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Majors @ Hallett Motor Racing Circuit April 9th~10th


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#41
Jesse Prather

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Certainly do appreciate all of the attention although probably undeserved!

I do feel like I can get most everything out of a car and each car has it's nuances.  This is the first weekend I've raced on DOT tires and they are certainly fun to slide around on.  I need to figure out how to make this car handle better without being able to twist knobs on shocks like I'm used to!  Definitely down power wise to the 1.8's but the engine in the car is an unknown, simple as that.  Even so, the cars are very close power wise enough that the setup and driving make the biggest difference in my opinion.  Got to run in the top 6 train yesterday for almost 2 laps before I went off at the exit of the bitch and lost touch.  Apparently lost an alternator around half way and the car started to back up.  Not sure why James had to pull in on the pace lap but he easily caught and passed me in the second half of the race.

 

Really cool to see such good driving and be a part of this class for this year.  A huge thanks to Tim Johnson for letting me flog this Miata.  I'll go faster as the year progresses and look forward to having more fun.

 

FYI, those rumors are laughable at best.  Thanks guys!



#42
Bench Racer

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Jesse, you are very deserving of the attention. I will track your progress for your Spec Miata year closer than if you were in a production car as I'm sure others will. Thanks for the informative post.


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#43
Jim Drago

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Has anyone officially been in the 1:27s before?

Congrats to Jim on a convincing pole! Second step of the podium should be a good battle but it looks like Matt's car still isn't quite right.

And that folks is why they run the races :)
 
Congratulations to Justin Hille And Max Nufer who both had great weekends. Max with a 2-3 finish and Justin with a 1-2 finish.  Max is a great young man and a very talented driver, at 16.. It is nice to see someone as level headed and talented as Max come into SM. He will do well in SM as long as he decides to stay. Justin as most know is a very talented and yet another likable( we try not to, but it is hard :) ) "kid". As far as Matt Reynolds, I have to congratulate him as he was having issues with his car all weekend and he brought a 8-9 place car home in third. Much props to that guy. I wish we could have had another classic battle, but sometimes stuff just gets in the way. Standing there and watching the podium ceremony Sunday was a bit nostalgic.. Earlier in my racing career, I watched as a 17-18 year old Matt Reynolds was taking his first podium at Hallett in 2006.  Seeing Max up there reminded me of that day and how fast time passes by.
 
Not sure what we need to do in order to get back to the days of getting 25 SM plus at Hallett, but we need to. Quite simply, it is the best track to race SM's IMO. Of all the tracks we race, Hallett is by far the most about the driver and least about the car and power. I given some ideas like not to schedule within 2-3 weeks of other majors that are likely to be attended by drivers contemplating Hallett majors.. Like VIR this coming weekend.  SCCA should try and make amends with the Texas SM community where most have migrated to NASA as they feel they have been mistreated with no majors races at tracks they want to race. Maybe some more incentives? But I have never heard anyone who has raced at Hallett in an SM have anything but very positive reviews. It we could pick up that track and move it into Texas or somewhere in the SE, it would be an instant favorite for many.  
 
As most probably know, Hallet is a drivers track and performance there is related far more towards driving and set up than power. While having power never hurts, I would give 5 hp for a properly handling car, well actually I did that Sunday for awhile :)   I had been privately whining that my car was not all that it had been all weekend, but hard for anyone( including myself ) to take those claims seriously as I was as fast as I or anyone else had ever run there in a SM. The alternator was failing all weekend. I never saw it on the gauges as truthfully I barely glance at temp and oil pressure at Hallett as you are always busy, but in hindsight, it all makes sense.  On Sunday at the start I got pulled very badly at the start and again up the Hille by Justin. I was able to keep the lead as it 1 and 2 are left handers.
As your typical racer.. my thoughts were "dam, his car is fast"  not mine might be off.  I got out to a comfortable margin, planned on just clicking off the last 12 -13 laps and then my traqmate display went dim..  volt gauge to 10.5, FP dropped 2.5 psi.. I shut off what I could, tracked the drop in voltage and FP over the next few laps  and realized I would likely burn the engine down before finishing.. I had the same failure at Atlanta NASA champs two years ago without all the gauges and why I installed them that ended very badly. So I knew the end result.  About the only positive of this age thing... my wallet made the decision to pull in :) 
 
 
Too bad we didnt' pull off the back to back double.. but the positives were pretty good too.. Lots of fun, drama free ( except Novak trying to convince my crew guys to unionize my shop   :) ) pole, a win, new track record and after Matt and I have been flirting with it for three years.. I finally broke into the 27's for the first time in Sunday qualifying.
 
