Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My Day at Gingerman Raceway

I arrived at the track around 7:30, unhitched the tow-bar and drove over to get in line for tech inspection. After re-securing the battery, the green dot of passing was applied to the top corner of my car's windshield. The driver's meeting went quickly, but thoroughly, and the first group (racers) were an the track on-time at 9.

I was in the third (last) group (stock and IS), so my three 20 minute practice sessions were at 40 past the hour. This was the first time on the track for my '68 (110/PG). I'd just finished up a total rebuild of the suspension and the alignment was done the day before departing for MI. Also, my only track experiences had been behind the wheel of an EM. Needless to say, driving a lowered,stiffened LM with quick-steer arms is a tremendously different experience. I could drive so much deeper into corners and felt like I was carrying far more speed than I could have in my '63. I never once felt like the rear was going to come around and the turn-in response was immediate.

During the lunch brake Seth led a group of cars for a few taste-of-the-track laps. Two of my daughters are with me this week, and, after a couple laps, I offered to let them drive. Only the 19 year old was willing, so we exited the track, and she and I traded places. She had an entirely too good of a time. I'm afraid she's going to be asking for a helmet for her next birthday.

The time trials started soon after with the groups lined up in the same fast to slow order. One of the first cars to go out sadly broke it's engine. I only got snippets of the story, so hopefully someone can fill in the details. From what I could tell, there were no fluids dropped on the track, so runs started again fairly quickly. Before I knew it I was gridded and then sent out for my four laps (warmup, 2 timed, cool down). My first hot lap went smoothly and I felt good. I pushed things a little harder on the second and ended up overcooking it a little going into the back hairpin. Had I been in my early, this would have been disastrous, but in the late I was able to wrestle the car around the corner. Missing the turn-in point killed me for entering the fastest stretch on the track.

I hung around for award's presentation. I missed out on the Fast and Shiftless award for cars with automatic trannies with a 140 powered LM's 2:19 beating my 2:20. For comparison the fast time of the day was 1:51.

it was a fantastic way to start my convention experience.

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Tom in Baltimore

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