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Old 10-30-2019, 06:42 AM   #1321
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That was a suckey weekend. Sorry you had to deal with all that, especially after getting your car back on the track.

What PCA region canceled BW? You are safe to come play with us at SDR, we wouldn't cancel a weekend right at the last minute

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Old 10-30-2019, 06:53 PM   #1322
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This will make you happy Tom, POC is going to Sonoma next year
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Old 10-31-2019, 02:41 PM   #1323
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That was a suckey weekend. Sorry you had to deal with all that, especially after getting your car back on the track.

What PCA region canceled BW? You are safe to come play with us at SDR, we wouldn't cancel a weekend right at the last minute
Uhhh.... sorry to say this but PCA SDR was the host so I assume that they cancelled the Club races at Buttonwillow (they kept the TT/DE).
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Old 10-31-2019, 03:50 PM   #1324
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Uhhh.... sorry to say this but PCA SDR was the host so I assume that they cancelled the Club races at Buttonwillow (they kept the TT/DE).
The SDR BW event is this weekend Nov 2/3, not last weekend. The email I got early last week said the Club Race was canceled due to low club racer turnout
????

And yes, the TT was still on and a DE was added to fill the CR sessions
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Old 10-31-2019, 08:21 PM   #1325
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Overall, it was a good weekend at Sonoma. Good, but weird.

First, the good. The car ran and handled perfectly. It felt really good to be back in the drivers seat. This was my first time at Sonoma and I had spent a good amount of time watching video and using the sim (Forza 7). I really credit both of those with making me feel reasonably comfortable the first time that I went out onto the track. Sure, I still had to "learn" the course but it was much, much better than having done nothing.

The most surprising thing about the sim vs the real course was that the sim made the course feel longer, like there was a lot of time between corners. The reality is that the course felt fairly short and kept me quite busy as the corners come at your rather quickly. This meant that it was important to look ahead and plan ahead. This was especially true in Turns 2/3/3a which are a quick succession of blind uphill curves and in the S's, Turns 8/8a/9. Getting the flow correct was key to getting through quickly.

The most challenging was Turn 2 at the top of the hill. You come flying up the front straight (which actually has a turn (T12) in the middle of it) and have to get properly lined up for the blind right at the top of the hill - all while braking and downshifting.

It is downhill into Turn 4 which made it difficult to gauge the proper speed and the exit is deceptively shallow so it was easy to over-cook the entry speed and put two wheels in the dirt. Ask me how I know.

I spent Friday getting to know the track and working on getting some basic speed. My best lap time on Friday was 1:58. The track record is 1:52 and a decent BSR time is 1:54-1:55, so I had still some work to do.

On Sat, I qualified 10th of 12 Boxster's but I only got 1 clear lap. And I apologize to the Spec911 that was caught behind me for half of that lap but I really needed to maintain my line (I respectfully let him by as soon as we passed the Start/Finish line). With around 45 cars of all types in a single run group, there was constant traffic from catching slower cars and being caught by faster cars.

The race went well. I was stuck behind a couple of cars that had more power than my Boxster but were slower in the corners, so I'd catch up and almost pass them, then they'd drive away from me on the straight, only to repeat it again at the next set of corners. This allowed the group in front of me to pull a big gap which I couldn't make up and I finished 11th out of 12.

But I put down a couple of good laps during the race at 1:55 and was hoping that would bode well for Sunday's two planned races.

And that brings me to the weird stuff...

I drove the Boxster up on Thursday (6 hrs) and went for a run on Thursday afternoon and suffered a migraine headache while running. I had to walk a couple of miles back to the hotel and then rest up most of the afternoon. This has happened before while running but it always throws off my routine (which I try to adhere to on race weekends).

Then on Sat evening, the power company turned off the power to most of the region due to high winds and fires in NorCal (even though the fires were 20-30 miles away). The hotel staff went room to room handing out glow sticks prior to the power outage but I always keep a small flashlight in my suitcase. The power went out at 8:30pm so I went to sleep. The hotel made arrangements to get a generator and it came on at 1:30am because that was when all of the lights in my room came on - I had forgot to turn them off after the power went out!

I went to the track at 7am only to find that the track had no power and that all of the ambulances had been called away to support fire evacuation efforts. No ambulances = no racing. Everything was cancelled for Sunday so I packed up and drove the 6 hrs back home.

Also, the PCA announced that they had cancelled the Buttonwillow race (but Time Trial/DE is still happening) for this weekend due to the low number of racing registrants. In my opinion, they should have run the race regardless of how many race cars showed up - especially since they were still running the TT/DE event and the fact that I selected to miss another racing event to attend this one. In the future, I'll now have to consider whether to skip another race for a PCA race since they might not hold the PCA race. Which probably means that I'll do fewer PCA races in the future. Which is too bad, because the PCA hosts great events but I can't be left out in the cold and not racing.

