Do real men race Miatas?

The reason real men race Spec Miatas: best competition, extremely reasonable cost structure, and great racing support from Mazda.

When I started driver’s school in Washington state back in 2005, I had planned to race my 2001 Z06 Corvette once I got my competition license.  Not an 800HP purpose built racing machine, but good enough to feel like I was racing a real machine.  So I thought.

By the time I was really ready to begin racing with the SCCA in early 2009, I had moved to “the other” Washington – DC – and still had not modified my Z06 to meet the SCCA Club Racing requirements.  Therefore, I needed to rent a car for the drivers school required to get my license.  It was a reasonable idea, I thought, since I was not sure just how terrible I really would be at this “sport”.  Also the thought of destroying a perfectly good Z06 Corvette by welding a roll cage to the frame, etc. seemed wasteful if my adventure ended up being short lived.

In checking with some really nice folks at the SCCA office, I determined that I basically had two choices to rent for driver’s school: a Mazda Miata or a Ford Pinto. The Pinto had the bigger engine – but those rear-end fire death lawsuits of the 70’s and 80’s brought back a few grim memories.  Plus, whoever thought a Pinto was a race car?  At least the Miata was the Japanese version of the MG or the Triumph or something…
Ted and an umbrella girl before the race
I knew some future teasing was coming when even the Miata drivers referred to their cars as “a woman’s commuter car”.  Actually, the term was a little more colorful, but I try to keep this blog as PC as possible…  Oh, and BTW, almost every guy I race with wishes more women would join the sport.  Just men being men to say something “cute” with low HP belongs to a woman…  But I digress…

I rented three different Spec Miatas from Meathead Racing over the next few weeks.  I finished driver school and some non-competition driving events and decided to buy a Miata from them.  It was fairly cheap ($8k-$15k for a fairly good setup) and it meant I did not need to commit my Z06 to the welding machine just yet.

Well it has been two years of racing Miatas now and I am totally committed to them and the sport.  There is a very simple reason: GREAT competition.  In Summit Point, WV where I race, there are about 80 Miatas split into two major groups of 40 each race weekend.  That is a lot of cars on the track – and a lot of wheel-to-wheel competition.  When I raced in the SCCA National Championship for Spec Miatas this past September, there were 63 cars in the race!  That was really intense competition.

To put it into better perspective, if I had converted my Z06 Corvette into a T-1 race car, most weekends I would have been one of only 2-3 cars in my class.  Not a lot of competition.  Sure I would get a trophy each weekend – but would it really mean anything?  Would I really be learning and getting better?  There were only 16 T-1 cars at the National Championships – and only 9 finished the race.  A pittance!

Looking at the bigger picture, for the SCCA, the Spec Miata (SM) class is the largest class with the most participants in 7 out of 9 regions for National races and 8 out of 9 regions for Regional races.  Only the “Spec Racer Ford” (SRF) group even comes close to the participation of the Miatas, and those are purpose built cars that are really closer to go-carts than real cars (just my opinion). For SCCA Regional races, 3043 Spec Miatas raced in 2010 while in the second largest class, SRF, only 2006 cars entered the same amount of races.

The Spec Miata is one of the least expensive automobiles available for organized racing.  Mazda still manufactures most of the engines and parts – for cars that are over 10 years old. There are more Miatas racing every weekend in the United States than any other type of car – period.

So if you want some good, cheap, high-intensity fun, rent a Spec Miata and head out to the track for a high speed driving instruction lesson.  You will be in some great company – and you may even decide to race them competitively.  You can see some photos of many of the Meathead Racing drivers in the last regional race of the year as well as the SCCA National Championships on Facebook thanks to Karen Dildei’s expert photography!

Ted Cahall

Posted first TraqMate Race Cam Video

I finally got around to posting a video from my TraqMate race cam.  I actually used Windows 7 and Movie Maker to do it – even though I bought Final Cut Express 4.0 for my Mac to do the job.

The video is a short, 10 second, clip of two cars spinning out in front of me in turn 10.  I added it again here to avoid chasing the link.

Ted Cahall

SCCA Season Ends With Personal Best Lap Time

The 2009 SCCA Club Racing Season was really enjoyable.  I was able to make it to seven race weekends this year plus four other high performance driving events.  That is more track time in one year than the sum total of track time in my entire life before this year.

