Wedge Racing in 2017
 

Sebring - January (MAJORS Hoosier Super Tour)      

A good trip down - looking forward to an escape from the COLD weather around Atlanta.  We left home, running the heater and had to change to AIR CONDITIONING at about the half way point happy. We stopped in the vicinity of Tampa to meet up with Allan Adderley (FVSilverBullet.com) to pick up a couple new noses. (Somehow, I seem to have destroyed too many recently).  We arrived at the track just about the time that registration was opening, signed in and then went to sit in the long line for paddock entry after test day was over.  Finally, they opened up and we found a place in the grass just behind the 'tower' building (our usual area of choice) and set up and unloaded Bullet.  This would be the first test after the Runoffs concrete contact.  Needless to say, I was .. CONCERNED .. whether we had found all the important stuff and gotten it repaired adequately. As group 1, we would find out shortly after the sun came up on Friday morning.

P1 - The track looked good despite heavily overcast skies and threatening rain.  We took the track gently for a couple of laps before gradually turning up the wick.  By the end of the session, I was feeling pretty good and Bullet was performing quite admirably.  It REALLY felt good.  At then end of the session, we found ourselves some 5+ seconds faster than anyone else in class.  Not bad for a 'first out' after a huge crash.

Q1 - The rain clouds hung heavily over the track all morning and even started to sprinkle rather heavily during lunch just prior to our first qualifying session.  I rode on the scooter to a couple of turns to scope the track and, once the rain stopped, the track had dried quickly and was looking pretty good.  As the session started, there were a few small puddles here and there around the turns, but nothing that I couldn't drive around.  Being VERY careful, I again 'gradually' turned up the laps until we were going as fast as I could manage.  Bullet felt great and the engine seemed to be pulling well.  I pulled away from all the other Vees, so never had an opportunity to see how we stood against the others on the back straight.  At the end of the session, I was pleased to find us well on the pole by some 4+ seconds.  The turn out was a bit light and we were missing some top drivers, but .. we did have 2 or 3 that I expected to give me trouble.  It all left me a bit confused.  Happy.. but still wondering.  Anyway, go back over Bullet again to search for anything we might have missed .. or that has worked itself loose on this HUGELY ABUSIVE track surface - large sections of the track are like running down railroad ties!!

Q2 - Saturday morn. Clouds still hanging around and dropping some moisture here and there - but so far no real rain.  To conserve my tires, I decided to go out on the Spec Tires that I have been testing.  This would be their 12th session on track.  At the end of the session, I was about 1 second slower than on Friday afternoon, but still almost 4 seconds ahead of 2nd place.  Michael Landon, from Indianapolis, and Russell Fredericks, from New York, both made the trip for the doubles at Homestead last weekend and here at Sebring.  They were the class of the field at Homestead and were LURKING back behind me.  I was expecting to see a lot more of them when the racing started. Sandy Thalheimer tagged the wall lightly at T1, but was able to back off it and continue.  Back in the pits there was little or no damage, so he was still good to go.

Race 1 - Sat afternoon.  The skies continued to threaten and we drug out the rain tires to make sure they were aired up and ready to go... but nothing more than a light sprinkle or 2 fell on us.  When race time arrived, we had some sun peeking around and things were looking better.  At the start, Russell and Michael were right on my tail going into T1, but Michael's motor was a bit off .. and then BLEW UP without completing the first lap.  Russell hung around for about 4 laps, but I gradually pulled away until he was no longer in my mirrors. In this race, I was only lapped once, and then only by about the top 5 FF cars.  Three caught me at once going into T9, but I was able to point them by with no issues and cruise to the win. Sadly, one of the FF cars tagged Sandy near the end of the race, putting him into the concrete wall and destroying the front of his car.  He was forced to load up and head home before the Sunday race and Michael had already headed back to Indianapolis earlier.  2 cars gone sad.