Overall, Sonoma was a really cool track to visit, it was good to hang out with the NorCal racers (who are a group of really nice and very talented drivers), and I really enjoyed the weekend even with all of the weird stuff.

I'll post up some video soon.







Quite an interesting weekend. Someday I'll make it the the left coast -- hopefully after PG&E gets its act together...
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Old 11-03-2019, 08:34 PM   #1326
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Here is video from the start of last Saturday's PCA race at Sonoma Raceway. Its too bad that we didn't get to race on Sunday as I would have been faster and more aggressive in getting past traffic. Nonetheless, a fun race at a great racetrack! Full screen in HD with sound provides the best viewing experience.


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Old 11-04-2019, 05:25 AM   #1327
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Hey Tom! I'm glad to see the car is sorted and back on the track. It looks like you had a good day.
I've been radio silent lately, but reading every word and watching every video. Keep after it!
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Old 11-04-2019, 02:07 PM   #1328
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Glad you enjoyed Sonoma. We just got back from two days there this last weekend. 1:55 in a SPB is a very good time. My best there in my Boxster as a 1:54. Wasn't quite that quick this weekend - grip was somewhat limited at times. Car had issues Sunday so only got one session in. It's by far my favorite track of the 4 I've been on. Laguna, Thunderhill, and Buttonwillow are the others.
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Old 11-04-2019, 03:10 PM   #1329
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Tom,

Glad you and your car are back in top form!
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:55 AM   #1330
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Same race, different video... Made a good start, almost got hit in turn 7 on lap 1. There was interesting action in my rear view mirror on lap 6 in turn 7.... Anyway, finished P5.

Good to see you out there, Tom! Similarly disappointed that Sunday was canceled. In qualifying and race on Saturday I was chasing tire pressures downward -- they got way, way too high in both sessions. Boy did I get that wrong. And in the race I heard & felt a wheel bearing going bad. Very loud vibration in right turns. To get a head start on the fix, I removed the wheel carrier after the race before going home, and then on Sunday morning brought my spare wheel carrier containing a fresh bearing... to find the day canceled. This meant I had to complete the repair before I could load the car on the trailer and go home -- d'oh!

https://youtu.be/hpLQ1MPZhDk
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:11 PM   #1331
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Same race, different video... Made a good start, almost got hit in turn 7 on lap 1. ...
Nice video. Off behind you and back on just ahead of Tom. Looks like if he braked a fraction of a second later you would at least have had some of his paint on your car.



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Old 11-06-2019, 08:57 PM   #1332
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Same race, different video... Made a good start, almost got hit in turn 7 on lap 1. There was interesting action in my rear view mirror on lap 6 in turn 7.... Anyway, finished P5.

Good to see you out there, Tom! Similarly disappointed that Sunday was canceled. In qualifying and race on Saturday I was chasing tire pressures downward -- they got way, way too high in both sessions. Boy did I get that wrong. And in the race I heard & felt a wheel bearing going bad. Very loud vibration in right turns. To get a head start on the fix, I removed the wheel carrier after the race before going home, and then on Sunday morning brought my spare wheel carrier containing a fresh bearing... to find the day canceled. This meant I had to complete the repair before I could load the car on the trailer and go home -- d'oh!

https://youtu.be/hpLQ1MPZhDk
Great video! Glad that weren't caught up in the mess on Lap 6/Turn 7.

Sorry to hear about the wheel bearing and the subsequent Sunday morning repair. I was able to get my stuff packed up pretty quickly but then had the 6-hr drive home.
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Old 11-09-2019, 05:49 PM   #1333
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Since the PCA race at Buttonwillow last weekend was cancelled, I went to Buttonwillow yesterday and spent the day testing an SCCA SRF (Spec Racer Ford). This was my second time in this car.

The SRF is a purpose-built tube frame race car that only weighs 1,640 lbs with the driver. That is 1,000 lbs less than a Spec Boxster! Its amazing how much "stuff" a street car has that a pure race car doesn't need. In terms of lap times, the SRF is definitely faster than a SPB/BSR and most of that advantage is in the cornering capability since it has fairly similar acceleration and top speeds.

My goals for the day were to get used to driving at the limit of those Hoosier race slicks and show competitive speed against the other 4 SRF's who were also testing (including the 2019 SRF Regional (SoCal) Champion, Alex Bermudez).

The #15 car that I drove was used by five time SRF National Champion Mike Miserendino to win his 5th National Championship in 2017. No pressure.

It was an open test day so you could go out whenever you liked and stay out for as long as you wanted (no sessions), so I got almost 4 yours of track time! I was absolutely exhausted at the end of the day. That is probably the most that I have ever driven on a track in a single day.

I spent the morning learning the car - steering inputs, brake modulation, gear selection, how early to go to throttle, what it felt like to slide the car, how to recover the car from a slide, etc, and slowly building speed.

By the afternoon, I was close to being as fast as a couple of SRF regulars and Bermudez slowed a bit, so we did two 45 min sessions racing around and passing each other. It was an absolute blast!

