Over the weekend of Nov 17-18 the Buccaneer Region SCCA hosted a single run group regional for big bore cars as part of their traditional Track Trials weekend and invited the V8 Road Racing Series to participate. This was the first year they've done this, and the break-even point from a budgetary standpoint was ten cars. Even with the relatively late notice (the event was not officially announced until July) we ended up with eleven drivers attending, nine of whom are V8RRS members.
The weekend schedule had a 20-minute practice session followed by a 20-minute qualifying session on Saturday morning, then a 20-lap race on Saturday afternoon. There was an optional 20-minute qualifying session on Sunday morning that I don't believe anyone took advantage of, then we concluded the weekend with a 20-lap race just before lunch on Sunday.
New member Greg Burgess showed up with a nicely turned-out (GTA) Challenger that he'd converted from the circle-track wars, but unfortunately he broke the panhard bar during practice. He tried to find pieces to make repairs but couldn't find tubing with the right dimensions, so he was done for the weekend. I do expect him to run many of our 2019 events as he continues to sort the car.
After Saturday's qualifying session the field lined up thusly: . 1st GTA (1st OA): Joe Hartsell, Monte Carlo - 1.12.683 . 2nd GTA (2nd OA): Al Rowland, Superior Trailer Camaro - 1.13.623 . 3rd GTA (3rd OA): BJ Holley, BJ Holley Race Cars Monte Carlo - 1.16.100 . 4th GTA (4th OA): Butch Kummer, Johnny's Pizza / O'Brien Express Monte Carlo - 1.16.528 . 1st T1 (5th OA): Chip Bozeman, Schrader Performance Mustang Cobra - 1.18.210 . 5th GTA (6th OA): Dusty Williams, Dustcom Ltd / Bee Green Pest Solutions Mustang - 1.18.339 . 1st AS (7th OA): Dainton Brooks, Georgia Control Center Mustang Cobra - 1.23.074 . 1st GT2 (9th OA): David Bryson, Monte Carlo - 1.54.246 . 6th GTA (no time): Greg Burgess, Challenger - no time
Continuing with the tales of woe, BJ came in early with no oil pressure (they suspect an oil pump problem with their wet sump engine) and David had a clutch that failed early in the session. David had run a 1.17.5 even with the clutch slipping in the practice session so he was hoping he could baby things to at least get SARRC points in GT2, but that didn't work out.
In Saturday afternoon's race Joe & Al checked out and were never more than a second apart on the track. I maintained third place for four laps with first Chip and then Dusty hounding me in the twisties, but I got a bit wide coming out of Turn 2 and both of them got by. Things continued in that order until the 18th lap when Dusty pulled off with Watts link issues. At the checkers the order was: . 1st GTA (1st OA): Joe Hartsell, Monte Carlo - 1.15.308 . 2nd GTA (2nd OA): Al Rowland, Superior Trailer Camaro - 1.15.399 . 1st T1 (3rd OA): Chip Bozeman, Schrader Performance Mustang Cobra - 1.18.350 . 3rd GTA (4th OA): Butch Kummer, Johnny's Pizza / O'Brien Express Monte Carlo - 1.18.042 . 4th GTA (5th OA): Dusty Williams, Dustcom Ltd / Bee Green Pest Solutions Mustang - 1.17.236 . 1st AS (6th OA): Dainton Brooks, Georgia Control Center Mustang Cobra - 1.23.831 . 1st GT2 (9th OA): David Bryson, Monte Carlo - pulled off on lap 1 . 5th GTA (DNS): BJ Holley, BJ Holley Race Cars Monte Carlo - oil pressure . 6th GTA (DNS): Greg Burgess, Challenger - panhard bar
In the waning laps of the race Chip felt his engine start losing power (yet he still ran laps in the 1.22-1.24 range) and afterwards found one of the exhaust cams (he has FOUR of them!) was no longer operating correctly, so he was done for the weekend along with Dusty when the Watts link trashed the rear end. With help from the Dustcom crew, David pulled the transmission three times overnight to try to repair the clutch with parts he'd gotten from Joe and DID show up on grid for Sunday morning's race, so we had seven total starters take the green at 10:10 AM.
Joe & Al again checked out while the rest of the field spread out. I was expecting David to come charging from the back but it ends up the clutch repairs were unsuccessful so he pulled in after the pace lap. About lap three I noticed the black #7 Camaro (Al) was coming back to me, so I decided to keep going and passed him for second overall on lap 5. It ends up they had a battery issue and he came in the next lap around. On lap 15 we got a Black Flag All when an SPO Mustang broke the rear end and spun to a stop on the pavement in Turn 1, so the field bunched up again for a four-lap trophy dash to the checkers. That really made no difference since I had nothing for Joe, but at least this time I was able to see him at the finish! :)
Here's the final order for Race #2: . 1st GTA (1st OA): Joe Hartsell, Monte Carlo - 1.14.847 . 2nd GTA (2nd OA): Butch Kummer, Johnny's Pizza / O'Brien Express Monte Carlo - 1.20.233 . 1st AS (4th OA): Dainton Brooks, Georgia Control Center Mustang Cobra - 1.24.898 . 3rd GTA (6th OA): Al Rowland, Superior Trailer Camaro - 1.16.013 . 1st GT2 (7th OA): David Bryson, Monte Carlo - pulled off on lap 1 . 4th GTA (DNS): Dusty Williams, Dustcom Ltd / Bee Green Pest Solutions Mustang - Watts link . 1st T1 (DNS): Chip Bozeman, Schrader Performance Mustang Cobra - engine . 5th GTA (DNS): BJ Holley, BJ Holley Race Cars Monte Carlo - oil pressure . 6th GTA (DNS): Greg Burgess, Challenger - panhard bar
All in all our racers appreciated being the "showcase group" for the event and have expressed a desire to do this again next year. I'll be attending a business meeting with the Buccaneer Region board in December to discuss changes they might make with the overall event, but if we can find a date that fits with our other V8RRS weekends we'll make it so.
Off until Feb 16-17 at Sebring, so Happy Holidays to all and we'll see you at the track in 2019!