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Grassroots Motorsports Thread

Discussion in 'Permanent Threads' started by Nettdata, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. Nettdata

    Nettdata
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    As you may already know, I manage a Grand Am Porsche racing team, and compete in the local racing scene in the Pacific Northwest. Racing is one of my passions, as is helping others get into it and get the most out of it.

    I'm not sure how many other people are involved in racing of any kind, but I thought I'd try to spin up a separate thread for it and see how it goes.

    Ask your questions about Driver Education, track driving, racing, and post about your own exploits.

    Cars, motorcycles, lawn mowers... whatever floats your boat. Hell, boats even.

    If you race on or in it, this is the thread.
     
  2. Nettdata

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    12 Hours of the Cascades, Endurance Racing at Portland

    Here's a post I just made on our Bullet Racing web site, that I thought I would use to kick off the thread.

    I was sick at home in bed with the Swine, so I couldn't make it.

    [​IMG]

    As I mentioned earlier, Bullet Racing participated in the 34th Running of the 12 Hours of the Cascades on October 17th, 2009, at Portland International Raceway.

    Steve Paquette, Team Owner, along with his wife Leah, led the team of 4 drivers (Daryl Martini, Michael Ainsworth, Ross Bentley, and Don Kitch) and crew (Bernie, Al, Lou, Matt, Chris, and Colin), to a nail-biting drama-filled win. On his birthday, no less!

    Visit HERE for some pictures of the race.


    We also ran this same race last year (which you can read about HERE), but had some noise issues that kept us behind the pit wall for quite a few laps, resulting in a 3rd in class finish.

    This year's race also had some issues, but thanks to some great driving, a fantastic crew, and some luck, we managed to squeak out an overall win.


    The race started at 9:45am, and the first driver in was Ross Bentley.

    [​IMG]

    One of the hallmarks of this race is the fact that it's started with a classic Le Mans start. As a matter of fact, it's the longest running "Le Mans start" race in North America.

    The Le Mans start is when the cars are parked, turned off, and without the drivers. Upon the start the driver's race to the car, are assisted into their belts, fire up the engine, and head out onto their first race lap. Strict penalties are in place for any driver who heads out without being firmly strapped in... unlike the "old days" at Le Mans.

    [​IMG]


    Here are some of the notes from the race:

    • Ross started the race, and at the 2 hour mark it started to rain.
    • There were some accidents and some black flags, and Michael went in for his 2.5 hour stint.
    • A fantastic yellow-flag restart by Michael allowed him to grab a substantial lead over the other cars, very quickly coming up to some lapped traffic.
    • At about the 3 hour mark, we lost the radios, so there was no in-car communication with the driver.
    • At the 6 hour mark, the electronic dash in the car failed. We no longer had any shift lights, RPM, speed, temperature, or pressure readings. Driving blind, as it were.
    • Daryl then went in for his 1.5 hour stint. The rain had stopped, and the track was still wet, but there was a small (and growing) dry line. Daryl drove a great race, especially considering his relative inexperience.
    • Just before night fell, Don got in for his stint.
    • At this point, we'd led the race for 308 laps, and had a 3 lap lead on the field.
    • Collision on the back half of the track with the #8 Mazda resulted in Don bringing the car into the pits. Radio loss, and the unexpected stop resulted in some confusion in the pits.
    • Car went back out on track, Don at the wheel, after losing our 3-lap lead.
    • Don brought the car in, and Ross hopped in for his last stint.
    • We were in the lead, until we blew a tire on the back straight. Ross limped into the pits, and we had some issues changing the tire as we couldn't get the jack under the car.
    • Wheel was changed, and Ross went back out, now down a lap from the #5 BMW M3.
    • Ross put his head down and drove nicely consistent and fast laps, and then the #5 BMW spun going onto the front straight, and had to come into the pits to fix some damage to their bumper.
    • Ross passed #5 for the lead while they were still in the pits.
    • The BMW got back out onto the track with Ross a half lap ahead of him.
    • Ross still drives hard, and eventually laps the #5. Ross doesn't realize that he's got a 1 lap lead on the BMW. Radio communication would be REALLY nice at this point.
    • BMW and Ross battle, and we rush out the pit board with the big "+1" on it, and Ross smiles.
    • Ross lets the BMW by to avoid further dicing, lets the BMW get a little bit ahead (but still a lap down), and then settles in behind him at a nice, comfortable distance.
    • Ross crosses the finish line, P1.
    • The crowd goes crazy.


