Thursday, June 4, 2015

One Lap by the Numbers

Just a few numbers to share with you about One Lap of America.  We had 2 people on our team, Shane Lintner and me.  Counting the 1200 mile round trip to and from the start/finish line in South Bend we logged 4852 miles.  The transit mileage on the schedule listed 3245 miles for the 2015 One Lap of America.  We competed in 17 different events over 8 days, visiting 7 different race tracks.  That consisted of 2 skid pad events, 2 drag strip competitions and 13 time trials on road courses.  On each time trial you get 1 lap around the course to reconnaissance the track, you then stop on the track at the start/finish line and are flagged to a start about 15 seconds apart to complete 3 timed laps.  It is the total of the 3 laps that count so if you have an off, or a spin out, you need to get moving since the clock keeps
ticking.

One bright spot was the gas prices were a little lower this year with just over $800 spent on fuel.  The lowest price we paid for Hi-Test was $2.599 in Stillwater Oklahoma, and the highest was no surprise, on the Indiana Toll road at $3.349.  Speaking of fuel we averaged 17.62 miles per gallon which isn't too bad considering we are pulling a tag-along trailer behind us and our on track mileage is probably about 6 mpg.  Didn't hit many tolls this year, only spent $65.04 in that category.  Tires needed to complete trip, 6.  I blew one out on an off track excursion at Texas Motor Sports Ranch.  In addition I blew out a rear tire on my folding bike that I take along to ride the track with.  BTW the bike tire was at the same track, but in the paddock area.

The best number is that this is the first year we exceeded our goal of raising $3,000 for the Pa. Breast Cancer Coalition and I would like to say Thank You again to all who made this possible.  Most years we got within a couple hundred but this year we exceeded the goal.  Another good number is we met our goal of a top 20 finish by finishing exactly 20th. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

We Made it Home

We made it home to Mount Joy, Pa. a few minutes before midnight on Saturday.  Just in time for Mothers Day.  After the awards banquet early Saturday afternoon, we left for home about 2:30 pm with only 600 miles to go.  The weeks weather didn't let up.  Even though much of the trip home was dry we passed through a couple intense storms in Ohio.  What a tremendous week, a real challenge of endurance, car preparation an stamina for the long transits, a couple of which were over 700 miles per day.  If you think 700 miles in a day is not a problem, remember we do our competition events first then leave on our transit about 2;30 to 3 pm.  Other that a blown tire from running off the track we had no mechanical issues which is what we hope for and why we concentrate so much on preparing the car and trailer for the trip.

Don't forget we are still raising money for our charity, the Pa. Breast Cancer Coalition. We are real close this years goal of $3,000.   For a donation of $10 or more we will place your name on a Pink Ribbon sticker on the car, or the name of someone you would like to honor or memorialize.  Pa. Breast Cancer Coalition helps women going through Breast Cancer as well as helping to fund mammograms and research. Help us meet our goal. Please make any checks out to Pa. Breast Cancer Coalition or PABCC and send to Jim Roberts 14 W. Main St. Mount Joy, Pa. 17552.  To donate with your credit card go to www.PBCC.me click on donate and indicate One Lap of America.  This event is really a lifetime experience and we felt is was a good way to leverage it to the benefit of the community by raising funds for this worthy charity.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Going for a good finish on the Dry Skid Pad Challenge.

We made it back to South Bend, our One Lap week almost complete.  The last event of the week is the Dry Skid Pad competition.  Our goal for the week was a top 20 finish and we now stand at 22nd.  With a real strong effort at this final event we have the mathematical possibility of gaining 2 positions and meeting our goal.

