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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
SCCA T1 Diary: 4/3/2005

My second SCCA race of 2005 at beautiful but cold Summit Point, WV. The temperature was 45 degrees but with the wind blowing at 25-30 MPH it felt like 20!

I was gridded 3rd behind Andrew Aquilante and Chip Ott, and ahead of Bob Kahn and six other T1 drivers.

The first lap went smoothly as we all raced down the front straight to the tight right hander called Turn One. I maintained my inside line and as we exited the turn I was now in second place behind young Mr. Aquilante.

AJ “checked out” immediately, I could see he was significantly faster than I was and wanted to be on a cold track. I wanted to bring the car home in one piece, so I wasn’t trying to set fastest time in the first lap. Hence the first place car was all but out of reach by the 3rd lap, although I did convince myself that that was to be expected and was “OK” as traffic would offset such a development. It was not the case; I never saw AJ again.

My hands were full with maintaining second place for the next 17 laps. I fought off charges by Pete Kulka, then Chip Ott, then finally Bob Kahn. Bob actually passed me on Lap 17 going down the front straight, but I out-braked him going into Turn One and regained second place.

At the end of the 18th lap I entered Turn Ten and the car had no “go power.” The clutch pedal went straight to the floor. Everyone passed me as I coasted the length of the front straight and parked the car out of harm’s way.

I don’t know the extent of the mechanical ills, but I suspect, and am crossing my fingers, that it is the proverbial “$7.00” part that ruined my race weekend.

After the flat bed ride back to my paddock, I ran over to the impound area to congratulate the top three finishers: Andrew, Bob Kahn and Pete Kulka. Much to my surprise I was greeted with some coolness as I was taken to task by one driver who was accusing me of “blocking.”

Being a relative new comer to this, I asked another racer who had more experience. This “older” gentlemen (older than I) said what I was doing was “OK,” but only if it was during the last five laps.

Hmmm, this is odd. I understand the unwritten rules for blocking: you are allowed one move. After reviewing each lap on my in-car camera, I clearly only made “one” move per pass zone. I don’t think there are rules for the first part of a race, and another set of rules for the last part of it.

I spoke with some other experienced SCCA people about this, most who watched the race. None of them said I was “blocking.”

I admit I did run a conservative race. I knew my car was faster over a certain part of the course, the part where most of the passing was possible. I purposely drove slower in the Carousel for a number of reasons: #1: it is very hard to pass a like-classed car in that section, #2: there is not a lot of lap time to be gained by pushing the car through it, #3: I wanted to conserve my tires for later in the race, and #4 there was water in many key spots making traction difficult to find.

The racers who were complaining could not pass me down the front straight; I think my car makes more horsepower than their cars.

A disappointing weekend; the mechanical woes are one thing, but the issues with my fellow T1 drivers really bother me. I intend to contact the two involved to clarify my position on things. I am not out there to make enemies.
 

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Don't take it so hard David!!
The young bucks wanted you to back down instead of having the HP and brakes to pass you??
Sounds like BS to me, don't beat yourself up! Mind games work in every occupation and endeavour!!
Good luck with finding and correcting the parts failure!

Ken
 

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David, you drove an excellent race, held your lines and stayed out of trouble...

I always say to the guy who thinks he can get by, go ahead and try it... You are always welcome to go around the outside, but if i get to the corner first, its mine...

From the following drivers point of view, you presented an interesting cerebral challenge... How to set up a pass of the car ahead... It may take a few laps, but it just takes some thought!!!

You looked great. The battle for 2nd was intense and fascinating to watch... The four of you... Yourself, chip ott, peter Kulka and bob Kahn had a lot of fun...

Sorry i could not be part of it and had to watch from the hill!!!

What a great battle to watch... 3 and 4 ide almost every lap going into turn one, then three... Wow... Wish i had had a Movie camera to record it!!!

Joe
 

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I'm with Joe, if you want to pass me then go around me!!! Racing to me is not a popularity contest. It is a battle between cars and people. Just read the forums, everybody bitches about this and that. People need to step up and take responsibility for their own short comings. Dave, I would expect any good driver to do the same as you did. When I’m on the track I am trying to win the race at all times. If it’s a pass for position then the guy behind me needs to find a way around me. That’s that.
 