    And now for a few more pics.


    Here are Don and Ross talking things over, with Steve looking on.

    [​IMG]

    Don Kitch trying to do his taxes. Nobody told him it was a stop watch, not a calculator.

    [​IMG]

    Pit stop, with driver change and refuelling.

    [​IMG]

    A little banged up, but still a winner.

    [​IMG]

    The winning team. Somehow, it's not as tiring when you win.

    [​IMG]


    Race results and lap times are available from the ISCC website. We were car #22

    Overall Race Results
    Lap Times
     
  3. iczorro

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    I grew up working race weekends in the summer with the Central Roadracing Association, an amateur motorcycle racing club based out of Brainerd, MN.
     
  4. Benny

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    Next time you guys are in Portland, let me know. I would love to come and watch this.....
     
  5. Senna Vs. Prost

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    So sick dude. Isn't Ross Bentley some kind of driver coaching god?
     
  6. Nettdata

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    Yep. He wrote all of the Speed Secrets books, and actively coaches many professional drivers.

    Needless to say, working with him is incredibly eye-opening and educational.
     
  7. AssOnFire

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    My father, Uncle and I used to do High Performance Drivers Education. That eventully turned into Porche Club Racing. After a very expensive few years, my family got out of racing all together. Finally, ten years later, I was planning on getting a Boxster S to get back into doing HPDE and maybe some SCCA events.

    My wife talked me into getting a 2008 BMW 335i sedan instead of the Porsche, because we have a baby on the way, and we could use it for more than just racing. I joined the BMW Car Club of America, and did a few HPDE events in the Midwest, hitting Blackhawk Farms, and culminating in a two day HPDE at Road America. My plan is just to keep hitting tracks around the Midwest: Putnam Park, Mid-Ohio, Autobahn Country Club, Ginger Man, and hopefully one day get out to Lime Rock, Sebring, and Laguna Seca.

    I justr want to have fun with it. I don't think I'm talented enough to ever make any money at it. One of the guys I met through BMW CCA wants to do One Lap of America, where you drive from track to track and go as fast as you can at each track, then total your times to determine a winner. That, I think, is as high as I ever want to go, and would be an absolute blast.

    Dan
     
  8. Senna Vs. Prost

    Senna Vs. Prost
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    I did my first track day a few weeks ago and it was an incredibly humbling experience. I'm a good driver on backroads, I picked up heel-toe within 3 minutes of first trying, and can usually keep pace with much faster cars in my Miata, but there's nothing like having a coach sit with you and point out your mistakes. The concept of looking far ahead was really tough to master, and I found doing a few proper laps was really mentally taxing. I'm hoping to get better at it, and I'd like to say I could see myself road racing in the future, but only god knows where I'll get the money to do it. Hopefully a Canadian Spec RX7 series will open up and I can get into a car for 5 grand.
     
  9. Fiveslide

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    http://www.yourrace.com/cgi-bin/genesis.exe/home1.html

    I ran round one of this series last Sunday and had a respectable finish. I did about how I expected considering I haven't even sat on a motorcycle since September.

    It's a dead engine start race, my bike didn't fire on the first kick so everyone and their brother beat me to the first turn. I rode like a madman and passed most of them in the first mile. This was probably a mistake but once I was sure I was back in the top 10 I started to pace myself. I definitely didn't have the endurance I had when I parked the bike last year and it hurt me. I started picking off riders in the tougher sections of the course.