Well we did it.  I was able to achieve 1.006 g's on the skid pad and finished 1st in class and 12th overall for the Dry Skid Pad, 3rd in class and 20th place overall for this years One Lap of America.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The transit drive from Jennings, Oklahoma to Bowling Green, Kentucky was the longest of the week at over 10 hours.  Our track in Bowling Green was the new National Corvette Museum's Motorsport Park right across the highway from the Museum.  It is a really neat track with some interesting features including the "Sinkhole" which is like a corkscrew with about 75 ft. elevation drop, then back up out of the hole.  There was also a kink type corner named "Deception" that was a real challenge, a blind slightly uphill turn that will take most drivers a bit of repetition to master.  That's one of the great challenges of "One Lap", many have never seen the track and and your reconisance lap is the only practice that you get.  One adjustment they did make for this track is did not send us out pit out, they started us way up the front straight so we would see and drive through the Chicane on out lap, rather than see it for the first time at full speed.  That was an unusual concession but a wise one since the front straight is extremely fast.  This track was well thought out and I was told can be configured in 19 different ways.

There were a lot of competitors that found the time to get an event in at this new facility for some practice.  I did not, but still got respectable but not great finishes of 23rd in the morning event and 22nd place in the afternoon.  Now on to South Bend and our last event, The Dry Skid Pad.  BTW, we are now 3rd in class and 22nd overall.

Here is a pic of some of my fellow competitors in my run group.
Thursday found us in Jennings Oklahoma at the neat little 1.8 mile track of Hallet.  I kind of held station with a 23rd place in the morning and a 19th in the afternoon runs.  This track has some blind turns and blind crests and it's fast.  We finally got a chance to wash the car, (but we gave up on cleaning the wheels)
so it looks nice sitting here at Hallet but I guess I should have moved the trash can for a better picture.  

The trip from Denton to Jennings was only 227 miles so it was one of the shorter transits of the week, but we did 3 events at the Motorsports Ranch and 2 events at the North Star Dragway before starting the drive so we still didn't get in till midnight.  Next is the drive from Hallet to the National Corvette Museum track at Bowling Green Kentucky which shows 731 miles, that will be a late night.

Friday, May 8, 2015

If it's Texas it must be Wednesday

We had beautiful views on the 700 mile ride from Pueblo, Colorado to Cresson, Texas even if you count the tremendous threatening clouds and the occasional downpours.  We even saw a sign that said only 113 miles to Las Vegas.  I didn't know we were that close.  On the last several miles to Cresson late at night we did happen to see a bit of wildlife with a raccoon and three armadillo.

By about today we start to forget what day of the week it is.  So the way we keep it straight is by looking at our route book to see what track matches what day.  So if we are at the Motorsports Ranch in Texas, we know it's Wednesday;^)

 

I did not have a good day at the Motorsports Ranch to say the least.  The track has 3 configurations, a 1.3 mile section with a lot of elevation changes and some blind corners and apexes.  I went off into the grass on this section an ended up losing several seconds getting back on which cost me a lot of positions and points.  The second section is 1.7 miles and the combined sections equals 3.1 miles.  I did a little better on these but not as good as my typical finishes.  One bright spot of the day was when we went to do the drags at the North Star Dragway in Denton, Texas, I got a very respectable 15 place finish in the pure elapsed time run.  By the end of the day I dropped to second place in class and 23rd overall.  Our goal is to finish in the top 20 overall so I've got my work cut out for me.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Mixed bag day at High Plains Raceway

Monday was a mixed bag day at High Plains Raceway.  My morning run was a bit under my target and I finished 26th.  Not terrible but my goal is try to finish in the top 20 overall at each event.  The afternoon event at High Plains was right on target with a 20th place finish.  This was a neat event as it was an all Corvette run group.  I lined up as the lead car and had the best time in that group as well as the best time in my class.  At this point I am in 17 place overall and 1st in class.  Tomorrow we will be at Pueblo Motorsports Park where we will be doing a drag event and 2 road course events.  Rain is very likely and if it does rain we will not do the drags but will do the road course runs.  After Pueblo we are off to Cresson Texas only 672 miles away for Wednesdays competition at the Motorsports Ranch.  Here's a pic of our all Corvette run group.