Wednesday, June 1, 2016

One Lap of America By the Numbers

One of the best numbers is that we had our biggest year ever in fundraising for the Pa. Breast Cancer Coalition and raised $3085. I would like to thank all who donated to the cause and made this possible. Another number of interest is 4307 miles that we put on for this adventure including the 1200 miles to and from the start/finish at South Bend Indiana. I frequently have people say how many weeks does this take? We do this all in about 9 days from leaving home to returning home. Some other interesting numbers, we had 2 people on our team, Joe Vasta and I.   The transit mileage on the schedule listed 2827 miles for the 2016 One Lap of America. We competed in 17 different events over 8 days plus a control stop at Lake Erie Harley Davidson in Cleveland.  We  visited 6 different road race tracks.
The competition consisted of 2 skid pad events, 2 drag strip competitions and 12 time trials on road courses.  On each time trial you get 1 lap around the course to reconnaissance the track, you then stop on the track at the start/finish line and are flagged to a start about 15 seconds apart to complete 3 timed laps. The total time of the 3 laps is what counts so if you have a problem like an off road excursion or a spin, you need to get moving as quickly as possible.

Last year gas prices were a little lower and this year, in general, lower still. We spent just over $740 on fuel.  The average price we paid for Hi Test was $2.85 , and the highest was on the Indiana Toll road at $3.79.9 beating their last years high of $3.349, they really take advantage of their captive audience. Speaking of fuel we averaged 17.5 miles per gallon which isn't too bad considering we are pulling a trailer and our mileage on the track is about about 6 mpg.  Tolls were a little higher this year and we spent $178.38 about 2 1/2 times the amount spent last year.

The competition seemed a little tougher this year. Other years we set our sights on a top 20 finish, but after seeing the lineup of vehicles in South Bend, I told Joe we would be lucky to get a top 30 out of the 69 entries. We ended up in 27th place overall and consider that a success. Thanks again to all who followed us and a special thanks to those who donated to our charity, the Pa. Breast Cancer Coalition. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Awesome Run on Dry Skid Pad

Joe Vasta and I in our Pa. Breast Cancer shirts.
We got back to South Bend to the Tire Rack test track and skid pad facility on Saturday May 7th where our competition for the week started. I usually do fairly well on the skid pad so I had high hopes of gaining a couple positions on the dry skid pad, our final competition. When I finished my run I was first in class and first overall. That leads to a big smile. With the fastest 30 cars yet to run I had no illusions that I could hold onto the first overall for long, but I did end up fourteenth and first in class by .003 of a "G" scoring a 1.017 to the second in class who had a 1.014  When it was all over we had gained 4 positions overall for the week and ended up in 27th place, not a bad finish for the week.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Our last road course event was the Autobahn Country Club Raceway neat Joliet, Il. They have a South course which we ran in the morning and a North course which is a little longer that we ran in the afternoon. I was pretty pleased with the runs considering I was still running on seven cylinders.  I finished both right at mid pack, which was great.
"Garage Mahals", sorry the poor quality, overcast day & great distance
One neat feature of this beautiful track are the "Garage Mahals" that line the track. There are 18 of these around the North course and 11 around the South Course. Many of these looked like the housed multiple tenants., some as many a 3 or 4. A typical arrangement is high ceilings with the cars kept on the ground and then build a loft with some living space towards the rear. Usually the living space includes a wet bar or maybe even a full kitchen, sofa and chairs, big screen TV's etc, etc. This is a neat deal if you can afford it;^)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Just a reminder, we are home and I'm still catching up on my posts and even though it sounds like I'm still at the tracks I'm giving you a summary of what we did at those tracks. With rushing off to the next event which was at Great Lakes Dragway we didn't have much time to work on the diagnosis of the miss so we decided to just continue on. Funny thing was even with seven cylinders, we were able to advance to the fourth
round in the bracket drags and finished fourth overall and first in class.We finished 28th in the pure ET run, not quite as good but real respectable for my car considering the competition and my limping car. After the drags it's back through Chicago to Joliet, Illinois and Autobahn Country Club Raceway.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Road America awesome track

We are home now but still trying to catch up on my blog. On Thursday we were at Road America, at over 4 miles it is one of the longest and fastest road course tracks in the country With the long straight-a-ways and big braking zones it is also really tough on the brakes. Had reasonable finishes on both road course runs and on the Autocross, but when we left Road America we had an engine miss in one cylinder. which feels very much like a bent valve, probably from over aggressive down shifts while trying to save the brakes from going away. Oh well, we will continue on with seven cylinders and do the best we can. Our next stop is about 100 miles down the road at Great Lakes Dragway. BTW we are still collecting money for our charity, the Pa. Breast Cancer Coalition and with a few more dollars we will have out best fundraising year ever. To donate and get your sticker on the roof of the car, go online to then click on donate. When asked for what event be sure to fill in One Lap of America. Thank you.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Summit Point to National Corvette Museum track

I apologize to all of you who were trying to follow along on this blog. The fat fingers and small keyboards make it difficult to compose much in the right seat of a car with a stiff suspension and on rough and bouncy roads. I did try to post a couple times and after I hit post they disappeared. One showed up a few days later so maybe the others will eventually show up. Anyhow, we had a couple of good runs at Summit Point then headed off to the new NCM (Corvette Museum course) in Bowling Green, Kentucky. On my first run I had a big spin. No damage and I'm OK, but it hurt my time and made me a little conservative for my next run. After NCM we headed off to Road America in Elkart Lake, Wisconsin only 553 miles away. Road America is the fastest road course in the country and really uses up the brakes with its long fast straight-a-ways. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Catching up after lack of sleep

The rain kept chasing us this week and we had damp but drying conditions at ncm (Corvette Museum racetrack) in Bowling Green, Kentucky. I did not have a good result with a big spin in the morning event and a 37 place, then I guess I got a little more conserative with my driving and only got a 39 place finish in the afternoon.  After all that we started a 553 mile run to Elkart Lake, Wisconsin but not leaving till about 2 pm, another very late night.
We really had a full day at Road America, one of the fastest and longest road courses in the country. We had two high speed track events, an Autocross, then off to Great Lakes Dragway about 100 miles to the south. As we were leaving Road America, we suspected we have a bent valve in the engine, however we decided to go and compete in the drags anyhow, good choice, I finished 28th overall in the fastest ET run and 4th place in the Bracket Drags. I have now climbed back to 28th place overall and 4th place in class and we are within striking distance of a few more positions, but with a wounded engine, who knows?