Triangle Chapter Report – August 2011

RALEIGH, NC (NCR-SCCA) – The August meeting of the Triangle Chapter was a really great time!  About a score of us gathered at El Rodeo in Raleigh to eat, drink, and watch video of the recent Lemons race at VIR.  Who would have guessed that so many Chapter members had taken part?  Mark Senior and his son Ryan were on one team. Blair “Pepe” Stitt was on another, along with Steve Rose and West Chapter members Heather Powers and Bill Foster and a cast of dozens, apparently. And they had stories to tell.

The team the Seniors were on was called “Simon Says” after the design of their race car, a ‘92 Acura Integra.  The car was painted like the famous Mattel toy of the 80’s of the same name.  It was divided into quadrants, each a different color, red, blue, yellow and green, and on the roof the iconic game itself, wired to matching colored lights on top of each fender.  Yes, Carolina, a race car you can ‘Simon Says” on!  Ryan Senior had brought video on his computer and a video projector that he could use to display it on the wall of the upstairs bar at El Rodeo.  What a hoot to watch!  Thanks Ryan! 

Mark explained that the race was crowded at first, with some 86 entries.  Apparently you only needed a race license from some recognized group or (gulp!) 3 hours of instruction to run with nearly a hundred other guys for 24 hours! But soon after the start, attrition began to take its toll.  These cars have only a nominal value of 500 dollars and they have street motors, after all.  The field thinned out all day long and by the end only a little more than half were still running. “Simon Says” finished third over all, a triumph of grit and preparation over one very long, hot day.

Pepe’s team wasn’t so lucky.  His team, “The Grumpy Old Men and a Nurse”, ran a 5.7 liter Firebird, with the caricature of a scrawny old man in wheelchair painted on the driver’s door, so that it looked like the driver was that grumpy old codger. From the beginning, they had problems.  Fairly early on, the shifter fell off.  Then the clutch went.  Ditto for the ignition module.  And they ran out of trans fluid.  Can you say “leak”?  Did I mention that this was a $500 car?  Oh, and then there was the heat.  Did I mention the 100-degree heat?  It took its toll too. Some time during the day Friday, Heather Powers went to the hospital with heat exhaustion.  Poor baby!  Despite everything, they still finished, or so I heard, but nowhere near the front.  Better luck next time! What a saga, guys!

Back in the real world, where we have championships and well-built race cars, Chuck Hines took a second and fourth at the Double SARRC in Atlanta.  Way to go, Chuck!  And Steve Keadle reported that he attended a solo with the Cape Fear guys and finished 17th in his first outing.  He said he had a blast!

Also in the real world we have ECRs which require refueling, and Mark Senior’s refueling guy needs an old driver’s suit to wear for that.  Can anyone lend him one that will fit someone about 5 foot 7 with a 42-inch waist and 30-inch inseam?  Mark would be very grateful! I’d give him mine but it’s been ages since I could fit in it!

That’s about it.  The only business item was to remind everyone of the upcoming race at Charlotte, August 20th and 21st. NCR is co-sponsoring that one with CCR, and it marks our historic return to the big oval after more than a decade’s absence.  So y’all come! 

Saturday will be a long day, culminating with racing under the lights, so we’ll need all the help we can get!  See you there!

And why not make plans to attend the next Triangle Chapter meeting, Wednesday, September 7th.  I can’t make it.  I’ll be out of the country.  But Member-at-Large Wayne Quick has volunteered to host it.  That alone should make it worth attending!  I’ll see you there . . . or at the races!

James Shanks
Triangle Chapter coordiinator


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