I really learned a lot and set new personal best lap records almost every week.  I started the year with my best lap in the MARRS 1 qualifier being a 1:37.908 and 8 of the 10 laps being slower than 1:40.  I finished this year in the MARRS 11 final race with a 1:31.826.  Six seconds faster in a single lap is a great improvement.  More telling was the consistency of the laps in each race with many of them clustering in the 1:32 range at the end of the year.

I met a lot of really great people as well.  I could not have even come close to making this happen with my busy schedule if it were not for Mike Collins and his fantastic program at Meathead Racing.  A huge shout out to Wendy, Sherise, Glen, and Jimmy who helped me though a huge learning curve.

The other racers were also fantastic (aside from some early “rookie bumps” out on the track to initiate me to Spec Miatas).  Some of these people are very accomplished racers that turn laps in the 1:27 range.  Yet they will still spend time and talk with the slow pokes like me to help me learn and grow with this sport.  Many of the Meathead Racing teammates also took time to help me get buckled in and ready out on the grid as well.  Such an outstanding group of people to spend a weekend with!  If you have ever considered learning how to race in wheel-to-wheel competition, I would highly recommend contacting Mike Collins at Meathead Racing.  Even for a busy person such as myself, they make the words, “arrive and drive” a reality.

Ted Cahall

New TraqMate a Great Tool for SCCA Club Racing

I got my new TraqMate installed and used it in the MARRS 7 SCCA Club Racing event this weekend.  The device is astounding.  It uses a GPS to track your speed and a video camera to record what is happening in front (and optionally in back) of you.

I plan to edit out a small piece of the race where a couple of cars spun out in front of me and post it here.  So far the video editing software converts the whole race – all or nothing.  So I will figure out what I need to do to post a15 second clip instead of a 30 minute race.

This device will let me know how fast (slow in my case) I am entering each corner and what my exit speed is.  This will help me compare to the really experienced drivers and know where to push it harder.  The camera and GPS do not lie.  And they record every lap and every missed shift.  So this should be a huge help towards setting my new personal best lap record.

Ted Cahall

Got my SCCA Regional Club Racing License!

This Sunday’s SCCA MARRS race was a culmination of a number of year’s worth of effort.  Back in May of 2006 up in Seattle, WA, I began my journey towards obtaining my SCCA Club Racing license.  My job change and move across the country to the Washington DC area caused me to be sidelined for all of 2007 and most of 2008 aside from some PDX and HPDE type of events.  (Photo below of MARRS 4 race weekend).
Ted Cahall races in MARRS 4

While my job did anything but become more mundane in 2009, I was determined to maintain that delicate “work / race balance” all the HR types talk about for living a healthy life.  I really had no idea what I was in store for as I prepared for the 2009 racing season.  I had planned on racing my 2001 Z06 Corvette and took pains to install racing seats, add in tow hooks, fire extinguishers, and safety harnesses, etc.  Unfortunately I was mistaken on the requirements and did not know that the T1 class for my Z06 required a full roll cage to be welded into my car!  Heck – I even needed a full roll cage to attend the SCCA Driving School – the more you know – the more you realize just what you don’t know

After attending day 1 and day 2 of my SCCA Drivers School in a “Spec Miata” that I rented, I attended the SCCA PDX and SCCA Club Trials in a “Spec Miata” as well.  It was at this point that I finally realized it would be best for me to have Meathead Racing help me as my “Spec Miata” pit crew and support team for the 2009 SCCA Club Racing season.  I bought a 1999 Spec Miata from Bad Al Bell and I was literally “off to the races”.

Sunday was my second official SCCA MARRS race and fulfilled my requirements for my regional license.  I did qualification laps and the qualification race on Saturday to grid myself for the race on Sunday.   On Sunday, I started in 31st position and finished the race in 24th.  So I moved up and had an incredible amount of fun doing it.  My fastest lap got faster in each of the three qualification and race events during the weekend.  The key is to be safe, improve each week, and try not to fly off the track or bend any metal on either mine or the other driver’s cars.  All was accomplished successfully.

Ted Cahall

Completed First SCCA Regional Race!

Well all of the preparation and training has paid off.  From the two days of Spring Driver’s School, to the PDX and Club Trials, I finally completed my first official SCCA race today!  My goal was simply to finish the race – even in last place.  Today I drove the #0 car I bought from Al Bell in the 2009 MARRS 1 Club Racing event (see photos below).

