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  Aggregated  SPEC 7 FORUM  Event Write ups- Give us your excuse for not winning  3/15-16, 2008 -...
 3/15-16, 2008 - NASA MSRC Round 2
 
 3/17/2008 9:50:26 AM
Rob Lay
250 posts
1st


3/15-16, 2008 - NASA MSRC Round 2
 (United States)

Thanks for letting me play again. As said that is the most fun racing I've had since I last raced SRX7. SCCA Runoffs is cool except for the money outlay and getting beat by "amateur" factory teams. Most of the SRX7 field is good enough to win SCCA National races. Think about it, you are racing a 25-30 year old car that doesn't always turn where you want it, no ABS, and finicky shifting. Competition side you will maybe only find that close and hard of racing in Spec Miata. If you can handle SRX7, you can handle anything hard top I'm convinced.

I went out Friday for 2 practice sessions in Tony's #41. I was surprised how quick most of it came back, but from my 1:33 lap times I knew what it took to get that last little bit had been easily lost and would be hard to get back. Car ran great Friday except someone gave me a head's up the brake lights weren't working. Turned out to be a tricky bug that even took master mechanics Tony and Lance awhile to figure out.

Saturday morning practice 3 laps in on back side the car shut off and I could crank the starter, but it wouldn't come to life. Turns out the fuel pump fuse had blown. Tony and Lance worked on it some more, hmm, maybe I would be better off without brake lights. :) Qualifying I knew would be important for the short race, I was first on grid ready to go, just getting ready for my first "see God" lap the car shut off again in same corner. After this time Tony and Lance found the shorting wire and a perm fix was found.

Race 1 for the all important Chris Hewett Memorial Cup the car was working fine, but I missed my up shift from 2nd to 3rd at the green and went back to 8th or maybe last. I got back by 2 cars first lap, so was in 6th behind Lance and Travis. Travis was having major handling problems, so at some point I got by him and finished the race in 5th. Car ran well and a few burnt brain cells were remembering how to get the SRX7 around the track, I was down to 1:31 flats. Still a far cry from when I held the lap record for 6 months at 1:27.9, but that was a newly built car, Mazda crate motor, and restrictive exhaust (quiet, but torquey for MSR!).

Race 2 random draw and I was in 5th. I had a great start and made it through a 5 ft. hole in the 6 ft. wide #41. I'm a little fuzzy, but think I was in 2nd behind Lance. At some point after battling Lance I got by and was in front! So many laps latter one by one Tony, Matt, and Donato would catch me and then get by. I had a front row seat watching their race from a few lengths back.

Morning qualifying was going OK, but 3 laps in after the red cross flag I got a low gas sputter and called it the morning. Surprisingly my 1 early cold lap was good enough for 4th on grid. Leaving grid Donato's car ahead was stumbling and gave him as much chance as possible to get it going, I kept giving him longer and longer because it would almost sound like it would take. Finally with the Legends taking green I knew we had to catch up and went around. Good start and found myself in 3rd for a little. Travis got a good run out of Big Bend and I pointed him by. I should have stayed right on his bumper, but fell back when some traffic came through. That left me several lengths back and I had to work so hard for 6-8 laps to start gaining back on him. I was driving really well, but at the limit and then my number finally came up as I blew little bend and lost all that hard earned time gain. I finished out the race in 4th behind Travis.

Lot of fun, mostly because of the people, a lot because of the close racing, and a little because the SRX7 is just a crazy wild handful. :)

See y'all at the next NASA races, I will be back in the boring Fiat.

 3/17/2008 10:24:01 AM
Donato
137 posts
1st


Re: 3/15-16, 2008 - NASA MSRC Round 2
 (United States)

I would say I had a horrible weekend but the reality is I still loved it, I had a great time and although I don't want another problem filled weekend like this one, the problems were my fault.

Changed front pads/ ended up changing a stuck front capliper later. Rebuilt Carb top way too many times - must have been..... 5?  rebuild entire carb - 2 of them! STILL F'ing floods ( But just every now and again ) I was pulling what I have left of my hair out.

How much time does it take to prep a car?  Answer: How much time you got?!

  I finiished 3rd in the Trophy Race after Tony took the win then Matt. The Saturday fun race ( which we drew straws for starting positions) I made it into the lead after about 3 laps then Matt passed me then Tony a bit later. Car did not make the starting line for Sunday's race.

BUT the coolest parts of the whole weekend is the absolute comeradery (SP?).

As usual, everyone helped with each others cars - Hell Tony got my carb running good before the Gremlins jumped back inside.

 When you guys stayed behind me as my car started to struggle then waited WAY TOO LONG to see if I could get going again, that was cool, very cool. Thanks.

At the end of the race Tony, driving up to the corner station and pushing me back into the Pits. Class act. Even after I pointed a black flag at him on the last lap :)

Thanks a GREAT WEEKEND. Class act's all of you.

 

 3/17/2008 10:29:33 AM
KC's Wife
132 posts
1st


Re: 3/15-16, 2008 - NASA MSRC Round 2
 (United States)

It is weekends like this and guys like all of y'all that make everything I do worth it- absolutely worth it! Donato making a special trip to grid to come see me was heartwarming ;-)

Thank you for all the kind words- KC's got some damage but we'll get her fixed up and be at TWS in April- 4 hour Enduro anyone? :-)

A


Adrian Carpenter, Race Director~ NASA Texas
 3/17/2008 3:48:43 PM
Travis
290 posts
1st


Re: 3/15-16, 2008 - NASA MSRC Round 2
 (United States)

ok, how many cars is KC going to go through until he gets his senses back and buys a SRX7

Although my handling problem continued saturday and I did all I could to keep it on the track on Saturday.. Thanks to Lance, Donato, Matt, Rex and Tony, we figured out at the last minute on sunday what the problem was and I was able to finish 3rd..

Had a great weekend as usual.. It was great to see everyone.. Thanks NASA again..

 3/18/2008 12:47:11 PM
mbuskuhl
251 posts
1st


Re: 3/15-16, 2008 - NASA MSRC Round 2
 (United States)

Excellent weekend! Thanks to Clifton and Adrian for doing the starts like I had hoped for. Glad no one hit me when I spun and thanks to all for giving me passing room - hopefully I didn't get in anyones way.

I and one of the TR guys stayed until just after 6:00pm to get the official results, here they are for anyone that wants them - http://www.4shared.com/file/41174892/b4069404/20080317160924.html

 3/18/2008 2:06:45 PM
mnemani
12 posts
5th


Re: 3/15-16, 2008 - NASA MSRC Round 2
 (United States)

Hey Mark,

Thanks for sharing the race 3 results.  The funny thing is that I shaved between 3-4 secs of my best lap time just in race 3 from all weekend.  The coaching from Matt and Lance really helped.  I had way too many spin-outs to make it a race but I felt like I really was starting to get into the rhythm of that track.  My speed is still shit SLOW compared to all of you but this is my 2nd race ever. 

Matt/Lance - thanks for the coaching on the whiteboard. 

Really enjoyed it and have hope that I can incrementally make progress and be competitive by end of season.

Murali

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