Barber race debrief

posted Feb 3, 2014, 7:17 PM by Scoob Edoo   [ updated Feb 4, 2014, 3:49 AM ]
Where to start?  The drive down was in excellent weather, but I hit a snag at the Georgia line where they closed the interstate!  I had to jump off and take the old US/GA system for 15 miles and then it was bizarrely empty all the way to the track, but uneventful.  I arrived just as the gates were opening, so we got in and made camp right on the pit straight.  The Lowballers team was running well behind, so we played with the car and finished up the theme work on the Contour, got gear checked and signed in.  When the Lowballers made it in, they created quite the stir with their car and theme.  What used to be the Georassic Metro was transformed into a mix of both the Bandit and the Snowman's truck, complete with a box with the painting from the Snowman's rig.  The detail was incredible and Judge Phil flipped out with it.  I mean really flipped.  He was like a kid in a candy store on Christmas.  He granted them a Class C classification with Zero laps!  Their last race they were in Class A, so this was a big move.  Phil told them to go out and dominate!  The goodwill generated from their excellent effort carried over to the Leftovers car and we were granted Class B classification, but also with Zero penalty laps.  Now that's a way to start the weekend.

After a restless night we got to the track early and did the last minute prep.  David was the first driver and he ran a good 1:45 hour, 44-lap session.  Everything was good on the car and he ran consistent 2:02 laps in beautiful weather.  It only got better when Jed got in and the track warmed up some.  He was in the 1:58 range and again experienced no problems.  I was up next and we had a great stop and I went out and pushed the car in different places to see how it responded.  The understeer wasn't too bad and there was no torque steer.  In the dry it worked very well and I kept pushing to find time.  I eventually got comfortable enough to run in the 1:58s, too.  I got into a zone and when I finally looked at my fuel gauge, I was below 1/4 tank.  My radio wasn't working so I tried to signal the pits that I was coming in for the change to Keith.  Apparently it didn't work because when I rolled in I saw Keith in partial gear walking toward the paddock area.  When I parked the some of the Lowballers saw me sitting and called over to the paddock.  In a few minutes everyone came running and we got it refueled and Keith in the car.  A poor stop, but ultimately it didn't cost us anything.  Keith's stint went fine, then one more pit stop saw David get back in for the last 45 minutes or so.  His radio worked fine and he called to tell us that the brakes were gone.  He rode it out and came home clean.  The Lowballers had one problem with the rear left tire rubbing, so they fixed that and went back out but had no more problems the rest of the day and were leading C handily at the end of Day 1.  No black flags for either team.

We replaced the front brakes on the Contour - there was absolutely no pad material left on any of the pads - pure backing plate against the rotors.  Yikes.  And the rears looked brand new.

After another restless night we got back to the paddock to cook some bacon (7 lbs overall) and had a decision to make about the morning session.  We didn't think running flat out we could get more than 45 laps.  So David proposed that he drive the session at 90% to conserve fuel and make it the entire 2 hours.  There were doubts about whether or not it would work, which still aren't resolved.  But he did make it 56-ish laps.  When we refueled the car, it only took 10 gallons, so running at 90% really saved on fuel consumption a huge amount.  We checked out the brakes and they all looked new, so we hoped the new pads would do better. 

The plan for the rest of the day was to put Keith in 2nd, then Jed, then Me to finish hard and use up everything the car had left.  It was a reasonable plan, except for the dire forecast of rain for the afternoon which could really put a damper on the ability to run flat out.  Even so, that was the plan and it worked pretty well for most of the day.  When Jed got in, the weather was still perfect but it was clear the rain would make it around the time of me getting in, so we told him to run it hard.  He ran into the 1:57s and we were in 2nd when I got in.  By then, the clouds were in place and I ran about 10 minutes in the dry before the sprinkles started.  I still was able to run hard for about the first 40 minutes, but then the rain got harder and I overcooked the turn 7 entry and half-spun and got our first and only black flag of the weekend.  After that I decided to calm down a bit and then the monsoon hit and it became a miserable funeral procession for the most part.  It got to the point where there was so much standing water that very few crazies even attempted any passes.  I was screaming to anyone who would listen that they should call the race, but without any radio (again) I had no one to complain to.  And until I figured out to look at my watch, I had no idea how much time was left.

A little while later I saw the Lowballers car off to the side and parked.  The next lap we got the checkers, about 10 minutes early.  Thank you!

What was the result?  Leftovers took 2nd place in Class B.  Lowballers took 1st in C and Phil gave them the Index of Effluency, the most coveted of all the prizes!

After we got the gear and car packed, I hit the road at exactly 6:00 pm in the middle of the same typhoon I'd just finished the race in.  It was that way for the next 5:45, all the way home.  The FR-S got great fuel mileage both ways, over 32 mpg.