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I wasn't there ... would have been watching, but opted to go do a lo-speed parking lot autox ... not the same by any stretch, but at least I was in the car instead of watching.
One point or question ... are there not course marshalls and corner workers who are to flag cars violating the rules?
In the absence of flags ... i would think it would be what is called "competitive racing" nes pa?
Hope all works out at a tolerable cost on the car.
Regards,
Denny
 

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David did not block. He drove his line. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th place cars were very evenly matched and ran bumper-to-bumper for 18 laps. On most occassions David would come through 4 and down the carousel with a 2 or three car length lead. I agree with others above, that you are allowed to hold your line. It is not a DE! I saw the whole race from the grandstand (you can see all but turn 10, the front straight, and turns 1, 2, and 3) and David made no moves to block. I believe blocking occurs when someone pulls out to pass and then you pull over to block. That did not happen. It is no surprise that the SCCA has such a bad reputation. Too many of the drivers are cry babies and sore losers.

David, did you ever see a blue and yellow flag? Of course not.

David, sorry about the mechanical failure. Good job! It was good to see you again.

:thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Joe, Jeff, Larry, and Kenny for the kind comments. It was a long ride home thinking about this. I need to get some thicker skin, that's for sure.

It is no surprise that the SCCA has such a bad reputation. Too many of the drivers are cry babies and sore losers.
I disagree, I think the SCCA has the best reputation and the best racing. This is a driver-to-driver issue, not an SCCA issue. I could have just told them to "go to <blank>," but that's not my way.

One point or question ... are there not course marshalls and corner workers who are to flag cars violating the rules?
Yes, there are many corners workers who watched the whole thing. No flags were flown cause we were racing. That's the answer to it all! RACING!

When I parked the car and the race was over, one of the corner workers came to me and said it was the best "Corvette racing" he had ever witnessed. I imagine if what he saw was "wrong" he would have said something then. Reasonable assumption, yes?
 

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David -
Sounds like you need to put the issue out of your mind so it doesn't impact your next race. Congratulations, sounds like it was a great one!
 

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AJ “checked out” immediately, I could see he was significantly faster than I was and wanted to be on a cold track.
I suppose this debunks that old axiom "Age & treachery will always overcome youth and skill"

Nice write-up.
 

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Hey Dave,
It was great meeting you this weekend. I wouldn't give the blocking issue a second thought. Besides, the only obvious block at Summit Point would be the straightaway and there's just no reason to do it. I had my share of problems too, Needed to bed in my brakes AND scuff the tires at warmup. That cold bitchy track didn't like that one bit and I did half a spin and lost 4 places. Then my crew tells me I can play catch up, so I pass my way back to get behind Berkely with Loomis in tow passing away as well. So after the start in lap 2 they black flag me and pit penalize me. :drunk: So then the destroy your tires campaign begins cutting through ssb, ssc and most of T2 like locusts in a swarm. I finally pass the last place T1 car and then AJ squeezes me in turn 10, I put two wheels off at 90mph start to lose it right, save it, then lose it left, save it, then spin 360 degrees jam it in 2nd under braking and away we goo. No need for a red bull on the drive home after that one! :lol: You gotta see the video on that one.
Well, my lap times indicate I would have finished 2 to 3 slots up, but a crate motor is coming, so keep an eye out! Looks like I'll have to do Ledges or NHIS to make up for this one.
Cheers! Evan
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good meeting you too, Evan.

Papa Joe described you perfectly: a big ole teddy bear. Nice and cuddly but don't mess with you! :eek:

As you and I discussed, this is the best Corvette site. And you were giving me crap for my T1 Diaries! :)

Regarding my two friends: I guess if I had not DNFed I would have jsut blown them off, but I was feeling pretty low, more than I showed. I had a great weekend starting Friday and lasting until the 18th lap.

I go to the impound to be friendly and get that. Again, I really think it was a combination of things. All behind me now.

See in a few weeks.
 

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David,
Sounds like you a had a good race going. Nice job holding 2nd against a big field. Sorry to hear about your mechanical failure. You figure out what it was yet?

As for the blocking, I've never heard the "one" move thing you mention. In my understanding of the rules, once you commit to a side, either inside or outside, you can't move at all to block the other guy unless you leave him room on the side you didn't chose.

Take Memphis as we both know that. If you come out onto the main straight and stay to the left and I move to the right to pass and you move right and don't leave me room to the right between you and the guardrail I would be upset as well. I would have to lift to avoid you and as even as the Vette are a pass inside going to get made with a lift. If you come out onto the drag strip and move right early, clearly leaving me the outside, then I'll try to pass on the outside. If you moved left again pushing against the left wall, again, I'd be upset

I don't have my GCR with me and don't have time to look up them online, but if you moved on the guys attempting to pass then I can see their point of view. In my 27 races or so, I have only had one person "move" on me. A few have taken the inside and forced an outside pass, but they clearly left me room on the outside.

