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Executive Summary:

We went pretty quick, both Allan & I had a good time, and we loaded a running race car into the trailer Sunday afternoon. I still don't like Barber but Allan does, so I left him on the side of the road in Anniston!

Longer Version:

Allan (Kosloski) & I unloaded the trailer and removed the broken quick change on Monday evening after getting back from Charlotte, then the following Sunday evening (8/21) I drove up to Mooresville to deliver it to Tiger Rear Ends at 7:00 the following morning. The axle tubes and the differential were okay, but everything else from the (at least) twenty-year old Benson rear end was toast. After dropping it off I went over to get in the way at Tony Ave's shop in Maiden, NC, then about 3:00 that afternoon Wayne from Tiger called and said my new unit was ready to go! Allan came over Tuesday evening and we got the bulk of the work done reinstalling it (things went a LOT smoother than when we took it out) and I finished up on Wednesday evening, so we loaded up Thursday evening before "date night" with Harriett.

Allan & I rolled out of Woodstock around 3:00 EDT Friday afternoon and (after dealing with typical Atlanta traffic) arrived at Barber Motorsports Park just before 6:00 CDT. There was a bit of a delay getting into the track and setting up Friday evening, but we persevered and all we had to do was check tire pressures and torque the wheels after the Track Trials drivers' meeting at 7:00 Saturday morning.

Session #1 - 8:45 Sat (Butch driving): Ran laps in the 1:48-1:50 range while dealing with traffic, then on the last lap the car started getting really loose in the corners. I came in and we found the LR tire was flat, which would definitely make the rear end move around a bit. We found the hole and I had a tire plug kit so we got everything patched up (and added air) in time for the second session. We also noticed there was still a bit of an oil leak around the fuel pump area, but it wasn't nearly as bad as it had been at Charlotte.

Session #2 - 9:30 Sat (Butch driving): They gridded the cars based on Session #1 times so we were first overall, but on the out lap the transmission got stuck in second gear as I shifted from second to third on the back straight so I aborted the session without getting a time. Back at the paddock I got the transmission out of gear and determined (since we hadn't had a problem at Charlotte) that it was because I was "lazy" rather than aggressive on that particular shift. We then went to lunch to wait on the afternoon session.

Session #3 - 14:00 Sat (Butch driving): Some folks had run faster than my 1:48.6 in session #1, so we lined up third for the final session of the day. This time I shifted forcefully and drove more aggressively now that I/we had air in all four tires, and I ended up with a best lap of our run group at 1:43.939. That would have only been mid-pack in a good GTA field but we were on year-old tires with more than ten heat cycles, we were still geared for Charlotte (I never got into fourth gear), and I really don't like Barber all that much anyway. However I still felt good about things because I was again comfortable with the car and I "remembered" how to left-foot brake without also hitting the gas at the same time. Oh, and there was no problem with the shifter at all! It was a happy group that dined in Moody, AL, that evening.

I was good with where things were and didn't feel I needed more seat time, so Sunday morning we jumped through the necessary hoops to allow Allan to drive that day's two sessions. We also continued to have oil "seepage" in the area of the fuel pump, so I rigged up a diaper to see if we could isolate the source. Other than that, it was just a matter of adding fuel, checking the tire pressures, and changing the car numbers over for Allan.

Session #4 - 8:45 Sun (Allan driving): Although they tried to move us to the front of the line based on my times from Saturday, we opted to grid near the rear since (a) it was Allan's first time at Barber and (b) only his second session ever driving Cuervo. He spent a few laps working through traffic and learning which way the track went, then when he finally found a bit of a gap the transmission got stuck in second gear again. Second gear is good for 110 mph and we only run a max of 125 or so at Barber (did I mention I don't like Barber all that much? - that's a lot of the reason), so rather than bringing it in I suggested he stay out and learn some more about which way the corners went. His best lap ended up being a 1:58.2, and during the lunch break we jacked the car up high enough to actually adjust the shifter rather than just saying, "It'll be fine". During lunch we also went up in the Tower and looked at the track map, and Allan figured out he was doing the last portion of the track all wrong.

Session #5 - 12:40 Sun (Allan driving): Now that he had some experience with the track we opted to go out in our assigned position and Allan immediately knocked five seconds off his previous best (assisted by a working shifter, no doubt). He ran four laps in the 1:53-1:54 range, then as he found a clear spot in traffic I radioed that he had about two laps left so "concentrate on hitting your marks and using all of the track". He responded with a 1:52.810, then he lowered that to a 1:50.171 as he got the checkered flag. He ran his best lap of the weekend (good for 8th of the 15 entries in our run group) on his last lap and we loaded a running race car into the trailer, so by all the important measures it was a very good weekend!

On the way home we discussed where to go from here. Allan is obviously serious about this endeavor and appears to have some talent, so we're talking about maybe doing a couple of more Track Trials events before taking Cuervo to the SCCA Drivers' School next February at Roebling Road. Around Anniston he also remarked that he "really likes running at Barber because of the elevation change and constant cornering, particularly the kink in the middle of the back straight!" It was then that I threatened to stop the truck and leave him on the side of the road if he didn't stop talking… <g>

In other news updates, the SCCA Board of Directors has not yet published how they are going to proceed in regards to the (now vacant) President's position. My understanding is they will meet later this month at the Runoffs to discuss options, so until then my official position on the matter remains:

"I continue to monitor the situation with a great deal of interest".

Remaining (proposed) 2016 BK Racing schedule:

  • Sep 16-18 - V8RRS at Watkins Glen International (Watkins Glen NY)
  • Oct 1-2 (tentative) - Talladega Grand Prix TT (Anniston AL)
  • Oct 14-16 - V8RRS Finale at VIRginia International Raceway (Danville VA)
  • Nov 4-6 - The ARRC by GRM at Road Atlanta (Braselton GA)
  • Nov 19-20 (tentative) - Roebling Road TT (Savannah GA)

As always, let me know if you'd like more information about any of these events.

See y'all at the track…