RACE: Mid-Ohio Runoffs Thursday notes #5

Runoffs Notes - 15 - Thursday copyright 1996 John P. M. Dillon How do the stewards come to their decisions? We can only assume there is rational discussion involved, however... there's a Ouija Board sitting on the table in Protest ...

Runoffs Notes - 15 - Thursday copyright 1996 John P. M. Dillon

How do the stewards come to their decisions? We can only assume there is rational discussion involved, however... there's a Ouija Board sitting on the table in Protest Central.

Galen Puccini said "we finally got a good contingent from the west coast. We're right behind Ramon Partides in times, so we gonna hook up with him. He admitted that it helps to be on the factory team (KBS), adding "Hoosier has helped us out, and so has EvanSpeed." Puccini, who's second qualifying session was in the dry (albeit COLD), kind of hopes for rain. "We're covered; we have a good rain setup and a good dry setup. We just didn't have a good _ice_ setup for qualifying!" He says the car really sticks in the back section of the track while his competitors are slipping and sliding around.

The Formula Vee crowd is going through a lot of pain. Apparently there are some undertrays that are being considered as "ground effects" and a lot of drivers are scrambling to get the bodywork situation figured out.

The F440 crowd has a similar problem. According to Eric Christenson, all the new AMW engines have new pistons from the factory that are nonetheless illegal. "They don't make the old ones anymore." Similarly, the legal flywheel has 6 bolts, but when you order a flywheel from the sole supplier AMW, they now come with 9 bolts, and are thus illegal as well. "Everybody rummaged around in their junk boxes for used pistons and stuff in order to get their cars 'legal' again." Christenson himself is having mystery problems in the motor or clutches, saying the car has no top end at all. "Our funmeter is on '1' right now. It's cold, it's wet, the car's not right, and the generator died in the motor home." The only reason the meter is as high as it is is because the car is handling great.

Christenson also reported that Scott Woodruff smacked the wall at Turn 11. "He's okay, but the car is trash." Woodruff managed to miss the tire wall and hit the concrete wall instead.

As with other drivers, Eric doesn't care for the 16 minute sessions. "If you're lucky you'll get in 8 laps. The first two are warmup, especially on cold days. Then you jockey for a hole to try and get a good lap. Every year it gets less fun; I may not be back next year. It's too cold to be racing in Ohio this time of year."

The last session of the day, Spec Racer Fords, is on course now. As with the Vees and A Sedans before them, they're qualifying in the rain.

Steve Burgner, driver of the Activa Shelby Can-AM, qualified in the rain yesterday just in case the weather didn't improve. Today's session was better, and all four SCA entries were on course. Said Burgner, "It's too bad there's not a lot of cars here, but it's still the national championship." He can understand the reasoning behind SCCA's decision to combine the S2's and SCA's together, and recognized the need for a good show, and he's not really opposed to it. "It's difficult for us to see them because of the size difference. I hope this doesn't play a part in the outcome of the race." He says he has the finest crew at the Runoffs, listing Tom Liakopoulos, Ike Woo, and Gene Ryner. "To them I owe my success."

John Dillon Mostly SoPac (Hawaii, Las Vegas, San Diego, Cal Club)

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Series SCCA
Drivers Galen Puccini