View Full Version : Last year I lost my balls at Road Atlanta, this year...

03-19-2007, 03:56 PM
Last time at Road Atlanta I had a minor dysfunction, assuming a male can have a minor dysfunction, when I lost the ball bearings out of the seat rails for my Corbeau seat. This year I am very happy to report all of my equipment operated just fine. I did attempt to address my vision problem this last weekend. Basically, I did not see myself driving flat footed through Turn 11 and 12. I knew what I should be doing, I saw other folks doing it, I could tell others how to do it - but forcing myself to do it was another matter entirely. By the end of the day on Sunday I was exiting at 110-115 but that was slower than I should have been.

The NASA event at Road Atlanta was a sold out (400+ cars I heard) and when we arrived at ~1700 it was quite the show. Just getting off Hwy 53 and into the staging area parking took a lot of effort. We were early into the paddock but it was still like the Oklahoma land rush. Cars and trailers kept coming in until late on Friday. We ended up getting blocked in by some late arrivers. The paddock looked like the paths through a Turkish market. Lots of narrow passageways and blind alleys. I cannot imagine how any fire response could have happened at the event, in the paddock, due to the congestion. Jake and I were teched, fed and in bed by 2100 though. He even remembered the heater and the extension cords this time.

At this event Jake and I ended up as the "On Grid" instructors - this allows us plenty of "quality time" with the Chief Instructor(s). It is kind of like being a supernumerary Officer on a beach assault - you are there to step in when there are casualties in the instructor ranks. Jake ended up instructing a Factory Five Roadster, a EVO, a Lotus Exige and a Miata. I ended up instructing a 944, a C6 and two different Miatas. Other than jumping into a car with no prior discussion with the student and standing in the grid a lot it was a great deal. I did end up riding with Bill in his C6 in HPDE3 on Sunday (took me that long to find him in the paddock!) to provide him with some local knowledge and tips. He came all the way down from Ohio for this event for his birthday present - there is a guy with his priorities straight. In the end I think I helped him a little. I do recommend most everybody who has not run at Road Atlanta to hop in a car with someone who has or get a ride along from an instructor in your car if possible.

The weather was cold and clear all weekend. On Saturday it was cold, clear and windy. Great for horsepower - not so great for traction. The carnage was pretty impressive all weekend but the morning sessions were particularly ugly. Some people must like to do body work I guess.

The race groups and Time Trails were really full. Even so we logged just under 200 track miles in two days. Team England managed a class win in TTA on Saturday (for sure) and a second place on Sunday. Our times were in the 1:42x both days. We finished 11th overall in TT on Saturday. I tried to remember all of the tips I had from TimZO6 on "aggressive line" options and felt out the new pavement. Without TimZO6 there to push me beyond my comfort zone and since sharing a car with Jake keeps us competing only with a clock, instead of each other, we almost assuredly left some time on the table. Still it is not too bad for a 130,000 mile FRC with a pair of timid drivers. Based on the final sheets from Sunday I edged out Jake by 0.3 seconds. I did find the new bump in T5 and I had a hard time finding consistent brake points and turn in points for T1. We also found both T1 and T7 pretty slippery. I had to really work on throttle modulation to keep from oversteering in T1 and T7 as a result.

There were some firsts at the event.

-I am pretty sure Tom and Scott both got their Fox body Mustangs all the way through the weekend.

-Tom was even able to drive his on the trailer at the end of the day.

-I managed to meet a few people, briefly, from the "boards" that I knew would be there, but due to the crowds and my schedule it was tough to mingle.

-Tony showed up in his M3 instead of his Trans Am.

-Toby brought a movie that neither one of us could stay awake for.

-I brought home more tires and brakes than I took since I bought some more used GS wheels (I need them, honest), 8 tires and a bunch of slightly used to new Carbotech brakes.

-Big Pine Key even finished second, after a long and impressive string of firsts this season.

-ZO6Cool was at an event and I did not pass him - could be because we were not on the track at the same time though.

-I was even invited to hang out with the RX8 guys on Saturday evening, imagine that!

-Matt Ball only spun once in his STi, course he broke his car doing it

The track and its new surface are really great, the event was a blast with lots of action all weekend, it was mostly safe, the weather was dry and the people were fun to hang with. There is never enough time at these events before it is over. I will be doing Roebling, CMP and Rockingham in April.

Be safe out there.