MARRS- October 2013

Joe Marcinski, the CF den mother at Summit, had arranged to have a “Formula Fest” for the season ending races.  Essentially, FF/CFs would get an extra race on Sunday without the pesky other “wings and things” cars.  Joe did some personal promotion and got several guys from Michigan to come down to play, even putting them up in his house.  Twenty F’s made the event.  Mark, enjoying the leisure time from the Government furlough, had time to piece together a “Frankenstein” motor.  Sean, despite treading water while searching for a new job, decided to take his first race outing for the season.  His Citation was happy to finally get out of the trailer where it had rested for nearly a year.  My “barn find” Crossle would get its second outing.  Hoping to find some of the missing power, I sent the head and carb off to Quicksilver for freshening.  Sandy said he didn’t find too much amiss, so I should NOT expect a big improvement.  I didn’t!

Mark and I arrived on Friday afternoon.  (No one in our camp was doing the practice day).  Sean was waiting for Tina to get off from work before leaving.  He would arrive LATE after being further delayed waiting for Karl Barbru to show up.  I tried to get the spec CF tires that I had reserved mounted, but the Hoosier guy was cranky and said come back in the morning.  Since we were race group one, the morning was gonna be hectic and Sean even had to get his annual inspection.  Somehow, we all got out for the 0800 qualifying session.  My AiM SmartyCan which they just replaced after the last race, promptly failed.  No video, laptime, data for me.   Sean was aware of being RUSTY after a year and Mark was pleased his cobbled together motor worked OK.  Me, I wanted better lap times.  Not much improvement. Looks like the conversion to the Honda engine is a LOCK.

The Saturday afternoon races went well.  I had a fun time trading places many times with Chuck Van Nostrand.  I passed him 3 or 4 times in turn one.  With my “tired” Kent, I could not draft him, but could out brake him.  He could out accelerate me in places.  I finally got a 50 yard lead on him on the last lap. We were racing for 5th place in CF and 17th overall.  Best lap was a very modest 1:22.2 and this session would be the fastest of the weekend.  It got quite hot and sticky by Sunday and everybody’s lap time grew about 2 seconds.  After the race, I went over to chat with Chuck.  He was grumpy and said he was gonna beat me next time.  Sean was dealing with a failing battery but did not have a spare.  (Car batteries just don’t tolerate being ignored for months.) 

Saturday night our group went to the Chili’s in Winchester to suffer the third consecutive ordeal of terrible service.  Three resturants, three waits of more than one hour for food.  There must have been a cultural shift in Winchester.  Maybe we should bring our own food in the future?

The Sunday morning race was by and large not too memorable.  I battled with Chuck again, but lacked the HP to stay ahead.  My lethargic motor would not draft him, despite being on his tail down the entire front straight.  The track was much more slippery than the previous day and I had to brake a full marker (#3) sooner than the day before.    My lap times were not much slower (1:22.4), but felt a lot slower. Sean managed to bag 3rd in FF and got a trophy.

We had our “bonus” race (FF and CF cars only) after lunch.  Due to general attrition, I would start 14th.  I found a good hole in the crowd at turn one and passed several cars.   Then all Hell broke out.  Angela Slocum and racing partner, Dave Gernet and possibly another got tangled up exiting turn 2.  There was a big cloud of smoke and dust and cars moving around shedding parts.  I was directly behind Mark and followed him thru the mayhem luckily without hitting anything.  Wow!   We did 5 or 6 laps behind the pace car while they removed the wreckage.  My car was overheating at 210 degrees (car only has a water temp gauge) and started to run MORE sluggishly.  One the race restarted, the temperature steadily rose to 220 degrees.  I eased up a bit.  I was not going to pass anyone, and several cars regained position on me.  I was just running laps and finished 8th in CF and 13th overall

Sean however was suffering with decaying voltage and slowing.  He pitched into the gravel trap in turn 3 on the next to last lap.  Mark avoided trouble and finished 4th in FF and 10th overall.