Tires

I WILL POST IN THE OTHER THREAD



as nothing to do with being a 1.6. Jesse can turn a one minute lap if 57 seconds!


There may be 10-12 in SM that can turn it in 56.5 :)

Jesse did a very good job in a car that was definitely down not only to 1.8's but any good 1.6. I see he is registered at enough events to qualify and run the Runoffs. He has the skills inside and outside of the car to make it a VERY competitive package and Mid Ohio should be a good track for the 1.6. This could get very interesting. It will be fun to watch. 

Good to see him running in the class, the more the merrier.

Jim


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#44
James York

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Congrats again to Jim for his win Saturday and to Justin for Sundays drive.  Both deserving.  I think we all had a great and drama free time.  I don't recall anyone complaining, well except the normal stuff about that our cars could stick a little better!

 

Hallett is a technical track that is super fun in SMs, glad Novak and Justin made the trip from such a distance.  First time meeting Justin, nice guy and great driver, race with him anytime.  

 

On Sunday, I spotted the field about 25 or so seconds when i had to pull in on the pace lap to secure the hood.  Bonehead oversight had me driving down to the East Street guys in the pits, while everyone else took the green.  Lesson learned.

 

Thanks to Jim for the hubs and dinner on Saturday night, didn't even know it was my birthday, ha ha funny man.  While I sure did want better race results, I no way could ask for a better event and fun time at the track.


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#45
Jim Drago

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Justin posted his video

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#46
JRHille

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Thanks for posting that, Jim.  I made sure I edited in the part where I caught up to you before I cooked my tires/brain :)

 

This was a seriously fun event. Even though there were only 12 of us, it seemed like on test day that there were 4 or 5 that could win.  The track, for me, was the most challenging track to pick up thus far.  My first weekend at Watkins Glen I was in contention for the win, and left the weekend with good thoughts thinking I performed very well.  My first weekend at Hallett, I'm still watching videos telling myself what I could've done better. I can't even imagine how much more fun it would have been if we had some of the usual suspects there.  This is such a good Miata track, as it has every different type of corner, all of which work well with the car.  If anyone wants to come and test their DRIVING skills against the best in the country, this is definitely the place to do it.  Little room for excuses when it comes to horsepower (although I still like to make them in my head).  Some of the corners will leave you wondering, "did I miss the setup, or was the car just a foot off the groove?".  You will go into a corner on one lap thinking, "shit, my tires fell off", and then the next lap you'll go through that same corner, ever so slightly different, and it will feel great!  This is a real driver's track, and I have to say Jim out drove the shit out of me and everybody. 

 

Seriously everybody, Hallett was a great weekend, and I can't wrap my head around why more people didn't come. Yeah I understand it's kind of in the middle of nowhere and it is a long haul, but what isn't?  It's only about an hour from the airport, and there are plenty of good places to stay in Tulsa.  The staff in the region were awesome, the registration was seamless, and the racing was great. 

 

Congratulations Jim on the domination on Saturday, and Max Nufer for an impressive weekend as well.  No surprise Matt Reynolds was on the podium Sunday, even though he is having some serious car issues.  Novak ran well too, and he's really the only reason I made it out there in the first place, while Drago, York, and Jodie helped quite a bit once I got down there. Really good to meet James York, that guy is always happy and I admire the speed at which he finds the beer after the checkered flag drops!

 

Good weekend everybody, hope more can make it out next year. 

 

If you like Hallett, you will LOVE Grattan!!!! Hint Hint Jim!!!


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#47
FTodaro

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Nice write up Justin, Mike asked me to join you guys but I did not get my stuff ready in time, Will try to make this one next year. Sounds like a good way to kick off the season.

 

I have not met James York but he sounds like my kind of driver, "beer ready". :)


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#48
Bench Racer

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Justin, great weekend and write-up. Crew likes to hold flag, but you need to check out Drago's flag holding process.


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#49
Jim Drago

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 you need to check out Drago's flag holding process.

Practice,  Stuff it out through vent hole in vent glass on drivers sides.. The wind on flag pushes so hard it holds itself :)


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Hoosier Super Tour points Champion - Hoosier Super Tour points Champion ARRC Champion - Won the ARRC Race in a Spec Miata Series Champ - Won a points based series in a Spec Miata BFG Supertour Winner - Majors Winner - Circuit of the Americas Winner - We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner SCCA National Champion - Won SCCA Runoffs at Road America SCCA National Champion - Won SCCA Runoffs at Road America

#50
Bench Racer

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Practice,   :)

Justin is getting there in a hurry!!!


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