I was still able to maintain that delicate “work / race balance” this week by holding all of my work meetings including my travel to NYC to accept the Green IT Award from the Uptime Institute for AOL.

Qualifying

Yesterday I was at the track for the qualifying laps and the qualifying race.  I did not have all of my paperwork in order to switch from the “T1” class to the “SM” class and getting this corrected all the way from registration through the timing booth cost me the qualifying laps.  That meant I got less practice, and that I needed to start at the back of the pack for the qualifying race that went off at 11:00AM.

The Qualifying Race

The good news is that I finished the qualifying race later that day.  The bad news is that one of the very best drivers (while lapping me in only a 10 lap race) had metal to metal contact with me.  I thought I had gotten to the line before him – but apparently what you learn in driving school  and how they race for real are a bit different.  Needless to say, he stopped by and gave me some “pointers” after the race.  I felt like an idiot after I realized he is one of the few racers that can turn a 1:27 lap.  Needless to say, I apologized…

But that was only the beginning of the fun.  After I pinched him in turn 1, I got bumped in turn 2 and then rear-ended between turn 2 and turn 3!  These guys are really serious and are not afraid to let you know they are there.  Maybe it was the novice stripes on my car and their way of saying, “welcome to the SCCA”.  I finished the race near the back but not dead last.  I of course finished ahead of the people that crashed and could not complete the race…  My fasted lap was 1:37.  A full 10 seconds slower than the best of the best (only 2 people turned a 1:27 in the qualifying race).  No wonder they were lapping me.

I went home feeling like a rookie (if that) but with a decent sense of accomplishment.  I finished the race.  I set an official “personal best lap time”, and I was all set to go for the big race on Sunday.

MARRS 1 2009 Feature Race

Sunday morning I made sure I was up and ready to go with plenty of time to spare.  I made it to the track by 7:45AM and was able to do some prepping before the “hardship lap”.  I made sure I got out on that lap and got some needed practice in.

At 8:40AM we were “on grid” in pit row.  I was started in position 42 in a field of 44 cars.  One of the better racers on the Meathead Racing team was behind me (his car threw a piston rod through the crankcase in the qualifying lap the day before and did not finish).  I let him know I was letting him by as soon as we got the green flag (and did).  We were sent out on two warm up laps and given the green flag at 8:50AM.  I let Brian pass me and was the sole and complete owner of last place.  A comfortable place if you do not like someone in your rearview mirror as you settle in for the next 35-40 minutes of racing.

Brake Lights and Tire Smoke

Within about 20 seconds all I could see was brake lights and tire smoke.  I backed off and as I went through the smoke I saw cars on each side of the track.  All of this was on the first lap in front of the flag tower!  I thought, “damn – these guys *are* serious”!  Then I saw a crumpled “Bad Al” Bell pointing at me (wrong way) and clearly driving the car back onto the track.  At least some of the folks in the pile-up were still able to re-join the race.

Not Finishing Last

As the track cleared out, Bad Al roared by me and I again was sole owner of last place.  I did my best to try to keep Al in my sights and as I was racing I realized there were a couple of cars in front of me that I felt I could race with and likely catch.  Eventually I passed a couple of the slower cars and came up on #8 and then #37.  I was able to get by them and realized that if I finished the race, I probably was not going to come in last place.  Clearly I would finish ahead of the cars that crashed and did not finish – but it was a great feeling to upgrade my goal from simply “finishing” to “not finishing last of all the finishers”…

I was surprised to see that #37 was not keeping on my tail.  She was in my driver’s school and had been beating me fairly consistently. 🙁 Possibly she had car problems as after it was over, I noticed she was out after 10 laps (which still counts as a finisher of the race since she completed half or more of the laps).

Real Racing – Trading Positions

#8 was a different story though.  We traded positions at least four more times during the race.  We were each blocking the line on turn 1 and would trade positions.  I was actually able to take him in turns 6 and 7 one time.  That was awesome.  Once he went into turn 1 too hot and went off the course.  I was shocked to see he drove it back on and was behind me again a lap later.  Drat!  I thought I had lost him.  Towards the end of the race we again went into turn 1 side-by-side.  He had the inside and started turning wide.  Another car had gotten inside of him (faster cars that were lapping us) and we were three across.  He bumped me and pushed me off the left side of the track.  I was able to hold the car steady, re-enter the track and stay on him.  I passed him the next lap and was able to hold on for the remainder of the race.  That was fun.  We both were lapped by the fastest 19 drivers twice – but we had our own race going on – and that made it really interesting.

