2020 Season Opener at Roebling Road

Although overall event participation was light, V8RRS had nine of the ten total entries in the Big Bore race group. I'm not sure if the weather scared the "regular" participants off, but we had the largest run group of the weekend. As a result, the event hosts (Buccaneer Region SCCA) took a bath financially and this event will probably [b]NOT[/b] happen in 2020 (or at least not in this format).

The weather forecasters got things right because it was absolutely pouring rain when we got to the track Saturday morning. At the driver's meeting we discussed what to do if it continued to rain all day as predicted, and the group voted to run both races on Sunday since the rain was supposed to stop overnight. It did, in fact, continue to rain all day and Michael Munley was the only one to venture onto the track (for two total laps) since he had never run Roebling Road before. That meant we'd be racing first thing Sunday morning with no qualifying times, so during the V8RRS Saturday evening social at the Shell House we decided to draw lots to set the grid for those who did not have a time at that point.

As a result the grid for Race #1 was: . 1st GTA (1st OA) - Michael Munley, Overbagh Racing Monte Carlo: 2.33.763 . 1st GT2 (2nd OA) - Danny Lowry, PitBoxes.com Porsche . 2nd GTA (4th OA) - Steve Magowen, University Volvo Camaro . 2nd GT2 (5th OA) - Al Rowland, Superior Trailer Camaro . 3rd GTA (6th OA) - Randy Walker, Walker Properties Camaro . 4th GTA (7th OA) - Allan Kosloski, Johnny's NY Style Pizza Monte Carlo . 5th GTA (8th OA) - Jim Matheson, Matheson-Ball Grand Prix . 6th GTA (9th OA) - Greg Burgess, HipPocket Racing Challenger . 1st SPO (10th OA) - Randall Winters, HardSteel Co. Mustang

You can't crank engines before 8:00 at Roebling Road and we were scheduled to grid up at 8:05, so the Chief Steward (Toni Creighton) agreed to give us two pace laps to allow things to warm up and also give our drivers a chance to see where any water might be standing on the track. Al Rowland spun on the first pace lap (he was using the Pirelli TA2 radials for the first time) and went to the back of the pack but re-assumed his original grid spot on the second pace lap (more on this later).

At the green Danny took the lead into Turn 1 and was never headed the rest of the race. Al quickly moved up to second, Randy Walker moved to third and Michael slotted into fourth. Al stayed right on Danny's six for the first eight laps but never was able to get by, then he developed a bit of a miss and backed off the last two laps. After figuring out which way the track went Michael slowly closed the gap to Randy, then finally got by him under braking for Turn 1 starting the last lap. Most everyone else held station for the duration, then in the closing laps new member Randall Winters harrassed Allan but came up 0.149 seconds back at the checkers - another lap and it may have been a different story!

Finals for Race#1: . 1st GT2 (1st OA) - Danny Lowry, PitBoxes.com Porsche; 1.14.592 . 2nd GT2 (2nd OA) - Al Rowland, Superior Trailer Camaro; 1.15.269 . 1st GTA (3rd OA) - Michael Munley, Overbagh Racing Monte Carlo; 1.16.831 . 2nd GTA (4th OA) - Randy Walker, Walker Properties Camaro; 1.17.833 . 3rd GTA (5th OA) - Steve Magowen, University Volvo Camaro; 1.19.434 . 4th GTA (7th OA) - Allan Kosloski, Johnny's NY Style Pizza Monte Carlo; 1.28.569 . 1st SPO (8th OA) - Randall Winters, HardSteel Co. Mustang; 1.26.514 . 5th GTA (9th OA) - Greg Burgess, HipPocket Racing Challenger; 1.29.499 . 6th GTA (10th OA) - Jim Matheson, Matheson-Ball Grand Prix; 1.32.161

During Impound I asked Al if anyone had talked to him yet about re-assuming his place on the pace lap, and right at that moment one of the stewards came up with a piece of paper in his hand. The SCCA rules state you cannot pass under yellow, and by moving back to his original grid spot Al had made multiple passes under the double-yellow. Duly admonished he was moved to last in class (which is where he was anyway) but now knows the SCCA rules are different than the short track rules he's more familiar with. Please make a note of it for future reference!

After clearing Impound the teams had a little over an hour to turn the cars around before the 10:15 scheduled start of Race #2. Unfortunately Al and his crew did not have time to find the cause of their miss so he was a DNS for the 20-lap feature race. Others were gridded based on their fastest time to that point, which would have been the fast lap in Race #1. Wayne Heuer was now driving the Johnny's NY Style Pizza Monte Carlo and started from the back (one row behind where Allan would have been gridded).

At the green Danny again led into Turn 1 while Randy slotted into second with Michael and Steve close behind. Those four continued to run nose-to-tail while over the next two laps Wayne worked his way up to fifth overall and Randall retired at the end of lap 4 when his fan belt came off. Steve passed Michael for third overall on lap 10 but then pulled off on the back side with mechanical issues half a lap later. Danny and Randy continued to lead with Michael falling back slightly, then on lap 17 Michael got loose on the back side and dropped back. Greg came in just past the halfway point because his tires were shot (third weekend on them and Roebling is very much a tire-dependent track) while Jim picked up a miss but soldiered on.

At the checkers for Race #2 the order was: . 1st GT2 (1st OA) - Danny Lowry, PitBoxes.com Porsche; 1.16.120 . 1st GTA (2nd OA) - Randy Walker, Walker Properties Camaro; 1.16.190 . 2nd GTA (3rd OA) - Michael Munley, Overbagh Racing Monte Carlo; 1.16.951 . 3rd GTA (4th OA) - Wayne Heuer, Johnny's NY Style Pizza Monte Carlo; 1.20.040 . 4th GTA (6th OA) - Jim Matheson, Matheson-Ball Grand Prix; 1.24.340 . 5th GTA (7th OA) - Greg Burgess, HipPocket Racing Challenger; 1.26.716 . 6th GTA (8th OA) - Steve Magowen, University Volvo Camaro; 1.16.744 . 1st SPO (9th OA) - Randall Winters, HardSteel Co. Mustang; 1.25.548 . 2nd GT2 (dns) - Al Rowland, Superior Trailer Camaro; no time

Per standard SCCA practice all cars went across the scales, then during Impound V8RRS Tech Chief Jim Creighton checked carburetor numbers, throttle body sizes, and intake manifold numbers (he may have checked other items but I didn't see it). Racers have been asking for a more "visible" compliance effort going forward, so expect more of the same at future events.

All in all we had some excellent racing despite one day of horrible weather. We now have a break until February 8,9 (at Sebring), so here's hoping everyone has a great holiday season!

See y'all at the track...

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