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TWS 6-Hour Writeup

Old 11-21-05, 11:12 AM
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TWS 6-Hour Writeup

Okay, okay, I was driving a Miata this year, but I drove my Spec7 in the Regional and in the enduro last year.

My arms are too sore and my ears ring too badly to come up with an outline for this story, so it is presented in whatever format comes up with as I recall what happened. My Regional race was an uneventful one, except for the part where the left front hub races weren’t seated, loosening the whole thing up, and making my qualifying session one incomplete lap. Starting from the rear I made it up to 8th in class and 16th overall. Not a bad showing, but nothing really eventful. Well, except for that start where the Baby Grand’s hood flew up, and he drove 50 miles an hour down the straightaway, cars dodging left, right, and almost through him. Yeah, uneventful.

The enduro practice and qualifying sessions were also short for me, with us not putting enough gas in. This lead to early worries about mileage, since the car had 2 or 3 gallons for each session and finished neither. In both sessions there was a lot of carnage and unnecessary aggressive driving, compounded by a Black Flag All in the qualifying session thanks to massive carnage in 9. I ran a 2:07 in the first part, and only had 2 laps in the second before it started to sputter. The 2:07 was good enough for 43rd spot, out of nearly 60 cars.

Sunday morning, Antonio took his car out with a full tank of gas to warm up and give me an idea how it handled with the full tank. We checked the night before to ensure the rear wasn’t on the bump stops, and it wasn’t. After the session we refueled, checked obvious stuff, and headed to grid. Antonio told me it was a little loose with a full tank, and with that, we headed for the start. They harped on everybody behaving for the quarter mile before the line, and everybody seemed to do so as 60 cars started a 6 hour race. I was caught sleeping for the second time this weekend, and had a very poor start. The first 30 minutes or so were uneventful as I watched SRF’s bash into other cars, until we got to our second or third full course yellow. The first lap after the green, just before T12 (or whatever you want to call the kink before the esses in the infield) the car veered right and I held the steering wheel, straight, in my hand. Steering inputs made no difference, and I soon discovered why as I vigorously attempted to re-attach the steering wheel (thinking the whole time, “You dumb-ss, you didn’t check the steering wheel before the start”). When I made it to the oval, I saw the real reason for the whole mess… the hub adaptor had broken all the welds clean off. Steering the car back to the pits with the remainder of the hub, I was informed to get the car out of the middle of the pit road. I handed the guy the steering wheel, and said, “You try it”. After grabbing some vice grips Antonio took the car back to the garage and I searched for a welder. Fortunately Tony Lee had one in his trailer, and I commenced stick welding the thing back together. In the garage, while we reattached the hub adaptor we refueled the car and sent Antonio out when all was said and done. After his 2-hour stint, I jumped back in and ran another 2 hours, leaving Antonio the last 30 minutes. We knew we didn’t need a full tank, putting in what we thought were 6 gallons but turned out to be somewhere south of 5 as Antonio sputtered around the last 2 laps culminating in a Nigel Mansell push across the finish line to finish 15th in class and 34th overall.

Many thanks to Aaron (Klar) for helping us refuel and crew, Antonio for the car, Tony for the welder, my mom for food, and my dad for having the scanner glued to his ear. We had a few 2 stops under double yellow to help us make up some ground. Can’t wait till next year!
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Old 11-21-05, 11:22 AM
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That was fun!

Lets do it again, but with the streering wheel.

Talked my girl into working the Le Man's event with us.
Still working her up to going to the Dallas event though.

Oh, and should we make a pocket in the car to hold a set of vicegrips?

Last edited by Klar; 11-21-05 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 11-21-05, 12:12 PM
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I wonder if my heart would jump clear out of my body if I found the steering wheel no longer conncected to the car?

If you can go 6 hours with 59 other cars and never hit anything or anyone while not having anything or anyone hit you I call that a good show
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Old 11-21-05, 02:24 PM
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Yea, and he was going about 90 when it happened.

The Ford SPEC cars like to kill each other. I don't get it. They handle almost too well and yet the still couldn't keep from hitting each other. Like its part of the race to destoy as many of the other F-SPEC guys you can. Crazy bastards.
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Old 11-21-05, 04:20 PM
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Yeah, the SRF guys were treating it like one of their sprint races. During my first stint I saw 3 different SRFs run into cars they were lapping, only one of them was deserved (the Miata closed the door on him well into the turn). Fortunately they're pretty soft, and as long as you don't make contact with one of their wheels or part of the frame they sustain most of the damage and you just have to do some paint touchup/cleanup.

I think aside from the SRFs the only cars that got totalled were in practice/qualifying. One Spec7 went into the T9 wall, as well as at least one maybe two of the SRFs. The race, in comparison, was quite clean...

I wish now we had a camera in the car for the start, because it would've caught the steering wheel incident, which was our only real event the whole day. Other than my running a 2:03.7 in a loose, unfamiliar car.

I'm still sore as hell, which I think is a result of losing so much weight. I didn't have a problem fitting in the seat Saturday or early Sunday, but by the afternoon stint I had at least a 1" gap, which the belts wouldn't overcome, so I was having to hold myself in the car. Next year I'll remember to bring some padding for the later stints.
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Old 11-21-05, 11:39 PM
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Nice write up Chris! too bad about the wheel, but that's racing.
As Marcus make a mental note to check the (new) adapter on the 25 hour car.


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Old 11-22-05, 11:58 PM
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any video from out there? i've been out there a bunch of times on my bike, just curious as to the difference in lines in a car. sadly, we run about the same lap times, even though i've got about the same hp, and a 1500lbs weight advantage!
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Old 11-23-05, 09:58 AM
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I've got a video I used to study the difference between the RX7 and Miata, and I think my codriver has video from the qualifying session. I'll see if I can find 'em posted somewhere and send you a link.
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Old 11-23-05, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by christaylor
I've got a video I used to study the difference between the RX7 and Miata, and I think my codriver has video from the qualifying session. I'll see if I can find 'em posted somewhere and send you a link.

cool. msr houston is open now and people are saying nothing but good things about it. personally i don't really like tws, 8a is pretty spooky on a bike, even with an air fence.

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