Definitely Not Last

I ended up finishing 32nd of 44 cars.  Six cars did not finish due to accidents or car issues. Two other cars appeared to stop racing before the checkered flag – but after the race was official (10 laps completed).  So, in the end, I finished ahead of four cars that were still on the track at the end of the race.

Personal Best Fastest Laps

One of the more important metrics was my fastest lap time.  These can be thrown off due to other cars stealing your line, etc.  The interesting thing is, I improved my fastest lap from 1:37 on Saturday to 1:34 today.  It may not sound like much – but every second counts and it least it shows I am moving in the right direction.  The bad news on this issue is that only three cars has slower fastest lap times.  Still much work to be done there.

The fastest lap was a 1:27.338 by Dean Copeland.  He won the qualifying race as well yesterday.  He also holds the lap record for the Spec Miata SM class.  If his time stands today, he will have set a new SM class record as his previous record was 1:27.790.  It must have been a really fast day (perfect weather, etc.).  Five racers (including Dean) beat the previous record of 1:27.790 if their times stand as official.  What a fast pack and great race.

Ted Cahall

Here is a gallery of professional photos from my first SCCA race. Click on any photo to begin the gallery.

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SCCA Club Trials at Summit Point

The SCCA Club Trials on the Shenandoah course at Summit Point were awesome today!  There were only 11 drivers, so all drivers were on the course for all sessions.  This is generally unheard of.  Usually, due to the number of participants, drivers need to be broken up into two (or more) groups to keep the number of cars on the track to a reasonable maximum.  Since we only had 11 drivers, we all got about 6 hours of track time today.  Here is a photo of the car I rented from “Bad” Al Bell.  Al holds the SCCA SSM track record for Summit Point.  I bought the car from Al after the event and will race it this year.

I improved my best lap time by about 8 seconds a lap and moved up a few spots in the list of drivers by the end of the day.  That is good – moving in the right direction.  The Shenandoah track is such a blast with the banked turn.

I am really looking forward to my first SCCA race next Sunday on the SCCA Main course.  I have been preparing for this all yearThere have been many obstacles in this path to my first race – but the journey has been half the fun.  Driver’s school was a real learning experience and the PDX and today’s Club Trials really helped me get set for the big day.

Ted Cahall Racing

2009 SCCA Spring PDX

Today I attended the SCCA Spring PDX out at Summit Point, WV.  This was a lot of fun compared to either day 1 or day 2 of driving school last weekend.  We were on the Shenandoah course instead of the “Main” course.  This was my first experience with Shenandoah.  It has about twice as many turns as the Main course and has a banked curve modeled after the BMW testing grounds in Nuremberg, Germany.  That is really a lot of fun!

I again rented a car from Meathead Racing.  This time I rented “Bad” Al Bell’s car called, “Pinky”.  As you can see below, it has a couple of pink stripes painted on its Subaru blue body.

Pinky served me well.  I had a great time with all of the practivce sessions.  For the last session of the day, I switched over to Al Bell’s ’99 Miata since I was evaluating which car to buy for the season.

The day was safe and enjoyable.  No spin outs, no fender benders, no stern warnings from the staff or flag workers – and no missed flags!  Good day.

Ted Cahall

SCCA Driving School – Day 2

Today is Sunday and the clouds cooperated for most of the day.  It rained early in the morning before the track opened but was dry the whole drive into Summit Point, WV.   Day 2 of my SCCA Spring Drivers School was fairly exciting and again was held on the “Main” course.  Since it was no longer raining in the morning, I decided I needed to push myself harder and attempt to pass other cars (instead of letting them pass me).  This had some interesting results…  While the track was dryer than it was the day before in the rain, it was not completely dry.  We were still racing in rain tires and not the normal slicks (at least many of us).

At one point during the second morning session as I pushed myself to get to the corner of turn 1 ahead of other cars.  As I attempted to block the pack by taking position towards the turn’s apex, I got a bit of the “rumble strip” on the apex and spun out – leaving my rear wheels slightly off the track.  This was my first spin or track incident in all my dozens of track outings.  Somewhat embarrassing – but it was bound to happen eventually.  I just did not realize how familiar I might get with that feeling all in one day…  I waited for the corner workers so wave me back on the track and finished that session without incident.