Not a bad way to spend a Friday.







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Old 11-10-2019, 01:52 PM   #1334
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You lucky bastard!!
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Old 11-10-2019, 02:11 PM   #1335
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Stone, man..... I LIVE for these posts.
Yeah..... I'm jealous...... but I cheer that someone I "kinda" know is doing it. And a nice-guy to boot. Haha

What's an SRF worth? Any exotica in the drivetrain?

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Old 11-10-2019, 03:22 PM   #1336
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What's an SRF worth? Any exotica in the drivetrain?
Pricing is very similar to Spec Boxster's: Brand new build runs ~$55K. A nice ready-to-race car is ~$35K. A car that needs some updates or a bit of refreshing is typically in the high $20K's.

The engine is a Ford Sigma 1.6L, fuel-injected, DOHC 16-valve, inline 4-cylinder (derived from Ford Fiesta). They are built by Ford Performance and dynamometer tested for parity. It only puts out 135hp but remember, the car is 1,000 lbs lighter than a Spec Boxster. Engines last 3+ seasons, rebuilds are $2,500.

ECU is a Performance Electronics unit running a custom race tune. ECU is sealed.

Transmission is a Ford 5-speed manual.

Inboard Penske adjustable racing shocks.

The Hoosier slicks are about the same price as a set of Spec Boxster Toyo RR's but have a lot more grip and have a bit more life in them.

The suspension is pure race car with rocker-arm-actuated springs and shocks and adjustable front and rear swaybars. If you look closely at the second photo with the rear bodywork removed, you can see the inboard shocks/springs behind the muffler. This design puts the Boxster MacPherson strut suspension to shame.

There are three areas where an SRF really outshines a Spec Boxster - light weight, cornering grip, and all of the major components (engine, trans, ECU, shocks, body panels, suspension, etc) are sealed and/or numbered by the SCCA to eliminate cheating.

The downsides are that the car is bit wonky looking, its not a Porsche (for those who are brand-minded), and the cars can feel very old school (no power steering, no power brakes, no traction control, no stability control, etc).
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:39 PM   #1337
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I put the cost of tires, engine, fuel, brake pads, and gearbox at $351 per hour for Spec Boxster, and $263 per hour for SRF3. So about 25% less to run SRF3.

Operational costs of racing classes

And of course, if you have an incident, you'll spend a LOT more to fix the Boxster (as you know!).

Lap times are about 4 seconds per lap faster in SRF3 for laps around 2:00.

On the other hand, you can't drive the SRF3 to the track!

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Old 11-10-2019, 08:10 PM   #1338
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I put the cost of tires, engine, fuel, brake pads, and gearbox at $351 per hour for Spec Boxster, and $263 per hour for SRF3. So about 25% less to run SRF3.

Operational costs of racing classes

And of course, if you have an incident, you'll spend a LOT more to fix the Boxster (as you know!).

Lap times are about 4 seconds per lap faster in SRF3 for laps around 2:00.

On the other hand, you can't drive the SRF3 to the track!

Greg

Great info Greg! Thanks for posting!

Looking through your data set, I'd love to drive a NASA NP-01...
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Old 11-11-2019, 06:30 AM   #1339
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Originally Posted by Greg Holmberg View Post
I put the cost of tires, engine, fuel, brake pads, and gearbox at $351 per hour for Spec Boxster, and $263 per hour for SRF3. So about 25% less to run SRF3.

Operational costs of racing classes

And of course, if you have an incident, you'll spend a LOT more to fix the Boxster (as you know!).

Lap times are about 4 seconds per lap faster in SRF3 for laps around 2:00.

On the other hand, you can't drive the SRF3 to the track!

Greg
Great info, thanks Greg.

I have been eyeing Formula First or Formula 600 as a nice track playtoy. I not planning on heavy SCCA or ??? Running, just something for fun 6 or 7 times a year with PCA
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Last edited by JayG; 11-11-2019 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:54 AM   #1340
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I have been eyeing Formula First or Formula 600 as a nice track playtoy. I not planning on heavy SCCA or ??? Running, just something for fun 6 or 7 times a year with PCA
I've seen quite a few different makes of cars run in PCA "Driving Education" events, but I've never seen a purpose-built car (formula or sports racer/prototype). Check with them, but I don't think they would allow such a low, light-weight car on track with the 3000# street cars for safety reasons. Also very different performance: the street cars would hold you up in the corners, then blow by you on the straights.

Maybe you could run an FST or F600 with NASA. Although even their unlimited class for purpose-built cars is all covered-wheel, as far as I've seen.

A place that's a little lower-stress place to race a formula car would be with the vintage organizations. There's been quite a resurgence in vintage Formula Ford lately.

There are lots of fun purpose-built track toys around with covered wheels that you could probably run with PCA, NASA, etc. Radical, Ariel Atom, Diaso, Exocet, etc. You might look on racingjunk.com, race-cars.com, or bringatrailer.com


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