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2014 Roebling Road Double SARRC

A couple of you have mentioned you haven’t gotten any Updates in a while and wondered if I’d pruned the distribution list, but the truth is I’ve been so busy I haven’t been able to write anything yet this year!  This past weekend, however, Jay Gomer and I shared Cuervo at the SEDiv Double SARRC/ECR weekend at Roebling Road.  We did the test day on Friday, then Jay ran in SPO on Saturday while I ran GTA on Sunday. 

Short story – first in SPO (sixth overall) on Saturday, third in GTA (fourth overall) on Sunday.  And yes, it was HOT (!!!) and humid, but it never did rain during any of the on-track sessions.

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And as always, here’s the longer story:

Those who actually read my report from the 2013 ARRC by GRM may remember the name Jay Gomer.  Last October he sent the National Office a request for information on how to get into road racing and since he lives in Winder GA it fell on my desk.  It quickly became obvious that Jay was serious, has a good mechanical background, and has the resources to actually GO racing instead of talking about it, so in November I took him around to many of the folks at Road Atlanta so he could explore his options.  He ended up doing the February Drivers’ School at Roebling Road in one of OPM’s Spec Miatas and demonstrated some talent, so he then started looking at how he could get his Full Competition license in 2014.  His background is in big American V8’s and when he asked me who rents such cars I thought, “Hell, *I’d* be willing to work a deal to share some weekends!”  Bottom line is we’re going to share Cuervo over three Double SARRC weekends and the June 27-29 weekend at Roebling Road was the first on the list.

Jay is 6’3” so fitting into Cuervo is not a problem (he only needs ONE booster chair from Burger King in order to see over the dash) but since he weighs 100 pounds less than I do it would require a lot of ballast to meet the GTA minimum weight.  Right now he's just looking for seat time to gain experience and satisfy the licensing requirements, so after thinking about things over a couple of beers we decided he could run in SPO (where the first rule is, “there are no rules”) on Saturday and we could quickly transition the car to GTA trim by changing over the class decals and adjusting the belts to accommodate my “plus-sized” body.  I’d run the first session on Friday’s test day to make sure the wheels wouldn’t fall off, then he’d run the remaining test sessions and everything on Saturday to maximize seat time before I’d have a chance to break things on Sunday.  Granted I’ve only got one data point right now, but early indications are this will work out pretty well! <g>

By any measure, Jay did very well.  He ran three sessions on Friday to get used to the car and by the end of the day was shifting without the clutch just fine.  He struggled to get a clean lap in Saturday’s qualifying session but ended up fourth overall and first in SPO with a 1:16.7, lost a spot on the green, but then settled in to run consistent 1:18s and stayed close to BJ Holley’s GTA car in the hotter afternoon race.  When Vern Smith came up to join the GTA fray Jay wisely let him through (no need to mess up a class race when you’re not being challenged in your class) then maintained contact while Vern & BJ battled.  At the checkers the three were covered by maybe a second, and Jay was grinning from ear to ear as he took home the first place trophy in SPO!

On Sunday none of us had anything for Randy Walker, but Andrew Raines and I had one helluva battle for second in GTA, third overall.  We ran nose-to-tail for the first eight laps, he got away from me slightly mid-race when we hit traffic, but more traffic allowed me to close up again in the closing laps.  At the checkers I was just over a car length behind as the two red cars crossed the finish line almost as one.  Andrew is a good kid (I’ve got socks that are older than he is!) and it was a pleasure racing with him!

Some of you have also asked how the job is going, and my standard answer remains (with credit to Don Atwell), “It’s better than having a real job!”  Not to bore you with details, but so far in 2014:

  • January – Sebring Majors, Palm Beach Majors, Auto Club Speedway (Los Angeles) Majors, Topeka for a week
  • February – Topeka for a week, NOLA (New Orleans) Majors, family reunion in Pensacola, Roebling Road Drivers’ School
  • March – SCCA National Convention (Charlotte), Road Atlanta Majors
  • April – Topeka for a week, Thunderhill (San Francisco) Majors, Harriett & I vacation in Tobago with Beth & Frank Stapor
  • May – Road Atlanta TransAm race, Topeka for BoD meetings, Pacific Raceways (Seattle) Majors, Mid-Ohio Majors
  • June – Chicago Region June Sprints ®, then finally our first BK Racing race weekend

I’ve got to admit, I’m definitely not bored. <g>

Next event for BK Racing is July 11-13 at Road Atlanta.  Jay and I will again do the Friday test day, then he will run on Saturday and I’ll race on Sunday.

See y’all at the track…