View Full Version : Sebring Feb 20-21

02-21-2010, 08:26 PM
Three cars showed up to Sebring; Andy Wilkin, Al Bailey and me, all in Mustangs. The weather was awesome, albeit chilly in the mornings. I qualified P1, with Andy next, the Al. The SARRC race was eventful with a bunch of “offs” in the 40+ car field which included a slew of GTA's (Including Wheel’s buddies from Kansas). Al and Andy got caught behind traffic and I managed to pull out to a substantial lead. A GTA car lost it in the hairpin and hit hard into the tire barrier, bringing out a full course caution. At the restart, Al and Andy were close behind and the race really started. Andy was all over me for what had to be four laps while I was doing everything (except hitting, which I considered at one point) a slower GTA car that would not get the hell out of the way (he wasn't racing for class position). I’d get him on entry and exit, but his HP was too much down the straights. I got my first SCCA donut!!! At one point he actually blocked me down the back stretch. I was HOT!!!! So about 20 minutes in, I’m up to about 130 heading into turn #10 and hit the brakes only to have them go all the way to the floor. Thank God that there is a run off area and lots of grass. I was already planning on sliding the passenger side of the car into the tires when I finally scrubbed off enough speed to turn into the grass. I lost a lap and gave Andy the finger of approval when he came by. I was waiting for a tow when I couldn’t remember whether or not getting towed in counts as a finish for impound, so I fired up the car and drove it almost a full lap with no brakes and coasted into impound. So Saturday; Andy, Al then me.

Sunday- Andy had to start from pit road because he was too busy gloating over Saturdays victory or something and missed leaving the grid in time. It was flag free until I looped the car in #14 and it wouldn’t restart. The car looped as if it blew a tire. When it finally restarted, I gingerly drove around until I was assured there wasn’t problem, then checked my mirror and there was Andy all over me, again. What ever caused me to spin was still causing issues and I was nervous but full of “Red Mist” (read: Stupidity). I was trying to count laps (8 lap race) and was relieved to see the Checkered. I wouldn't have been able to hold Andy off any longer, and was planning to yield to him by the next turn. Andy finished in my back seat (0.10 behind), then Al.

All together, a great weekend.

02-21-2010, 08:43 PM
One more thing...My first weekend wearing a head and neck restraint. (The new Hutchins Hybrid from Safety Solutions) It's a pain to hook up (until I get used to it, I guess)

On track- I never knew it was there. It never impeded my head movement enough to affect my vision. Food for thought.

02-21-2010, 09:10 PM
Thanks for the race report. It is still snowing here, but I have been working on the car and thinking about racing, so the report is welcome.

Sean #40
02-21-2010, 09:51 PM
Sounds like one of our races!
I am p!$$#d I missed it, out of my control.

02-22-2010, 12:30 AM
Just woke up from my nap, wow what a great weekend of racing in sunny Florida, I even had the AC on in my trailer this afternoon.

Sean, I was really looking forward to seeing you again, since you decided not to scrap your AS program, I hope you wife is feeling better soon.

I especially enjoyed the racing this weekend, for this reason, it is not often that you get a chance to race another AS car so close for so long. Here in CFR, with our long tracks (3.7 miles at Sebring) and relatively small car counts, it is so easy to get strung out, that you can sometimes not even see the other cars if you get caught up behind a slower car on the start or something, so that was really fun.

I can attest to the fact that the battle between Mark and the GTA car was epic and unnecessary, that guy was really running Mark super hard for no apparent reason. He was so far back in class, maybe he thought he was ahead. I was sort of laying back a little thinking they would sooner or later have a coming together, but while Mark wasn't happy, they both kept it pretty clean, tire mark aside.