    I took a longer break after the first lap than I should have, I drank a bottle of gatorade and a water. Normally I wouldn't have taken a break but I let my friend borrow my camelbak so he could carry around an extra gatorade bottle of gas, we weren't sure his new bike could make the whole race on fuel. So I had to stop or I would have puked in my helmet from thirst.

    The track got shitty fast. My second pass there were ruts that were swallowing bikes. Then someone ripped down some of the course markers and me and about 5 other bikes got lost. That cost us all a shit load of time. We finally saw some other bikes and cut through the woods to get back on track. I went to pass a stalled bike and hit a stump and bounced my bike off a tree. It mangled up my left radiator and the bike barely made it to the checkered.

    I was faster in the woods than most and I was a lot faster on the motocross section, most woods racers don't jump, I do.

    Overall it was a good day. I didn't break any bones. It would have been a great finish if I hadn't fucked up the radiator and got lost. I stopped for a minute here and there to let it cool but the bike was running so hot it wouldn't get out of its own way.

    Too bad my job is going to keep me from running the whole season.
     

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  10. Tuesday

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  11. Nettdata

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    So this weekend kicks off our local race season.

    I'm by no means ready for it, and probably will miss entering my car in the season opener until I get a new gearset for my transmission.

    Our team will be fielding 5 cars, though, with a few arrive-and-drive's, so it's not like I'll be bored or anything.

    Might even get to drive the team's twin-turbo in a few novice races, as "filler" for the field.


    Anyone else have any racing plans coming up?
     
  12. Senna Vs. Prost

    Senna Vs. Prost
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    Winter - CASC-OR Ice Racing with a BMW 325e

    Spring/Summer - F1k Karting series (mostly for shits)
     
  13. Nettdata

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    Nice!

    I have a few friends that Ice Race here in BC. Crazy shit. I'll probably head up to watch, maybe co-drive for a friend if he needs someone for the enduro.

    Good luck with it dude, and be sure to take and post lots of pics and keep us up to date of how you're doing.

    Maybe hit up Chater for some sponsorship.

    Actually, a windshield decal of TheIdiotBoard.com would be hilarious.
     
  14. Senna Vs. Prost

    Senna Vs. Prost
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    Thanks man, this is fairly tame, we're running studded tires but it's not some balls out shit like you see in some of the other series. This is my first wheel-to-wheel racing in a sedan type car so it will be a real trial by fire.
     
  15. Nettdata

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    You'll be scared shitless and stupidly excited all at the same time.

    When you're done, you'll be giggling like a school girl and you won't be able to wait until your next race.

    It's addictive as hell. Especially if you win!
     
  16. Nettdata

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    Oh, and I highly recommend you go and pick up the Speed Secrets series of books by Ross Bentley.

    They deal really, really well with the mental aspects of racing.

    You'll learn a TON, and it WILL help you, regardless of the type of racing you do.
     
  17. Senna Vs. Prost

    Senna Vs. Prost
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    Had to read it before my coach would ride with me on track ;)
     
  18. Nettdata

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    Just saw this video.

    Holy. Shit.

    This is some phenomenal passing right here.

     
    #18 Nettdata, Jan 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  19. konatown

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    Same driver:


     
    #19 konatown, Jan 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 27, 2015
  20. Senna Vs. Prost

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    So a bit of luck and sponsorships came through and our ice racer will now have a bolt-in cage, a real seat and some harnesses. Nettdata or somebody who knows, please tell me all the hardware I will need to properly mount the belts to the harness bar. The local shop sells Leaf Racewear, its SFI rated, but I've never heard of them and may go G-Force (can't afford fancy italian shit). Alternately if there's a good place in Van that has stuff for a good price, PM me and I'll find a way for me to give you money and you to give me a nice 5-point unit (maybe two).