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Still Racing After All These Years (2000 Wrap-up)

At the end of each racing season I take some time to reflect on how things went the previous twelve months and establish goals for the upcoming year. After finishing second in the SCCA’s 1999 road racing series for regional drivers, I had decided to move up and attempt to qualify for and participate in their National Championship event (aka - the Runoffs). As longtime readers may remember, my original goal last November was to finish in the top ten of GT-1 drivers in the Southeast Division (thus earning the invitation), qualify in the top twenty at the Runoffs and finish in the top ten in the championship race. Granted the playing field tilted somewhat as the 2000 season went along, but we ended up accomplishing what I’d hoped to do.

I’ve summarized our weekends below, but that chart only begins to tell the story of this season for BK Racing, LLC. We qualified for the Runoffs with a 15-year old car and an engine I built in my shop at home (if SCCA had a "Club GT-1" class we would have won it hands down), then finished eighth at the Runoffs with what was essentially a brand new car. In addition, we also ran enough Solo I events (kinda like NCCC high-speed) to bring the GT-1 championship back to Woodstock after it’s one year sojourn in the Big Easy. Along the way, we officially broke or set the Solo I class records at Beech, Peach State & VIR, broke the overall Solo I track record at Talladega and unofficially broke the GT-1 road racing track record at Kershaw. Although some of my NCCC years running out of the Florida Region were pretty decent, I’d have to say this was the most successful racing season I’ve had since I first started autocrossing way back in 1972!

Although it runs the risk of sounding like a NASCAR winner’s circle interview, you’ll notice I use "we" and "our" a lot in the previous paragraph. That because there’s no way I could have had a year like this one without a LOT of help from family & friends. First on the list has to be Harriett, my life partner and best friend. Not only does she understand how important racing is to me and encourage me when times are tough, she also originated the plan to have Johnny Miller build the new race car. Mike Hearn from Birmingham, Mike Eakin from Tallahassee and Eric Bartel (from Home Depot) crewed for me at a number of events this year, as did Corvette Atlanta members Eric Roberts and Charlie Johnson (including the Runoffs). I’ve also appreciated the support and positive comments from multiple Corvette Atlanta members when we’ve run into each other (not literally) at various events this season. Finally, Donnie Parks even made a special trip to the house the night before we left for Mid-Ohio to deliver the "official" NCCC track map and discuss the various corners from a Corvette drivers’ perspective. It might sound corny, but:

"Thanks guys – there’s no way it would have happened without you."

Shifting gears to the 2001 season, the goal is to again qualify for the Runoffs, but this time finish on the podium and get to thank everyone on national TV. As I’ve written before, the car is easily capable so I need to either get up to speed personally or put an ad in the newsletter for a new driver. And although we might run selected Solo I and/or NCCC events as test sessions, the focus of the new year will be road racing events that lead to the National Championship. As before, I’ll keep you posted as the year progresses.

See you at the track…

 

Date

 

Event

 

Finish

Jan 8,9

Sebring National

7th in class (7th overall)

Mar 10-12

Roebling National

3rd in class (4th overall)

Apr 1,2

Road Atlanta National

DNS (engine)

May 19-21

Beech Mtn. Hillclimb

1st in class (new record)

May 27,28

Skelly Solo I

1st in class (3rd overall)

Jun 10,11

Road Atlanta National

DNS (rear end)

Jul 2

Roebling Dbl.National #1

6th in class (12th overall)

Jul 3

Roebling Dbl.National #2

5th in class (6th overall)

Aug 5,6

Roebling Solo I

FTD

Aug 25-27

Mid-Ohio National

DNF (brain fade)

Sep 9

Peach State Solo I

1st in class (new record)

Sep 11

test new car at Kershaw

WOW! (1:37.5)

Sep 23,24

Mid-Ohio Regional

DNS (rain)

Oct 2-10

Runoffs at Mid-Ohio

start 16th, finish 8th

Oct 21,22

Talladega Solo I

FTD (overall record)

Nov 4,5

VIR Solo I (in Godzilla)

1st in class (new record)