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Old 12-18-2016, 08:13 PM
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Default 17Dec Race Report

As it has been since the very first day we built the track--March 11, 2009--the annual track build is always a long day, and it has starred the same players every time since. On that first day, five of us met at Hangar 30: Bodine, Alex and Jake, Les Smith, and me. Les diverted from our path years ago, but the remaining four remain the core to this day, with the addition of Stuart who was with me and worked the whole time. This of course takes nothing away from the rest of the guys who showed as the afternoon wore on: Justin, Jeff, McMullen, Clifton, and others. Thank you for the help. We needed it. I will say the results this year are outstanding in every way. It is technical, yet it flows intuitively. The right side sweeper is back, as is the martini glass. We have a flick chicane on the left side, which timed perfectly is a palpable joy. But get it wrong and the result is a hard whack and a shifted motor. So, we keep it real, but it doesn't mistake consequences for punishment. Consequences: good. Punishment: not if we can help it. Naturally, I will try to see the bright side of things on behalf of the club, but this time I'm not stretching or nuancing. It's a simple proclamation, 2017 will be a vintage year. Also, perhaps contrary to some expectations, we were squeaking tires in Q2; the grip came up quickly and we were off and running at maximum best.

Scale Spec was a Donny vs. John joint, and this time Donny took the top prize, but not before pushing the definition of robust pass right to its outermost definition. I called it racing on the moment. John had been chasing Donny with his usual expert track craft, but Donny was holding and holding. On a lap deep in the race, John came up side by side and forced himself past. But there was a scrum of traffic, and Donny was right back on him, side by side and door to door. The resulting contact put John on his lid. I called it a racing incident, knowing that some would see it differently. John and Donny will meet again, and no quarters will be asked or offered.

Stock 1/12th was a full heat, and I will say the new layout is a treat, particularly the flick chicane. With the barest lift and countersteer to enter, it can be taken at full clamp right onto the straight. It's a risk/reward proposition. Get it right, and the car lunges down the straight. Get it wrong, and a hard whack of the middle apex is the unhappy consequence. My car was set up perfectly for it, and I enjoyed it all night long. So did Bodine, perhaps even a little more, as he took the expected pole and win.

Modified Touring treated the fans to one of the great high speed hold your breath and yell back straight passes. To dispense with the necessaries, Korey TQ'd and won, with an early checkout in the main. But Trav and Andrew were left to settle the balance of the podium spots between them and dished up the race of the night. Trav hunted down Andrew from a back spot on the grid, and pressed hard on Andrew's bumper for several laps. Trav finally got a perfect run down the straight and went for a high speed pass. The two veterans were joined at the wheel arches into the sweeper until Trav was able to squeeze past. Neither car lost its footing, it was completely clean, but was ridiculous, too. I was laughing with Andrew afterward. I asked him how long he and Trav have been racing each other like that, and he said, "Too long! I know exactly what he's going to do, and he knows what I'm going to do." Well, if what you're going to do is more of that, then by all means keep it up!

Formula 1 showed up in force. I will say the layout suits the open wheel platform when driven with even a modicum of restraint. And most of the drivers did exactly that. Russ was the class of the field and took the win from the pole position. Behind him, the field was strung out in a gapped line. But it was cleanly driven, for the most part, so well done.

If Mod TC treated us to the high speed pass of the night, Stock Touring delivered the closest three-way finish in my memory. Donny, Ryan, and Mike finished 1-2-3 in that order, with a mere 0.15 seconds between them. Donny held the lead from the tone, but both Mike and Ryan were on a chase-down mission, with Mike leading the charge most of the way. He would close up, only to slip back a fraction, and then close up again. In the closing minute, it all came to a dramatic sequence of traffic, tapped pipes, and swapped leads. Mike briefly took the lead back from Donny (Mike had TQ'd), and then shortly after handed it back. Meanwhile, Ryan was lurking and in the final lap they all three came together for an epic dive toward the finish, and after the general disbelief ebbed, the full Stock Touringness of the whole show became apparent. It's the reliable beast, here, and everywhere.

Modified 1/12th, the final race, was a fairly formal affair with the players filling their prescribed roles. Korey was the blazing frontrunner, Brian the capable veteran runner-up, and Stuart and me fighting out third between us. We had one of our best contests, my boy and I. I pressured him relentlessly, and he held up for several long minutes. He did succumb, which he does not always do, but it was a great clean drive all the way through.

Our next race is at Hangar 30, after Christmas. We'll be back in the gym in mid-January. A long break for our program, but Victoria is in there, as well as good racing up at NORA.

Results attached.
Attached Files
File Type: txt
Round1.txt (56.2 KB, 454 views)
File Type: txt
Round2.txt (58.5 KB, 50 views)
File Type: txt
Round3.txt (45.8 KB, 391 views)

Last edited by PutAwayWet; 12-18-2016 at 08:43 PM. Reason: Forgot results!
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