 Race 2 - Sun morning. The skies were still quite cloudy, but the rain held off again.  My biggest concern for the race was the SUN.  Low on the horizon, it would be shining directly in our eyes from T9 until we turned onto the back straight at T15 unless some clouds were there to block it. On the pace lap, I got the vees a little too far back this time to see when the green came out but Linda called the green on my radio and I held station as Russell did his best to beat me to T1.  I guess his engine was off this day too, since he quickly faded and then dropped out on lap 2 - leaving me quite alone at the front.  Without a serious threat, it made no sense to beat the car any more than necessary on this truly abusive track, so I focused on hitting proper apexes and leaving speed on the table in the roughest turns .. specifically T1 and T17.  I got lapped twice by FF's in this race and it was quite a challenge.  The first time they came through, Linda alerted me when they were a few turns behind me and I was able to adjust my pace so that they caught me on the front straight so I could get out of the way.  I counted as the pack came by .. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 .. hm... 6, 7...8! cars - by that time, I was WAY outside of the line in T1 and had to knock off another 10 MPH in order to make the turn.  Sure glad I had plenty of room to work with. Another pack coming up, so I poured it on so I could stay ahead through the tight stuff... pointed 3 more cars by between T8 and 9 .. and then another 2 in the big T13 sweeper (where I got CLOBBERED last year).  Then it was mostly clear for a while as the remaining FF's came through 1 at a time.  A few laps later, we did it all again, except the packs were smaller this time.  The first pack was only 5 cars and it was easier to 'make room'.  Finally the F5 cars started coming through, but Jack Walbran was leading that class handily and they all progressed through with adequate spacing between them.  Interestingly, the lead FF and F5 groups both caught me on the LAST lap.  The lead FF got the white (one to go) flag behind me, then passed me to take the checker.  So I got the checker WITHOUT ever seeing the WHITE.  I hadn't considered that possibility until it happened. Fortunately, it had no impact .... this time.


The Sunday podium.  I am flanked by most likely the youngest (Megan Gilkes - 16)
and the oldest (Harry Schneider - 85) drivers at the event this weekend. You should
be able to guess which is which happy.


Pair of nice trophies.

We were able to load Bullet into the trailer, a winner and absolutely UNDAMAGED. Quite a relief!  I still have a few things to attend to before heading to NOLA in early March (back to back weekends with Road Atlanta the 2nd weekend), but at least a little time to relax from WORKING ON THE CAR with the full month of February to work with.  Linda and I are headed to Colorado for a week of skiing now (if my knee can take it) and I'm looking forward to it.

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NOLA -  March (MAJORS Hoosier Super Tour) - a month off from Sebring this year...

  An additional circuit is planned to mirror below the existing track.
That's a Kart track at the top right. The paddock area is the large paved area just right of center. Track length is 2.75 miles.

We made the trip with no issues..

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Road Atlanta (#1) - March - MAJORS weekend
2015-Petit-Map


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VIR (Virginia International Raceway)- April - MAJORS Hoosier Super Tour event

http://virnow.com/files/2014/03/FullCourseMap2014.jpg


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mid Ohio? -

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Runoffs - Indianapolis Road Course - September
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Not sure if I'm going to this one.  It's expected to be WAY oversubscribed and I'm not sure if I'll feel like fighting all the battles related to parking and whether or not I'll be allowed to race at all.  SCCA has to figure out a WHOLE LOT of things yet, so I'll wait until some answers start coming .... and see how my season progresses before deciding.

 

Thanks as always to Rollin at ButlerEngines.com, JR at RoxannesHeaders.com Roxannes Headers - Exhaust components for FV and other racing sports cars and ... Mike, John, Tim and Bruce at Hoosier tires (RaceTire.com) and Dietmar at QuixoteRacing.com  Quixote Racing - FV and FST parts and service.  Not to forget my wife, Linda, who travels with me to almost every race, and suffers me the joy of racing for all these years!

Regular Season team stats (EC races in yellow)

Race     Qualified Finished Points
Majors
notes
Sebring MAJOR#1 1st 1st 25  
Sebring MAJOR#2 1st 1st 25  
NOLA MAJOR#1        
NOLA MAJOR#2        
Atlanta MAJOR#1        
Atlanta MAJOR#2        
VIR MAJOR #1        
VIR MAJOR #2        
Season Total   SouthEast/Nationwide 50 count best 7 races

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Runoffs/Divisional Finishes for the Wedge Racing Team


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