FFR Challenge Series Race Report – Summint Point April 2012Posted on May 7th, 2012
Reported by FFR customer John George
The FFR challenge cars were at Summit Point, WV for the second east coast race of the season this past weekend. In attendance were Jim Schenck, Wayne Patterson, Carl Thompson, Paul Kaiser and I all running the 2012 rules package. Warmup was in the AM, followed by qualifying around noon, then the race in the afternoon. Qualifying saw me first of the FFRs, followed by Jim, Paul (too lazy to change his rain tires still on from VIR) Carl and Wayne.
Before the race I noticed my rear brake pads were low again, so I proceeded to change them. I thought I had spare pads but forgot I used them up at Sebring, Wayne kindly gave me some of his old used pads. I changed the pads and got back in the car to see how my brake pedal was, well it went to the floor. Something was wrong. Mark, Jim and I eventually got the pedal working after letting it gravity bleed, just in time for the race.
The race had me starting 3rd overall, Jim right behind me, with Paul, Carl and Wayne a couple of spots back.
Wow.. What a race! Both Jim and Paul got past me at the start, was battling with Jim first couple of laps then set on to get to Paul. Took me quite some laps to get to Paul but once there another epic battle ensued, both of us on the limit running low 1:21′s lap after lap. I tried a couple of passes but none stuck, Paul ended up winning with us .563 seconds apart at the checkers. Paul ended up setting a new lap record during the race, a 1:21.208 at Summit Point.
Sunday started with us qualifying early in the AM, then a 40min race in the afternoon. Jim ended up on pole followed by me, Carl, and Wayne. Paul was still sleeping in the hotel during this session. The race started with Jim and I battling side by side in places not thought of as passing zones, great fun. Unfortunately on lap 3 coming into turn 10, usually an 75-80 mph turn onto the front straight, my brake pedal was hard as a rock, something wrong, I decided to go off track left to not run into the back of Jim or anyone else. The gravel there slowed me down good, off track now I tried the brake pedal again and it all seemed to work good, so back on track I go now some 20 seconds behind Jim, Paul, and Carl. I ended up doing 7 more laps until the same brake issue cropped up again, this time at the end of the front straight, off the track I go! this time deep in the gravel at turn 1, so far in that the EV crew could not tow me out of there until after the race. Watching all the cars go by including the battle of Jim and Paul was nice until the red flag started waiving, race was over. Paul finished ahead of Jim, followed by Wayne, and Carl having engine issues. The EV crew towed me out and I was able to drive back to the paddoc. After the race both Paul and Wayne ended up getting disqualified for missing red flags (when the red flag comes out you are supposed to safely come to a complete stop on the racetrack and await further instructions) which promoted Jim the winner, followed by Carl in 2nd and me in 3rd.
Another great weekend (well, minus the brake issues and off-track excursions.) Next event for me is May 25-27 at New Jersey Motorsports Park, a new racetrack for me.
Click here to see photos from the event.
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