Congrats to Andrew on a nice race. :cheers:

So what car was he driving? Same one as last year?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Brad,

Yes, I found the problem: small and inexpensive, but costly.

Regarding the "moves," or lack there of: I never really made a move at all, just protected the passing zone really well.

Turn One at SP is similar to Turn One at Memphis, except much slower.

At SP I just ran the whole front straight on the right (inside) line. I did this everytime a car was within five car lengths of me. If further back I used the outside approach to the turn and subsequently went much faster through the turn.

I never started on the left side of the track and moved to the right within a lap. I did take a different line on different laps depending on circumstances.

I definitely did not block, just learned my lesson from Memphis (don't extend an engraved invitation to the guy behind you!).

There is more to this: the guy who complained was slower than I: my best time was a 1:22.367 versus his 1:22.635 (AJ's was a 1:21.600.

Also, my car was faster in the passing zones of the track. In the Carousel, I did not push the car too much for several reasons, he did. But while he could reach the back of my car, he could not get around me in the Carousel section of the track. Where the was room, I was much more aggressive.

To tell the truth, I thought I ran a pretty smart race.
 

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At SP I just ran the whole front straight on the right (inside) line. I did this everytime a car was within five car lengths of me. If further back I used the outside approach to the turn and subsequently went much faster through the turn.
If you pick a side (picking a line is what I think he means by one move) and stay there, that's not blocking. Blocking would be if you were to the left and then moved right as you were entering the turn to block the guy. Just watch M. Schumacher. He blocks all the time.

Sal
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Blocking would be if you were to the left and then moved right as you were entering the turn to block the guy.
I am, and was during the race, aware of that and did not do so.

Trust me, I don't want any type of bad reputation, whether as a cheater, rough driver, or blocker.
 

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David - I just had my MWC classroom session last weekend, this weekend is wheel to wheel Drivers School (Saturday) and First Race (Sunday)!

Anyway, they talked about blocking and described the "one move":

1) It's measured from corner to corner
2) A move is either inside to outside or vice versa
3) You are blocking if you move over (presumably in front of someone who has pulled out) and then if he moves the other way, you move again

You are way into this, mentally....I think it's great that you care what your compadres think, but at the same time don't overdo it, you can't make everyone happy! :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You are way into this, mentally....I think it's great that you care what your compadres think, but at the same time don't overdo it, you can't make everyone happy!
Aaron, I agree. But there are things I (anyone, really) can do:

Drive properly on the track, and treat people properly off the track.

From a "big picture" perspective: my actions racing reflect on the rest of my life. Just as it is said that you can learn alot about someone from spending five hours playing 18 holes of golf, the same can be said about how someone handles themselves in racing.

I don't want to hurt my (relatively) good professional reputation by my actions (or inactions) in T1 racing.

The person who made the comments is someone I like, although I really don;t know him real well. Last year when he had a driver in another class make some negative comments about him, I called him and told him to "not let it get to him."

Am I worrying or caring too much about this? Probably. But I have found that in the "relationship" business, you are more likely to care too little than too much.
 

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David,

Was it the clutch that failed or ?

Inquiring minds.....

Thanks,

:)
 

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Aj was in the old car that he drove all last year... The kid has been giving it constant tender loving care since the runoffs... he does all of the service and setup work himself, with Mark standing by to make sure no mistakes get made...

Old number 36 has seen about 45 races, and this winter we used it as the test car to compare the c6 to. It has about 7 long test days on the new motor that was installed last july by aj... Kinda getting old!

Andy really had his stuff together this weekend... He worked hard on the trailer loading, helped chip drive down with Bob's car and helped me with my car...

When i crashed it did not phase him and he called his own qualifying strategy from the drivers seat, came in and out of the pits twice and finally snagged the pole in his last try...

In the race, he just put his head down and drove hard...

I was pretty amazed and very pleased... I think the baton has passed...

As i said last year, what a feeling to have a son that loves doing what you like, and then does it even better...

Lets see what the rest of the year holds...

And, I echo Davids Comments about the drivers in T-1... A great group of gentlemen and sportsmen who all want to win, but know that this is just a sport.

Come try T-1 if you want to race... It is a lot of fun... Watching that group of four cars battling it out for the second position was a sight to behold... What a blast to drive i bet...

So, next stop is New Hampshire, then Nelsons ledges...

If you want to see some racing, look at the cars and talk to the guys who are doing it, come on out to the track... We all love to talk about Corvettes...

Thanks for all of the support!!!
 

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To AJ and crew,

Congrats! Your drive and win looked suspiciously like another well-known driver who won the Runoffs last year. It looked very smooth and effortless. I know it wasn't.

:jammin:
 
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