Well the racing season is over. 11/11 was our last event of the year. Also our last event at Ripken Stadium, EVER. We lost the log b/c the city of Aberdeen feels we are damaging the lot. They are effectively throwing out three clubs. Washington DC Region and a non-SCCA club Autocrosser’s Inc also use the lot. Speaking of Autocrossers Inc. (AI) we had second or maybe third Philly-AI Challenge at this event. Each club picks ten drivers. The fastest run for each driver is combined (after applying the PAX handicap) and the club with the lowest total wins. It’s a great competition to watch. Each club has some great drivers with several National Champions in the mix. The challenge is supposed to go over two days. One day at an AI event, the other at our event. Unfortunately something happened with the stadium and the AI event was canceled. That means the Challenge was held on just one day. And we lost. Better luck next time.
Also since we are losing Ripken we have no lot suitable for a winter series. Boeing is too small and Warminster too dangerous with the prospect of sliding off into the grass too great. Plus we only get so many events there a year so we’d rather not waste them on winter events. So unless we find suitable lot and they actually let us run there is no winter series.
Well about the Ripken event. I didn’t drive as well as I woul have liked. But I did feel like I learned something. I learned the car has a not more grip and is more capable then I am willing to push it. So I have to figure out how to get comfortable with the limits of the car. Eric Simmons, a local hotsoe, went on a ride with me and like Jon before him just said I wasn’t pushing it enough. He offered to drive the car and show me what it could do. He beat my previous run by 1 or 2 seconds, with a cone. There was a decreasing radius, but wide 180 turn that he was holding a lot of speed through. Then there was a slalom that tightened up before you made a left down a hill. I was lifting through the slalom and slowing down before the left. We thought I could keep it flat through the slalom and just lift before the left. I was telling myself what I had to do and to not to chicken out as I approached the elements, but ended up lifting to get around the last slalom cone and tapped the break before the left.
The car has a lot in it but it’s out of my comfort zone. I’m not quite sure how to raise my comfort zone to meet the capabilities of the car. Maybe it just comes with time. Some guys can just get in a car, throw abandon the the wind and go fast right away. I’m not one of those guys. I instinctively slow down when I sense trouble. Gotta fix that. The results were 2nd out of 4 in class, 0.847 (1.7%) behind first and 59th out of 172 in PAX.
Thanks to Philly region photographer Christine Warren, who always takes some good pics I have some action shots to share with you. Click for bigger version. There’s more in the picture gallery.