If Mark had gotten by the GTA and made it stick, I don't think I would have been able to pass the GTA and then catch Mark again, but then he had his brake "issue", and I got by. Well, about that time, my car started stumbling on the long hard corners (17 and 1), and until I saw him stoped in the same spot on the next lap, I was watching the mirrors for a mad white Mustang with yellow eyes closing on me with a vengence. I don't think I could have kept him back if he had gotten back on course. All in all it was tons of fun, and my first SARRC win.

One correction to Marks info, I started tail end Charlie on field because I didn't get in a qualifying lap, which leads to the next comment.

A big thanks to Scott Siefert for not forcing me to change my name to Fireball. Scott is in process of building a new car and was out crewing for Mark, Al and myself this weekend. Well we were going out for qual, and he noticed a puddle under my car and had me pull over. At first he thought it was water, but it turned out to be fuel from a loose AN fitting on the carb.

I had been down for a test day on Friday, had some tranny problems that forced me to pull the trans. When the engine tilted back it apparently tweaked one of the fittings and loosened it a bit. I ran the morning practice with no leaks, or at least small unnoticed ones, but it apparently loosened more and started pissing quite a bit of fuel.

By the time he got back to the trailer, got AN wrenches, sopped up the fuel, and got the fitting tight, I didn't get a full lap of qual, so I got no time.

Another thing that I think bodes well for the class here in CFR, there were at least 4 or 5 guys out at the track checking out the cars and racing, who are building AS cars. I know of at least 4 or 5 others currently under construction, if even 30 or 40% of these guys come out, and we get a couple of guys like Pat Wilmot coming down to visit, we could have 7 or 8 car fields (or more), that would be really cool.

My comment after coming of track Sunday was the same as my daughters after her first ride on splash mountain "Let's do that again!!!!"

This is what club racing is all about, good clean racing, good company (first time I ever met Al Bailey, super nice guy), and great bench racing sessions (the Dawsons were down Saturday night to eat some burgers and I think we finally broke up around 11:00).

This is why I race.

02-22-2010, 08:14 AM
How did my buddies, the Kansas Tornados, do in the GTA class? I'm betting big money one of them was not the car involved in the blocking.

02-22-2010, 11:58 AM
How did my buddies, the Kansas Tornados, do in the GTA class? I'm betting big money one of them was not the car involved in the blocking.

Jim, not real sure how they did. And your money is a sure bet. The blocking "driver" in question was a back marker. It may have been one of your guys who was in the tires. But I am not sure.

I was so hot after the blocking incident that I told Chuck if the walls were not so close @ Sebring I would have punted that "driver" out of the way, circle track style. Chuck looked at me and in a matter-of-fact tone said:"#3 is a good place, so is #10." :D Then Chas says: "So is #17". We were laughing or butts off, but Chuck scares me now. :eek:

02-22-2010, 06:04 PM
I have pieces of 17 in my quarter panel from trying to pass Chuck there. Put he did not punt me!. What kind of times did you guys turn. It was in the 40's for us and we couldn't get past 2:24's

02-22-2010, 08:21 PM
There were no national level cars there. None of us were anywhere near 2:24's, more like mid 2:30's.

02-22-2010, 09:18 PM

Yea, just a bunch of relative regional rookies here, Al has been doing this for a few years, but Mark and I are both in it about a year with fox body mustangs, Iron heads and all. I did a personal best at 2:35, Mark was in the 2:36/2:37 range most of the weekend, and Al was around 2:42, but he was having some brake problems.

I thought Chuck said the track record was 2:25 something??

Maybe one day I'll get in the 2:20's, but not yet, not yet.


02-23-2010, 08:27 PM
Mark was in the 2:36/2:37 range most of the weekend,

Yea, and I had an personal worst lap of 8:13. :auto: :D

Nature Mino
02-23-2010, 09:16 PM
hey it was great meeting u guys, kinda short lived and i was a little bummed about missing the actual race, but afterall was happy to make it down there on saturday and see what was happening. i need to hurry up and get my car together.. gve us a lil more to talk about ha. good weekend hope yall had fun.