelerating hard and I can see he is getting faster each and every lap. About 10 laps into the session, I notice that Michael is flying and starting to look a little unstable. I think I'll flag him in and calm him down a little. Before I can get a chance, Spin, Crash, Bash! Michael spins in Turn 1 and slams the tire wall backwards. He is OK, but the car is not! Crumpled metal, broken body parts, and oil everywhere all over the back of the car. With schools, cars are back on the track every 40 minutes. I have 40 minutes to access and repair the carnage. The plastic oil tank is broken and pierced. A Bigger Hammer, Elmers Glue, heat from a cars heater and some good old DUCT tape and we're back in business. It may look a little messy, but it works. Michael completes 2 more sessions without incident except for a spin in the carousel and the day is done! We skip the free Spaghetti dinner and call it a day. Everybody is wiped out and needs a rest.
Score: Driver 3 / Track 1
Sunday Day 2
Well, It is even colder and uglier than yesterday. You need to be an eskimo pie or a penguin to stand out side your vehicle on a day like to day. To make matters even worse, it's starting to rain. Did you ever stand in the rain at 42 degrees with a 40 mph wind blowing for FUN? It's like playing battle ball with ice darts! Michael's first practice on a cold track was great! He has resolved some issues he had with driving style from yesterday, he's turning better lap times and the car looks very stable. The first session is great. Then comes the rain! We switch to rain tires and try to skip the practice session but the instructors aren't cool with that. We go do a few laps just to keep the Egotists happy. It's time for lunch and then the race groups are going to run 8 lap races. The track is still wet when race group 1 starts their race. Some star pupil stalls his car and holds up half of the group at the start of their race. To make up for lost time, one of the other driving aces decides to plant his foot thru the floor while coming out of the pits. He shoots across the track, sails over the patent leather grass, hits the tire wall and flips his car upside down. Now we have this 300 lb human bulldog shrieking at the top of her lungs and Lisa Fisher doing a dozen OH MY GODs while this guy is upside down waving at everybody! Oh Fun!
In the Meantime! Rick decides we need to check the other set of rear brakes although Michael assures him they are low, but good! Lo and Behold! NO BRAKES! Time to make some more Brakes. Mysterious Herman decides to stop by and offer his assistance and encouragement while Michael and Rick make brakes because their race is next. The track is drying and so with brake job complete, we switch back to slicks for the race.
Race group 2 has 4 classes of cars. Vee's, F500's, DSR's and FC's. Their speeds follow the same order with FC being the fastest! The other 500 crashes and can't make the race. One FC crashes and can't make the race. The other FC makes the race but late! Michael grids in 6th place. The race begins and the FC is late and has to catch up. The official start of the race begins when the green flag drops and everyone races to turn 1. Michael decides he can pass one of those big DSR's before turn 1. He makes it!! Michael comes out of turn 1 with a pissed off BIG RED DSR right behind him. He holds his own and doesn't make any mistakes for the first 3 laps. Then the FC breaks and pull off the track. This means Michael is firmly in 4th place. There is a VEE and 2 DSR's in front of him. The VEE has trouble and Michael and the DSR's glide past the VEE. Michael is in 3rd place. On lap 6, Rick is watching the back stretch and here comes Michael in the little squirt box blasting past the Big Black DSR. Michael is 2nd place! Although Rick doesn't know it, it is the last lap! Michael is coming down the back stretch for the last time and squirts past the last DSR for 1rst place. Two more turns and the home stretch to go! Michael makes no mistakes and takes the Checkered FLAG!!!! The place goes crazy! Mysterious Herman, the instructors, the 300lb human bulldog, Rick, Lisa, and Ricky all congratulate Michael on a wonderful race. It was a great Birthday present for Rick on April 21, 2002!!
See ya Soon!