Summit Point Aug 2017
RCFFS and Pro F1600/2000
We Right Coast FF Series guys would again be sharing a race weekend with the Pro1600/2000 guys, which would mean lots of track time. Weather would be nearly perfect with sunny days in the low 80’s. I would forgo the two Friday morning test sessions (+$200) and arrive mid day for the single afternoon 30 minute practice session. Again, I would be playing solo as Mark had engine problems (AGAIN!) and Sean would be a no show. Kathy, home one day from the 17-hour drive from Door County, Wisconsin was not interested in a road trip. She did bake me a batch of cookies.
I had treated my mostly ignored Crossle to a valve adjustment and new injectors. After 3 years, I felt I should do something possibly constructive. Following perpetual front runner Phil Kingham of Michigan into turn one a few laps into the session, he smoked his tires and veered all over. I drove off to avoid the mess. Grass had obviously been cut after it was way too tall and the clippings were there for reaping. The Crossle harvested a HUGE snout full. I didn’t notice and continued on. I was turning pretty good times in the mid 1:21 range.
Several laps later, after passing Joe M and Dave in his shiny Mygale, I pinched the exit of turn 3 and did a lazy spin off to driver’s left. More straw to collect. Now I am suffering mild overheating and decaying lap times, but ended up 6th fastest of 20 cars with a 1:21.5. Not bad.
Qualifying Saturday Morning
With a morning session (1025), it was not yet hot and the car ran well. I was exploring the limits. A few laps in, I hung the rear end out exiting T5 and spun. This spinning thing was getting to be a habit. Well, at least I was not being shy. Ran several sub 1:21 laps with a best of 1:20.3, which is likely a personal best for the Crossle (have to check my records). Race video was corrupted, but may be recoverable. Ended up 9th fastest as some of the regulars were getting up to speed. Not bad with tires more than a year old.
Post race I discovered that the side plates of the differential were loosening and oil was escaping and getting on the inboard rear brakes. Not good, but the nuts tightened up easily and no more oil leaks happened.
Race 1, Saturday
The afternoon 17 lap race would be with temperatures in the upper 80’s and track getting slick. I had borrowed a shock pressure gauge from Sam Youngman after helping him set pressures and set mine. (I have one slow leaker, so I have a Nitrogen bottle) My shock canisters were at around 100 psi and were reset to 150 psi. I could not feel any improvement. I got a decent race start and would spend the first 10 laps dicing with Ed Callo (Bowman FF). As he finally got by me for good, my dash lights stopped working. A couple of healthy slaps brought no cure. Car seemed to be a bit slower and was suffering in the T6-8 corners with lack of traction. I was able to stay with Ed, but had no chance to challenge, Ended up 7th overall (3rd in CF) with a somewhat disappointing time of 1:21.7.
Post race all the wiring was checked, shook, and fiddled with. Dash lights came back.
Sunday morning race was at 1025. I had stiffened the front roll bar, moving the links in to the red line (about 1 ¼ inch) hoping to help the T7 handling. It helped! Race start was busy with a big scrum in turn one. I would start 9th again, but found an opening to the inside on exit of turn 1and pushed on. By turn 5, I was in 5th place and on Mike Rand’s tail. Cool. Ed Callo again was on my tail. He pulled along side of me in T1 several times and got by once. I was able to retake the point entering turn 3. We had 3 laps following the safety car starting at lap 5 or so, as they pulled someone out of turn 1 gravel trap. The Crossle makes a huge hole in the air, and Ed was able to draft me at will. My gearing was off a touch and I was running into the rev limit just before the T1 braking markers. I thought Ed would easily take me on the last lap. The white flag came out and I put my head down and drove hard. Ed was close enough to take in T1. OK: Drive Fast and Don’t make any mistakes. Ed did not get by and the final lap was my fastest at 1:20.7. I would finish 5th overall. Expectations exceeded.
The afternoon race was scheduled for 1735, some 7 hours after the morning race (we were sharing Summit with a Karting group). I chose to go home.
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