Las Vegas driver's report

This past weekend we went to the "Sweetheart of a Deal" (Valentines weekend) double regional event at Las Vegas Speedway. The event was sponsored by the Las Vegas and Arizona Regions. We got home from work on Thursday evening, loaded up the...

This past weekend we went to the "Sweetheart of a Deal" (Valentines weekend) double regional event at Las Vegas Speedway. The event was sponsored by the Las Vegas and Arizona Regions.

We got home from work on Thursday evening, loaded up the Burb' and our ITS 240Z and hit the road around 9pm. David drove the first leg of the trip while I slept. We traded near Buttonwillow. I drove till some little town in the Mojave and David got us into Vegas about 6 am. After a quick breakfast, we were at the track for a day of open testing. The day was spent in alternating sessions between open and closed wheeled cars. The weather was mostly clear and with only a slight breeze, great weather for February! David drove the first 2 sessions, sorting out some suspension and jetting problems. I am still learning and turned in some pretty grim times, oh well. We had a good day, but at the end were very ready to get to our hotel room and take a shower. We both realized we'd been wearing the same socks and underwear for too long!

Once clean and refreshed we hit the casinos for a look around and to pick up our registration packets for the weekend. I think we got up the nerve to gamble a whole $5. We didn't win the big one, so guess we'll return to our regular jobs. We were very impressed by the indoor amusement park at Circus Circus. The best part was the roller coaster. Right at the top, just before the cars started down, David asked me to marry him!!!!! Of course I screamed yes all the way down. At the bottom I burst into tears. I'm sure anyone watching was thinking "Gee, the ride wasn't that scary".

Saturday morning we were at the track early enough so we could tech the car. David raced and I think he did really well, but I know he was disappointed in his finishing results. It was even warm enough to wear shorts. There was one pretty impressive incident during the group 1 race. 3 RX7's and an RX3 came together in Turn 1. For entertainment value, we watched the stripping of our neighbor's wrecked car over the rest of the weekend. Out of the four cars involved, the car that rolled probably suffered the least overall damage. Thankfully the drivers were ok.

On Sunday, I was really nervous, this being my first SCCA race. I went out for practice and did 1:41's, yuck. We went over the track map and discussed where I could pick up the most time. During qualifying I turned in a 1:35. Well now, that's much better, but still 10 seconds off the ITS pole. This put me last on grid out of 18 cars. That's ok, my goal for the race is to stay out of trouble and get my first novice race signed off.

As David was warming up the car on grid, I noticed that quite a bit of water was spewing out of the front grill. Damn! A rock had holed the radiator and a fine stream was slowly letting the water out. David ran back to our pit and quickly returned with a gallon of water and some radiator "stop leak". About the time we receive the "5" the radiator has been sealed.

At the start of the race I was able to get up on the bumpers and hang pretty close to #'s 16 (944) and 17 (RX7) for 3 or 4 laps, but then kept screwing up my entrance to turn 9, which screwed up my exit. Unfortunately this leads onto the main straight so I dropped back a bit each lap. I only finished 8th out of 8 in my class and 17th out of 18 in the field. But I finished and felt like I had improved and learned, so time well spent. Most of all, it was a lot of fun and I had a blast. David met me at impound with a big grin, a hug, and an ice cold diet Coke. God I love that man!! We went to look at the final results and have the Chief Steward sign my log book. You could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw my fast lap was a 1:31!!!!! I had taken 10 seconds off my time from morning practice. I was only 3 seconds behind David. Snoopy dance time!!!! David was originally planning to bring a bottle of champagne to celebrate my first regional race, but all we had was beer. Little did I know that instead of just _handing_ me the beer he decided that I should take a "champagne like" shower with it!!!!

So smelling like beer, we packed up, left for home, and stopped briefly near the Nevada state line to thrown away a few more dollars. We got back to Gilroy at 4 am, crawled into bed and slept till 11. Thank god we had Monday off so we could unload the car, do a little work on our 240SX Touring Car, and shop for wedding rings.

Revkah Reitman Data Tech Racing reit@gwl.com

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Series SCCA