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Pitt Majors


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#41
FTodaro

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OK, so that was probably the most bizarre weekend of racing I've ever seen (sounds like crazy stuff wasn't just isolated to Pitt).  In a nutshell this was my recollection from the weekend:

  • Warm, Sunny, Cold, Windy, Rainy, Snowy, Sleet
  • Beautiful breezy test day
  • Rain started 10 minutes before grid for Q1 (all cars on jack stands waiting to make the call to go dry or wet)
  • Q1 was wet and very slick
  • Race 1 - Two related incidents collected 7 cars in turn 3,4,5 of the first lap (3 could not race Sunday)
  • Three laps of green, two double yellow, black, red, then checkered
  • Group 6 Race - Mini hits a tow truck head on during a hot pull, destroys the car completely, tow truck runs over drivers foot of car being pulled out, crash jams the steering rack in the tow truck, tow truck loaded onto roll back
  • Officials abandon group 7 race on Saturday and decide to run Sunday at 8am
  • Group 7 didn't even complete the first lap before being red flagged, later restarted
  • Track was wet before Q2 but not raining 10 minutes before grid (all cars on jack stands waiting to make the call to go dry or wet)
  • Dry tires was the right call for Q2 - track was cold but very fast
  • Race 2 - Dry start, set a new TR on lap 3, lap 4 I developed a vibration, pulled into pits and Rookey took over the lead 
  • A lap later Rookey slides off track while leading into the tire wall at turn 3 with snow blowing across the track
  • Snow gets much harder and the track turns damp
  • Leverone, Cefalo, V. Kicera podium
  • Group 2 Race 2 - at the end of the race a car goes off in turn 19 and ignites the tire wall
  • 3 fire departments show up to fight the fire 
  • Officials abandon the rest of the event.  

Needless to say, the weekend didn't go as planned but we were lightning fast in every session wet and dry.  In Q2 I cracked into the very high 2:02's and probably could have gone another 3-4 tenths faster had I stayed out.  As you can see below, my LR hub failed when the flange completely separated.  The only thing holding the wheel on was the a caliper.  Luckily I slowed when the vibration got worse.  The flange didn't fully separate until I entered pit road.  

 

Interestingly enough, Rookey was behind me for the first few laps of Race 2 before I pulled in and ran over one second faster than he had run at any other point in the weekend - within two tenths of my lap record.  It was the first time all weekend anyone was close enough to me to see my brake points, apex speeds, and lines.  I think had my car not broken and he not gone off, it would have been a very close race to the finish.  Congrats to Nick for getting the monkey off his back in SM Majors competition, Marc Cefalo on second place, and my dad for his first Majors podium in very tricky conditions and after repairing the car from Saturday!!!

 

Nice write up. you had it covered this weekend.

 

BTW i had the same rear hub failure. The best i can tell its due to installing the long studs.

 

I quit using long studs.


Frank
TnT Racing
SCCA Ohio Valley Region
Chairman, SCCA Great Lakes Divisional Series Committee.

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#42
M.Tanz

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Great Job this weekend and Thank you for all of your help and knowledge. It was definitely an 'odd' weekend, one I kinda hope never repeats itself, never thought we would be Racing for real in a snow and sleet storm!



#43
Chris Ashcraft

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Does anyone have video of the snow/sleet storm we were driving in i would love to show some people and i didnt have my gopro this weekend.



#44
FTodaro

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One last comment about the Pitt weekend. I have never ran with this region and maybe some of the regulars have some insight. In the driver meeting after impound all, they made quite a big point about no contact and bump drafting. What I took away from that meeting is that it was ok to touch inadvertently in a draft but no obvious hitting, pushing and contact.

 

It sounded like a pretty strict rule.

 

Is that the case?

 

That is another area we could use some consistency.


Frank
TnT Racing
SCCA Ohio Valley Region
Chairman, SCCA Great Lakes Divisional Series Committee.

Make it Rain - Made Paypal donation of $100+ We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! Bona fide - A bonafide Spec Miata driver Donor - Made PayPal donation

#45
Mark McCallister

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[checks calendar for future race weekends starting on a Friday the 13th]


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#46
speedengineer

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[checks calendar for future race weekends starting on a Friday the 13th]


My logbook was issued on Friday, and the logbook number they issued me ended in 666. Just weird!

Jason Kohler 

#84 SM

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#47
Eric Orton

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One last comment about the Pitt weekend. I have never ran with this region and maybe some of the regulars have some insight. In the driver meeting after impound all, they made quite a big point about no contact and bump drafting. What I took away from that meeting is that it was ok to touch inadvertently in a draft but no obvious hitting, pushing and contact.

It sounded like a pretty strict rule.

Is that the case?

That is another area we could use some consistency.


I've only got ~6-7 race weekends under my belt (all at PittRace so far) and that's the first time I've heard them go into detail about differentiating bump drafting and body contact. I don't remember the same guy speaking at the majors drivers meeting last year and also don't remember bump drafting being discussed specifically then either.
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Eric Orton


#48
Tom Scheifler

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One last comment about the Pitt weekend. I have never ran with this region and maybe some of the regulars have some insight. In the driver meeting after impound all, they made quite a big point about no contact and bump drafting. What I took away from that meeting is that it was ok to touch inadvertently in a draft but no obvious hitting, pushing and contact.

It sounded like a pretty strict rule.


Got the same guidance at the St Louis SM driver meeting.
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#49
Walter Vetter

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VIR (not the SCCA) mandated the code 35 rule after a tow vehicle was hit during a hot tow. I heard some pushback from drivers. I saw the rule work fine at the recent SARRC/MARRS event. In light of the tow truck being hit during the Pitt Major maybe it's time for the SCCA to review implementing this rule for all club racing events.
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#50
John Nesbitt

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I worked the VIR race (as a steward).  I helped deal with an incident where a driver did not see/ignored the Double Yellow/Purple (Code 35) for at least three flag stations before having a near miss.

 

The existing flag rules work perfectly well as long as folks see and respect the flags.  Inventing another flag for people to ignore does not solve anything.


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#51
Peter Olivola

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I would add to John Nesbitt's comments that SCCA has fallen behind international flagging practices and we really need to catch up.  The advent of light systems to augment flaggers only makes that more apparent.






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