In a later session (in the exact same turn) I again was racing a pack of cars down the back straight into turn 1.  Again I tried to get position and then block the other cars into the apex.  This time I turned too early which caused me to apex too early – and “ran out of track” on the far side of the turn.  My outside wheels slipped off the track.  Instead of doing exactly what I was taught and drive off the course, I tried to bring it back onto the track at my current speed.  Unfortunately, this rarely works – and is extremely dangerous.  The result was my second spin for the day – right on the track – in the middle of the pack of cars that had been following me into the turn.  They all took evasive action and went around me – but it could have ended very badly.  The correct procedure to have executed was to: slow down, exit the track, and then re-enter under control with a greatly reduced speed.  The classroom conversation about that turn was pretty much focused on me. 🙁

My quest for aggressive driving and passing was not complete for the day.  Once more, in a later session in turn 1, I again lead a pack of cars and hit the apex too early – and “ran out of track” on the far side of the turn.  This time I did it correctly (if there is such a thing as “screwing up” correctly).  As my outside wheels slipped from the track, I did not try to bring them back onto the track under speed.  I conceded that I made a mistake and reduced speed as I took the car the rest of the way off the track.  I drove on the grass to a small access road that connects to the track.  From there I waited for the flag workers to wave me back onto the track and finished the practice session.  The interesting thing is that the instructors were much nicer about this spin when we got back to the classroom.   After I explained I apexed early again as I was more focused on the other cars than I was on my line, the instructors complimented me for: a) exiting the track safely, and b) waiting for the flag workers before I safely re-entered the track.  It really is all about safety.

In the last practice session before the “mock” race of the day, we were warned there likely would be a red flag.  During a red flag, all cars must safely and under control stop their car as soon as possible and wave their hand to the cars behind them (in case they did not see the flag).  While my flag watching capabilities had greatly improved, I still occasionally get hyper-focussed on my car and the cars near me.  After exiting turn 10, a car spun out right in front of me (see picture below).

I now had a very clean shot down the back straight into turn 1 (my usual nemesis).  I was “on the pipe” as they say and determined to practice a late braking, high speed entry at the perfect apex into turn 1.  I looked at the flags at the tower half way down the straight and saw no issues.  As I approached turn 1 there were still no flags.  Once I entered the braking zone (which for me is still way too early), I stopped looking for anything other where the apex was and when I was going to:  a) get off the brakes, b) on the accelerator, and c) turn the wheel into the apex.  It was perfect!  I was wailing around turn 1 when…  Sure enough, they threw the red flag while was doing that quick sequence of maneuvers!  I did not see the flag until I was wailing through turn 1 and beginning to line up for turn 2.  I was wondering why that Mazda RX-7 was pulled over on the far side of the road.  Oops…  Darn it…

I thought my instructor was upset when I passed the other driver under yellow yesterday.  That was nothing compared with missing a red flag!  I tried to explain that I try not to look around when I am, braking+accelerating+turning all in rapid sequence.  It really did not seem to matter to them though – as I came up for the apex they felt I should have seen it sooner.  Not good.  So many things to focus on simultaneously.  My instructor nicely asked me if I had planned on racing this year…  I explained that I did and that I had already been “signed-off” due to my driving schools up in the state of Washington.  I could see by the look on his face he felt the people in Washington must be lousy racers…

The last race session of the day was a real race with all of the class.  There were 31 cars.  My instructor came over to me and politely told me to “not screw this up” if I really wanted his sign off for the weekend.  No pressure…  We were taken out on the course with a pace car and lined up in a grid.  We were given a few starts to practice and then brought in and re-gridded.   Just as we got ready for the real five lap race, it started raining again!  At least I felt like I had done this the day before and was ready to be more conservative.

Well the story ends well.  I drove like the biggest grandmother from Pasedena and finished 5th from last.  No problems.  No screw-ups.  Give me the sign-off and live to drive another day.  Two other gentlemen were not so lucky (intelligent?).  Seeing a couple of cars crumpled head first into a retaining wall and a tire pile made it clear to me that someone thought they were getting a big trophy or prize money for this.  All those two got was a repair bill (and the right to finish behind me).

