Cheaters never win…but sometimes winners cheat!
Round 3 of the Spec E30 season brings us back to Carolina Motorsports Park in lovely, scenic, historic Kershaw SC once again. I think they filmed Deliverance there…oh well, whatever. I was certainly hoping this weekend was better than the last one, which was a demolition derby if you recall, and thankfully it was better. With the exception of damage to Steve “Lucky” Divinney’s car the weekend was relatively incident free. My car was also hit by the same car that hit Steve but c’mon…have you seen my car? Yet another reminder that body work is overrated.
I pulled in early to CMP just before the start of the enduro. I was there to crew for whomever needed help but mostly I was there to instill fear in my competition and intimidate Jim Robinson. Check and check! I was promptly put to work as the re-fueler meaning I was fortunate enough to wear my fire-suit all day and not get to drive. Sweet. Dave White and “Jack Handle” Jim Robinson brought Craig Geiger’s #82 Cheater Wagon home for the enduro win in E2. That car is making so much power; Dave completely ripped apart the left rear tire. It was either that or the extra ballast the driver carries at all times. ;)
Practice went well. I was using some old RA-1’s and just taking it easy to get back in the groove. For qualifying I switched over to my R-888’s and tried to give it a run after being laughed at by everyone in the paddock once they learned the last alignment on my car was performed in 2007. I haven’t had time to mess with that, besides an alignment doesn’t contribute to the cars handling and performance right? I had enough time to nut and bolt the car and replace some wear items for safety before this event. That would be good enough. Oh and Dyno? Never been on one but the car feels fast. After this weekend, Ill be getting an alignment. Thanks 944, I needed one anyway.
Unfortunately I have no in car video from the weekend. I brought my camera, pulled to pre-grid and remembered the camera. Damn! I jumped out of the car ran back to the truck, grabbed the camera, ran back to the car. “Where the F is my camera mount??? Oh yeah….its safely mounted to my roll cage. In my LeMons car. Awesome. So I gave it to Turnip and he recorded the race from trackside. Nice work by the way and thanks again Turnip. Ill get it put together and add it later.
I managed to qualify 4th, was asleep at the wheel at the start and DiVinney got by me immediately putting me back to 5th. I thought about wrecking him but couldn’t quite get close enough….maybe next time. I settled in line. It was Dave White, Johan, R Patton, DiVinney and then me. Patton, Divinney and I were nose to tail for the first 3 or four laps. That was an absolute blast! Nice racing guys. As they say, the fun always comes to an end. On the next lap the three of us entered the carousel nose to tail again but a 944 was right in front of Patton mucking up our race.
Patton broke for the entry to the carousel as is the normal method if you want to stay on track. The 944 decided he didn’t need to do that. He promptly over cooked the entry and went off to the outside of the carousel. This let Patton drive right by him. Next in line was Steve D and I was right on his tail. Steve and I both watched in disbelief as the 944 yanked the car back toward the track. We both slowed and Steve took evasive maneuvers to avoid the now out of control Porch. Steve hit the brakes and swerved to the infield. Just before he got off the track, the 944 slammed into his left rear taking him out of the race.
I was on Steve’s bumper and hit the brakes as well. As the 944 came veering across track to the inside I went to the outside to avoid the mess. To my surprise the 944 was not done! He kept his foot in it, bounced off of Steve and was coming toward me at what seemed to be a bad angle. Oh sh*t is this guy going to hit me too!? At this point I was already off track on the outside of the carousel and the 944 slams into my right rear wheel and bumper. I was 10 –15 ft off of the track at the point of contact. Nice driving ace. He knocked me sideways in the dirt but I gathered it up and drove back on track to finish the race in 4th place.
Here is video from Steve D's car of the incident. I am right behind him, you can see me in the rear view mirror. Right after this video footage ends, the 944 comes to get me!
STEVE D'S VIDEO<<<<<<<<<<
My steering wheel was now a bit off center. Hopefully he just knocked the rear wheel out of what was already poor alignment, otherwise, Ill be shopping for a new trailing arm. See, how pissed would I have been if I just had the car aligned? The rest of the race the car didn’t handle quite the same and was unpredictable in the carousel. Could have been a combination of the worn tires as well though. I was later DQ’d for being 13 lbs under weight. We raced withought a single Double yellow flag. I’m convinced that would have saved the two gallons of gas I needed to make weight. Poor planning and poor cheating? A few others were underweight as well. Pantas was 90 lbs. underweight! Ooops
Saturday evening after the race I rotated the tires and flipped the brake pads. I thought about changing the right rear alignment but then I remembered I don’t know what I am doing, so I didn’t. Ill just drive it like it is. I made sure nothing would fall off the car and then drank beer. Nicccccce.
I managed to qualfy 5th after having a slow qualy and going off track at the carousel. I was driving the normal line thru, had decent grip and then the rear end just gave up. I was ¾ of the way thru the turn so with Johan right behind me and some decent momentum going, I had to open the wheel, drive straight off and gather it up. The other option would have been to spin in front of Johan, that didn’t seem like a good idea at the time.
I got a much better start this time and was able to stay right on Steve D’s bumper again for a few laps. We were running well but Johan was checking out on us all. A few laps in, into the carousel I go and again, the rear gives up. I drive off again. Back to 8th place. I spent the rest of the race working my way back up to eventually finish in 3rd, well behind Steve D. Billy Gropp and I had some fantastic racing with a few passes made by each of us for the rest of the race. He was right on my tail at the end of the race. We battled hard and looked like professionals as we executed the perfect over under in T11. He came screaming to the inside of me in the brake zone, a nice move, but couldn’t make it stick. I waited, pulled third a little early and turned in to miss his bumper by a few inches diving to the apex to re-pass him. Hey, maybe it wasn’t so pretty, but that’s how I remember it! Don’t you ruin this for me!
We didn’t weigh after Sundays race but I added a spare wheel and tire and a full tank of gas to make sure I would make weight. The race was also made interesting as Johan decided he didn’t like the sound of his exhaust and dropped it on the track in T11 like this was Mario Kart or something. I’m pretty sure he did it on purpose.
Overall this was a great weekend. Once again the people are what make the racing and bitch and moan as we all do, we all get along and have a good time at the end of the day. I still wouldn’t want to race with any other group.
1. Alignments are overrated?
2. If the scales are open before Qualy or Race, stop being lazy and go weigh the car.
3. Body work is for suckers.
4. Steve D. should stay away from Vegas with his luck as of late.
5. 944’s aren’t as soft as they look.
6. Safety-wire your Spec Exhaust, or leave it on the track.
7. Al Taylor is going off the grid and is terrified of FaceBook.
The next race is in Birmingham Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on May 30th and 31st. If you’re in the area come check it out!
-Brian Jones, BeerTech Racing #380-