Rough Weekend for OH/IN Regulars
Mount Meridian, IN
- May 19-20 was the second event for the OH/IN Region of FFR racers. The
weather was about the only perfect thing this weekend. On Sunday after
the race, Gary McDaniel (Kansas City, MO) was heard saying, ďWe started
with 24 cylinders and ended with 7!Ē What he meant was that all three
cars started on eight cylinders and by the end of Sundayís race; he had
the only car still running and only on 7 cylinders at that.
(Cincinnati, OH) arrived on Friday afternoon to drop off his trailer and
help Ed Boothman (Naples, FL) with a couple issues on his car. Ed had
gone a day early to run with Winning Formula at a test and tune. When
Brian arrived, Ed was on track. After his session, Ed pulled into the
paddock at his trailer and informed Brian he was having problems with
the transmission. After doing a quick assessment, it was decided the
tranny was shot. Luckily, Brian had rebuilt the tranny he broke at
Mid-Ohio a month earlier and had it with him. It was decided to swap
Edís tranny with Brianís spare. Most of the swap was completed before
the track had to be vacated Friday evening.
started out cool with tons of sun. Brian and Ed immediately went to work
to finish the tranny swap. Ed finished buttoning things up as Brian went
to prepare his car for the morning warm-up session. For Brian and Ed,
this session was only used to feel the car out as Ed tried a fresh
tranny and Brian bedded a new set of brake pads. However, Gary went out
and set a very respectable time of 1:21:331. This time was faster than
anyone had run last year on the Kumho V710ís.
In qualifying Gary
was able to keep up the pace capturing the pole with a 1:21.626. Brian
picked up the pace and turned his fastest lap at 1:21.872. And Ed, now
with a strong tranny, was noticing something else was not right with
car. We spent the afternoon trying to figure out what could possibly be
wrong. Ed tried many things from suspension set up to engine
Finally it was
race time. As all the cars rolled off grid or I should say most, we
start our pace lap only to be red flagged at the starter stand. Due to
grid release problems, cars have been placed out of order and due to a
combined rolling and standing start, this wasnít going to work out. So
during the red flag, cars were put into the correct positions and sent
off on another pace lap. This time the green flag flies and the race is
on. Gary jumps to the early lead and would continue to lead until lap
six when Brian gets a run off turn 10 and completes the pass down the
front straight. From that point on Brian ran consistently faster laps
than Gary and went on to his first win of the season with Gary and
second and Ed in third, still having engine problems. The longer race
session in the hot part of the day pointed to Edís engine running hot.
This may be why Ed appeared down on power.
the racers awoke to bright sunshine and a noticeably higher temperature.
Satisfied with yesterdays win but not satisfied with his lap times,
Brian took a different approach to the morning warm-up and qualifying.
And this new attitude paid off. Brian ran the morning fast time and new
track record at a 1:21.074, almost a full second faster than his
previous. Gary was able to run a high 1:21. Ed took the morning off
while he changed tires and worked on the car.
Still flying high
off his morning run, Brian went out in qualifying to prove it wasnít a
fluke. Mission accomplished! Brian was able to run consistently low
1:21ís and let it all hang out on his last lap and snapped off a
1:20.152, again setting the new track record almost a full second
faster. Ed was able to improve on his previous dayís times but Gary saw
a drastic fall in his. After the session, he said the car would not
climb above 4500 rpm. We started looking at Garyís car and found that
the number 1 cylinder was dead. Gary spent all afternoon trying to
correct the problem. The plug and wire was changed. No help. Swapped out
the injector. Nada. Ran engine diagnostics, still nothing. In the end,
we found no solution so Gary decided to run the race on 7 cylinders.
Sundayís race got
under way without a hitch. At least through the first two turns.
Approaching turn three, cars started checking up. Brian was closely
following an AI Mustang when the Mustang made an evasive move leaving
Brian staring at the front end of another Mustang. With no where to go,
both Brian and the first Mustang were taken out by the spun car. For
Brian, it was a head on impact to the front corner of the Mustang.
Brianís front end was virtually destroyed with severe body damage,
radiator gone, tire cut down and bent A-arms at a minimum. This was to
be Brianís only second DNF in over 75 races.
Both Gary and Ed
made it through the mess and went on to finish the race with Ed
capturing the win and Gary in second. However, while sitting at impound
Ed was unable to start his car and had to be towed back to his trailer.
If you were
keeping count, remembering Garyís opening statement, thatís Gary on 7
cylinders, Brian, 0, due to incident and Ed, 0, after impound. All in
all it was a weekend full of highs and lows.
Next stop for the
OH/IN racers will be Grattan in Michigan on June 9-10. All three drivers
will be very busy between now and then repairing their cars.
-- Brian Sanders
OH/IN FFR Challenge Series