Triangle Chapter Report – May 2015

The May meeting of the Triangle Chapter was short and sweet. James Etchells brought us a DVD of his recent outing at Savannah, including the spin that cost him 3rd place, he said, but we lacked a player to show it, so it will be featured next month for sure. Perhaps it was just as well we couldn’t show it, as the audience will undoubtedly be bigger for the next meeting, since so many people skipped this meeting to prepare for the SARRC/MARRS event that was just around the corner.

But we had some new faces present. In attendance was Roland Hill who wants to get into solo and is eagerly awaiting the novice school and following points event at MCAS Cherry Point over May 16-17. Welcome, Roland! Also present was Bob McDonald and his wife and crew chief, Gail. Bob used to race a Sprite back in the 1985-87 timeframe, and he’s looking to re-up. Welcome back, Bob and Gail!

There were a couple dozen other Triangle members in attendance to welcome these new folks, and they had some interesting stories of their own. Chuck Hines relayed that he had been out to Laguna Seca as a spectator for the IMSA event there, where he met up with the Region’s favorite son, Tom Long and his real father Glenn. He saw Tom and his co-driver take a great second place victory in ST driving for Freedom Autosport in the Continental Tire Series, after their teamates took first. Then Chuck told us about his racing at Savannah in the near-Biblical deluge they had there. Mr. Etchells had already mentioned the excessive standing water they encountered, but Chuck’s account was even more dramatic. Chuck said the rain was so heavy during his qualifying session that he never went out. And the officials had to end it early because of that deep standing water in the turns. So, when the weather cleared and the race rolled around, Chuck had to start at the back with a lot of other guys who had no times. Still he managed to go from 11TH to 1ST in ITS. I’ll bet that was a hoot to watch! On Sunday Chuck was poised for another win, running in first again, when the harmonic balancer broke and took the crank trigger sensor with it! He coasted to a stop and had to be pulled in. One day you’re up and the next day down. Sorry, Chuck!

Doug Piner said his luck wasn’t any better at the Majors at VIR. His P2 sports racer lost a chain on one day, and then a wheel the next, so he got only a 3rd and a 4th; very disappointing for a guy who went to the RunOffs last year. Sorry to hear that, Doug!

We finally got around to the business portion of the meeting and results were mixed here too. The March race financials showed that while we lost money on the event, it was less than usual, about $4300, so we are hoping to cover that with the Majors event. Still we raised $130 for the Diabetes association during drive-arounds. For the Majors, we raised $1019 for the Ronald McDonald House near Duke Hospital in Durham. Thank you to all who contributed. Our overall finances are still OK. One bright spot is that the Solo program is doing so well that there’s talk of buying a bigger and better-equipped trailer to haul all our stuff to and from the event sites. Way to go, guys!

And speaking of going, you should make plans to go to the annual NC Region Picnic in Gibsonville, on August 8th. Too far ahead? Well then, save the date! And also Wednesday, June 3rd, which is the next Triangle Chapter meeting. I’ll see you there…or at the races!

James Shanks
Triangle Chapter Coordinator


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