Blessings at Mid-Ohio For FFR Challenge Racers
Lexington, Ohio --
The racing gods smiled on the OH/IN Challenge racers once again this
year by offering beautiful weather and some hot racing action. The
weekend started with a Friday Test & Tune, which Brian Sanders
(Cincinnati, OH), Ed Boothman (Naples, FL) and Peter LaRose (Northville,
MI) took advantage of. Peter went one step further and enrolled in the
Mid-Ohio coaching clinic. But not all was bright and cheery, during the
second session out, Brian, once again, lost a transmission. This is
becoming a frequent problem with the OH/IN racers. But with the help of
Ed, the two got the tranny replaced without missing a session. Kevin
Eves joined the group that evening as the second member of Team
Boothman/Eves. Ed decided that at several races this year he would bring
Kevin in to run in the Challenge Series and PTA.
(Fairmont, WV) also joined the Challenge racers. Mike is currently
running HPDE, working his way up the ladder to his competition license
and should join the series early next spring. Mike was very pleased with
the performance of his car in the early sessions but on Saturday ran
into some problems. After troubleshooting the entire fuel system, it was
discovered he had a faulty throttle position sensor.
practice was sat out by Brian as he was still concerned with the
replacement transmission. But the others went out to warm-up. Ed decided
that Kevin would represent the team, this day, in the Challenge Series
while Ed made all his runs in the PTA class. In qualifying, it was Brian
on top with a 1.40.800 followed by Kevin at 1.41.178. Peter was next,
consistently chopping off time in each session he ran.
As the Challenge
racers took the green flag for the race, Brian was able to put his car
in the right position to pick off a few cars entering the first few
turns while Kevin got trapped. This allowed Brian to open up a sixteen
second gap over the next several laps. This gap continued to grow to
almost thirty seconds as the checkered flag flew. This win meant a lot
to Brian as it was the first time he had ever beaten Kevin. “It’s the
drive to beat guys like Kevin that make you a better racer,” said Brian
after the race. “But that was just one race; I know he’ll be back with a
vengeance tomorrow.” Kevin did finish second with Peter in third.
After the loss to
Brian, Kevin and Ed decided to run Kevin again in the Challenge race on
Sunday. Brian knew he would have to drive flawlessly if he were to beat
him again. But the thoughts of a second victory came to an abrupt halt.
A VERY abrupt halt as Brian stuffed the Rat Racing Graphics Challenge
Car in the tire-wall exiting the difficult turn 9 “jump” during
qualifying. On a side note, Kevin ran qualifying in PTA and ran a
1:39.630 which would have been enough for a new FFR track record had it
been a Challenge Series qualifying session.
Ed met Brian and
the “piggy-back truck” at Brian’s paddock spot and said, “What do we
need to do first?” At this point Brian was feeling that the day was done
and stated this fact. But Ed was not buying it. He kept at Brian and
repairs were started. The basic repairs needed to get the car back on
track included replacing a tie-rod end, broken shock, remounting the
exhaust, and a track-side alignment. In exactly 3 hours, this was
accomplished. The car was taken to the grid; Ed grabbed the hood to put
on the car while it sat on grid as Brian got suited up for the race.
Some very harsh persuasion was needed to get the hood to mount as the
body was tweaked a little. Brian was running to the grid as the whistle
blew announcing two minutes to roll. In the end, Brian pulled his
shoulder straps tight as he rolled off the grid.
Kevin sat on pole
with Peter next to him and Brian in the rear. When the green flag fell,
Brian pulled ahead of Peter as Kevin drove away. Over the next laps,
Kevin pulled further away as Brian made sure the car would be track
worthy. Peter stayed close behind. Around lap 5, Brian started feeling a
nasty vibration and a squeal in the turns, he identified this as brakes
dragging on the rotor. Putting two and two together, he realized no one
had torqued the wheels after the repairs. Immediately he slowed and
exited the track down pit road, rolled across the scales and retired
from the race. Kevin went on to win with Peter in second and Brian in
The OH/IN racers
will be returning to Mid-Ohio on Aug. 17-19 for a final shakedown before
Nationals. We hope to be joined by other Challenge racers and extend a
warm invitation. This is your last time to get some seat time before
C’ya at the track!