So I am now signed off by a SCCA drivers school to race in MARRS1.  I am so glad I did this and learned all the SCCA guidelines.  My last driving school was in May 2006 and the refresher course was extremely helpful.  I had forgotten all of the grid rules, etc.  Nothing more embarrassing that being black flagged for a rule violation during the race start.

Ted Cahall

WDCR SCCA Spring Drivers School – Day 1

The Washington DC Region (WDCR) of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) held its annual Spring Drivers School this weekend.  It started with registration, training, and a written test on Friday night.  I liked the way they ran that – as it forced the students to learn and prove they understood all of the flags and their meanings before they were allowed to go out wheel-to-wheel with the other students.  This drivers school is part of the SCCA program to allow wheel-to-wheel club racing that I am preparing to do in 2009 starting with MARRS 1.

Saturday morning started early, but it was not as bad for me as the car’s tech inspection was handled by Meathead Racing.  Since my 2001 Z06 Corvette’s rollcage was not ready, I decided to rent a car to attend Driver’s School since it required a full “race ready” car.  As you can see in the photo below, it also required a full fireproof race suit, racing shoes, gloves, socks, and helmet.  As one of the other drivers said to me that morning when I emerged with my brand-spanking-new driving gear on, “it is not often a man gets to wear a new pair of bright red shoes”.  That is for sure!  And at least not believe he looks “manly” in them.  Too funny.  More photos of my SCCA Drivers School are posted on Webshots.

New red suede shoes aside, ahem, I also “manned-up” with my rental “Spec Miata”.  The Spec Miata class is what I would call a “driver’s class”.  The Spec Miata drivers are all in almost identical cars.  So it is not about who has the biggest checkbook and more about who can drive the car the best.  Your accelerator pedal can not make up for the fact that you corner inefficiently or brake too early and scrub off precious speed.

Boy was I in for a mental re-calibration!  My “newer” 2006 Z06 Corvette has 505HP.  The Spec Miatas run about 90HP!!!  That is less than my snowmobile or Harley Davidson.  Don’t let that fool you though.  On short tracks with a lot of “corners”, it is all about cornering and not scrubbing off speed – and the Spec Miatas hold their own against the less nimble big-block behemoths (like Corvettes and Vipers).  If there are some long straight-a-ways though… It is “Z” you later to the Miatas.

So Day 1 of WDCR SCCA Spring Drivers School was filled with alternating class room humiliation (very necessary less anyone thinks they are the next Dale Earnhardt) and practice sessions.  It rained all day.  So with a new car and a wet course, even the practice sessions were somewhat humiliating to me as I realized that most of these Miata guys were able to kick my butt.  So much for thinking I was fast in my Corvette.  This was my third time on Summit Point “Main” and I was not impressing myself (or my instructor either really).  The good news is that I: a) did not wreck the rental car, b) did not slide off the track, and c) learned a lot in the process.

One of the things I really learned was that every mistake is amplified 10x in a Miata.  You just cannot make up time with the engine.  My biggest weakness is knowing how “late” to brake for a corner.  If you brake too early, you scrub off speed that you will never get back.  I am also not sure I am entering corners at the maximum speed (ie. braking too much).  You need the speed into the corner to be sure you have optimal speed exiting the corner for the next section of the track.  It is all about momentum in a Miata.

My other weakness is that I am so focused on the track and other cars, I do not always check each flag station to be sure that nothing has changed ahead on the course.  The instructors (especially mine) get really cranky about missing a flag.  This is a bit of the old, “the sun was in my eyes”, excuse, but the rain definitely was a distraction causing me to hyper-focus on the other cars more than the flag stations.  Bad driver!  So much for making a pass during the yellow flag.  I knew it was too easy!  Needless to say my brain, credentials, and desire to continue to play well with others came under close scrutiny.  I sort of feel like  my cat must feel like when I catch him right after he pees in the corner…  He is now banned to the sun porch for eternity.  But hey, he is a cat – and I can learn to read the flags and brake later if I can just get back out there and practice!

The day ended with a general overview of how we did and what we need to work on.  Numerous horror stories were shared of knuckleheads that did not listen in drivers school and flew through the air, only saved by their roll cage and fireproof underwear (and one who unfortunately was not).  While this is fun, it really is serious stuff, and no one likes junking their car because someone was ignorant of the flags or excellent driving skills.

Tomorrow starts early again and we get an actual race in as well.  Let’s hope it does not rain all day.

Ted Cahall