Sears Point 2013 Snowspeeder Pilots Association

The Team:

Ezra:  Hanger on, Photographer, Gopro changer, General Awesomeness contributer

Julian: Pit manager, Mom, Cook

Bow:  Chief mechanic, Driver

Randal: Guy with big-ass truck full of tools, Team hotshoe, Fabricator, Do-it-all guy.

Joe: Driver, Team "manager" (ha!)

Day 1

Randal in.  Circulating pre-race, he reports new brakes feel spongy.  He is positive they need bleeding.  Bow and I bled the brakes about 3 times before the race.  We decide to wait and see. Perhaps the new pads and disks need to run in a bit.

Black flagged in because our transponder isn't work.  Randal pull the car up to HQ and we do a quick transponder swap before the green.

Green flag.

Brakes don't improve.  Much hand wringing.  Do we bring him in to change out a caliper which will cost 10-20 minutes or run the car with bad brakes and corresponding slow lap times?  When the transponder fails to signal a lap the decision is made for us.  HQ says the way we mounted the transponder is causing interference and we need to remount it.

2 laps have gone uncounted.

We stage the pit for a fast change of the caliper and to remount the transponder.  Everyone has a job.  

Pit in, swap caliper and remount transponder.  approx 8 minutes. Sent Randal back out without adding fuel.  Later, after using addition and subtraction, we realized that we may have cut out a pit stop had put fuel on him also

Randal finished his stint clean. Best time: 2:17.3  /P63

Joe (me) in next, perfect stint, clean no flags: Best time: 2:17.9 /P38
Bow, perfect stint no flags. Best time: 2:19.9 /P23
Randal in to close out the day. Best time: 2:16.7  /P19

Perfect, fast pitstops.
Lots and lots and lots of super clean driving.

Aside from 2 uncounted laps and 8 minutes swapping caliper, this the most Perfect Race* day we have experienced in our ~15 races.  (a Perfect Race* is one in which there are no black flags or mechanical break downs.)

About noon Julian fired up his high tech Treager pellet grill and started smoking ribs.  

I wandered down to HQ to petition for the return of our lost laps due to transponder issues.  I was told in essence: "Tough shit, we told you how to mount the transponder you didn't do it right."

A bit after the session for the day ended, Julian wants to bring a rack of ribs down to the organizers in HQ.  I advise him do revisit the issue of our lost laps with them as he delivers the ribs.  His jist of his report is this:

Jay Lamm: I don't really like ribs, but those sure look good and no I can't help you with the uncounted laps but why don't you talk this lady, she is the head of timing and scoring.

Head of timing and scoring:  Tough shit on the laps, but I LOVE ribs and those are great.  

Julian: The ribs are good aren't they?

Head of timing and scoring: Yes they ARE good but tough shit on the laps... how many laps are you looking for anyway.

Julian: Well you can see here in the data that this lap here and here weren't counted.... how are the ribs?.. and then we had to come to fix the transponder.  Do you like the ribs?

Head of timing and scoring: So you aren't looking for laps that you weren't actually out on the track for are you? 

Julian: of course not!

Head of timing and scoring:  Really I can't help with the lap issue.

Julian: ok thats fine but, how are the ribs?

Head of timing and scoring:  The ribs are great!  Tough shit.

Julian:  Do you like the ribs?

Head of timing and scoring:  I love the ribs!  TOUGH SHIT!

Julian: The ribs are good aren't they?

Head of timing and scoring:  Ok I'll give you 3 laps but you can't say anything to anyone about it.

Julian made some 3 lap ribs.

The next morning we found our p19 finish had been replaced by a p12 start.

Joe opens (me) 2hrs 2 mins of clean driving.  /P9!

Bow gets in the car next.  Drives around the trans for about 45 minutes and is black flagged for passing a race car, passing a disabled race are under yellow.  He privately insists that course marshals are confused but to the judges he is adequately penitent.  Back on the track he goes.

15 minutes later he black flagged again for contact with another car.  He comes in explaining on the radio that he was hit but to the judges again claims responsibility.  / P15  This is kind of a Karmic smack down for Bow.  Usually its Randal and I pushing too hard and black flagging as a result.  Bow has pointed that out to both us often in the weeks leading up to the race.

We do some addition and some subtraction and put gas in the car, add Randal and send it out.

Randal does his usual bang up job.  Clean.  Quick.  Brings the car back to the pit in P11 after  1h 54 min.

I get in to close.  While pitting we slide back to p15.  I stick to our play book.  Clean. Quick not fast.  Lap after lap.  Work our way up to P12.  The rest of the field seems to be done pitting and done breaking down.  13 minutes from the end of the race I get a call from Randal on the radio:  Joe, the P13 car is a brown BMW #144 TWO CARS BEHIND YOU, don't let him pass.  Play book, meet window.

I see the BMW moving up behind me to my right.  Move right to block on the front straight.  GAME ON.  I reach back to an old play book titled:  101 Dick Moves For the Race Track. Published Oct 2007 Altamont Press.  I proceed to execute every single move in the book twice and a make up a few new ones.  His car is faster.  I am less polite.  We swap positions 3...4.. maybe 5 times in 3-4 laps.   

He eventually gets some distance on me.   Starting on the last lap he about 100 yards ahead.  We work our way through huge clumps of traffic.  I'm gaining on him with each traffic jam.  Going into the last corner before the finish line he is on the outside in middle of a pack.  I run up the inside of the entire pack ignoring the brake pedal as long as possible moment, pivot around the tires marking the apex.  He is till trying extricate himself from knot of traffic.  We run for the finish line.  I win our little battle for 12th.  He crossed .xx seconds behind.  With possible exception of my first stint in my first race, it was most fun stint I've ever had.

After the race we are all high on adrenalin.  We track down team 144.  The great us with handshakes beer and high fives.  I had been a bit nervous that they would greet us with tire irons.  They had be having the same fun with battle that we had.

It was an epic race.  Aside from the ribs I've only reported on the driving end of it, which leaves vast swaths of effort and success unreported.  Bows rewire of the entire car, Randals mad genius splitter fab,  Julians' pit time cleaving management,  Ezera's media skillz... and more.  I need to write it down but I also need to get to this published so it will have to wait for another day.  Thank you to everyone on the team.  The team has never been better or more competitive and its all your fault!

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