Runoffs Notes - 25 - Saturday copyright 1996 John P. M. Dillon
I'm gonna catch up on some older notes (a day or two) just in case some of my press compatriots need additional info to flesh out their stories.
Todd Harris reports that in his first time here, he's really impressed with the magnitude of the whole event. "My dad raced in the '72 Runoffs at Atlanta and we've been attending ever since. I'm just having a good time."
Brandon Dixon says "16 minutes sucks," in his first visit to the Runoffs. "I'm not that gripey, really. Things are moving in the right direction with the consolidation of classes. I hope it can happen."
I mentioned the other night the concern about drivers not joining in the worker party. I was subsequently told that any driver who shows his competition license will be granted admission, though they ask that the drivers indulge only in beverages and not the worker dinners.
Gilcrease on qualifying: "This session bites. I went out for two scheduled warmup laps, then on the 3rd lap an Alfa blew oil in Turn 6, pulled off in Turn 9, staying right in the line the whole time." He added that it's still better than the previous day's rainy qualifying.
Somebody TP'd the GT2 tent of John Stott. Robert Nagle came in the next morning and discovered all of the toilet paper stuffed in his car. As previously mentioned, r'Alf now has pinstriped flames on his helmet. Steve Kelso says "We don't know how any of this is happening." More on these antics later.
Rusty Cook got a late start racing in Spec Racer so he didn't have a whole lot of seat time. "It's not my car [car owner Mark Kuntz asked Cook to drive for him], and I haven't run up here in the rain, and I don't have much track time here. In the dry it'll be tought to hold onto my 3rd qualifying position." He said he'd be pleased to finish in the top 20. "I'm praying for rain, then we'll be set to go. Rain takes all those years of seat time away from the others."
Doug Christenson is sporting a W2W sticker on the nose of his Spec Racer. "I bashed up the nose in practice, but when repairing it, I discovered the resin wouldn't cure in the cold so we took it back to the house to get fixed." He's renting a house for the week.
Larry Stephens won a deluxe Mazda Motorsports jacket at the Mazda banquet, presented by Steve Sanders. The winning ticket was given to Stephens by Jim McCashin, National Executive Steward. Also at the banquet, alternative stations were discussed as places to give the green flag. The best solution was the "surprise" station--a green could pop up at any corner, signifying the start of racing. If they do a full circuit without a green, the top four cars would have to move to the back of the pack. Also overheard at the banquet, regarding the "questionable bodywork" for Formula Vees: "How dare you wait this long to catch me?"
Speaking of flags, the announcers repeatedly talk about the white flag lap, the white flag coming out, etc. Somebody (but not me, since I support white flags for the last lap) should probably clue him in that the Runoffs is not an SCCA Pro event but instead an SCCA Club event.
John Dillon Mostly SoPac