Tuesday, September 13, 2011

US Vintage GP at The Glen 2011

Just got home from this years 2011 US Vintage Grand Prix at Watkins Glen. It was, as usual, a very fun weekend. The same problems plagued the coupe. We think we have solved it though, unfortunately the motor has to come out, again (Sorry Paul)!

The weekend started off wet from the passing storms and on Friday Morning the fog moved in and the track was under a delay for several hours. Once I was able to take the coupe out it only made it up the esses before losing power. The motor is retarded, it is actually losing timing and retarding! So no coupe for this year.

Then I got a cool offer. My buddy Chip who preps the Alfa Romeo's for us offered for me to co-drive his 914-6 in the 90 minute Big Bore Enduro. Other than that: A)I have never driven this racecar B)I have never driven a racing Porsche period C)I have never driven a car this fast at the glen D)We are in class with LeMans, CanAm, NASCARs, Sports racers and Huge 911's and E)I would be entering the race to learn to drive this car for my first time in the middle of a race with all these fast cars. I was super excited and nervous.This was the car we were racing:

Here is tour of the Big Bore grid I shot before the race started:

Chip was going to run the first segment, I was going to run the 2nd segment and Chip would finish the race off. Here is Chip's first run:

Chip pulls in early and says Pete I think I have gear box problem. I say lets take it back to the garage we do not want to hurt it. Chip says nope go get 4 laps and bring it in! Pardon me, now you want to give me a sick car I have never driven to go get run over by a Audi LeMans car. OK I am in, belt me down! Did I mention that it is a proper doglegged gear box where first gear was down. I have driven one of these before (my 16v had one) on racecar on a race track I had not though.

Here goes nothing. Down to first, clutch out, lets roll. Pulling out on the track I have no idea how hard I can hit the gas whether the rear end will step out on me like in a 911. All of this and I am going to have cars closing on me at double my speed. First lap very gentle and mildly scary with faster traffic, 2nd lap ok this car handles really well lets give it some more juice, 3rd lap I am getting this still not pushing but this car feels good, feels like it is on rails. Let me get one more semi quick lap. I am starting to enjoy it! Oh crap cant get into 2nd gear hope I dont break down on track. Phew got it going, OK lets get this car back to the pits. Most stressful test/practice/race I have ever done. In a car that is not mine and I have never driven that was acting up. Here is the video of me:

Thank you very much for the opportunity Chip. Please let me get a test session in that bad boy and I think I can go pretty quick in it.

Then on Sunday I was able to take out our #100 Alfa Romeo in the group 3 feature race. Once again I had never been in the car but Alfa's are easy to drive and wouldn't have CanAm cars flying past me.

My dad's girlfriend finished the first race 27th, so that is where I would start. The car felt very snappy on the formation lap. I figured I would get on the throttle on the start and pass a few cars. That didnt happen. The car seemed to lose power at the end of the power band and the power band was not long enough. Oh well it was time to go.

Ended up finishing 16th overall and 4th in class! Thanks for lending me the car Kristine!

Off to Denver next to have a similar weekend racing 2 cars that are not mine. One I have driven once and the other is open wheel FV which I posted on the blog but I have never driven one of these in my life! Should make for a interesting video and post the following week.

Oh by the way, Chip and I did finish first in class in the Enduro even though we did not finish! So I got at least one win this year!

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