Record Numbers Turn
Out For Great Lakes Race
Lexington, OH - On August 15-17, 2008,
Great Lakes saw its largest field of regional FFR competitors.
Series Director Brian Sanders was joined by veterans Ed Bootman/Kevin
Eves, Gary McDaniel, Peter LaRose, rookies Greg Jr. and Gregg
Sr. Wellinghoff, Wes Holliday, and comp license student Mike
Dzuirgalski. Even John George made the long hall from the
Northeast to get a practice in for Nationals. There was a lot of
excitement over the large FFR field. As many readers know, this
season has been full of a lot of mechanical mishaps and this
weekend was to be no different.
It all started early in the week as both
Sanders and Boothman scrambled to get engines in their cars for
the weekend. Both finished in time but had no idea about how
they would perform. On Friday’s test and tune, Brian came in
after the first session with fluctuating oil pressure and Ed
came in overheating. John, on the other hand, had no complaints.
After a lengthy diagnosis on Ed’s car, it was determined he had
blown a head gasket and the pan and block was full of water/oil.
Brian diagnosed his as a potential bearing spinning so he
decided to not run anymore until he talked to the owners of the
borrowed engine. So we set out to fix Ed’s engine. We basically
did a complete tear-down and rebuild, completing it by the end
of the day.
In the meantime, Wes showed up and shortly
after that his car did. But the news was not good. While Wes’s
mechanic was making a last minute wiring fix, he shorted
something and the entire car was dead. Everyone took a stab at
finding the problem but to no avail. In the process of tracking
the problem, Brian took a relay from his car to try. When he put
it back, his car would not start either. However, this was not
due to the relay but pointed out a bad connection to the fuel
pump relay. Crisis averted. We never did get Wes’s car to run.
Before the last session of the day, the
Wellinghoff’s, owners of Brian’s engine, arrived and the engine
problems were discussed. Gregg said, “If the engine was in my
car we’d have the same problem. Just run it.” So Brian took it
out for one more session.
While all this was going on Friday, John
was running good sessions and cutting time. Mike was working
with the Mid-Ohio school to earn his competition license. On
several occasions the instructors were overheard giving Mike
praise for his skills. The last session of the comp school
contains two short sprint races. The first is a very short 3 lap
shootout and the second a 5 lapper. Mike finished 2nd
in the first race and won the second when the leading Mustang
was forced to pit for a spin. Congratulations to Mike and we all
look forward to running with you next season.
After all the drama of Friday, everyone was
ready to get to the business of racing. With Ed’s car running
again, Kevin took it out for the morning practice without
incident. Again Kevin took the car out in qualifying but was
unable to best John, who took the pole. However, as the green
flag flew for the race, Kevin got the jump on John and led him
for the first four laps. But the ugly had gasket problem caused
Kevin to retire early leaving an easy win for John. Peter and
Gary were the next cars and ran a close race from start to
finish. The Wellinghoff’s had their own battle throughout the
race. And Brian with another ailing car, retired at the halfway
point just as the spun bearing was starting to make a noticeable
knock. Finishing order was as follows, John, Gary, Peter, Gregg
Sr., Greg Jr., Brian, and Team Boothman/Eves.
John took the pole again on Sunday. Brian
desperately needed to earn some points, so he took the green
flag and promptly retired. Near the end of the race, Gregg Sr.
was towed into the paddock with fuel delivery issues. John went
on to win his second race of the weekend followed by Gary,
nursing a slipping clutch, Peter, and Greg Jr.
So it’s back to the drawing board for Brian
and Ed as they scramble to get engines ready for Nationals.
Cya at the track!
FFR Great Lakes - Midwest Series Director
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