Page 16 - PCA Metro NY Region POST October 2018
P. 16

 For a few years, quite a few of us have been rac- ing SPB class Boxsters in PCA club racing. This year my hopes of a second place finish in the Na- tional standings seemed to go out the window at New Jersey Motorsport Park. With only two laps to go in the very first race of the weekend, my en- gine let go. I scored 0 points that weekend. This took me from a fairly comfortable 2nd place in the Nation to 4th at best going into the next race, this next one at Summit Point in West Virginia.
Home now from NJMP, back at the shop with the engine now out of the car, it was obvious that the engine damage was catastrophic. Not much was left. There was a huge hole in the top of the case. My guys dubbed the engine “the Boxster engine with a sunroof”. The cylinders were ruined, cyl- inder heads ruined, pistons ruined, crankshaft ru- ined. However...we had two engines at the shop. One was tagged “special”. That one had a spun rod bearing. The other was marked “runs hot”. It was time to make one good one out of two bad ones. Luckily we have been busy at the shop 5-6 days a week. That said, my next few Saturdays and Sundays were spent building my engine. Just two days before we had to leave for Summit Point my engine was finally finished. We installed it and reassembled the car. Changed all the fluids then got the car on the rack. We reset the alignment for Summit Point and we were ready. The car was looking good after a quick bath and some pol- ish thanks to our new crewman David Nigro. We were ready. Thursday morning we were loading the cars (mine as well) into the transport. By 11:00 a.m. we were on our way.
Driver Education by Bill Rudtner
The weather is always a major concern going into any race weekend. This weekend was no differ- ent. Florence had just wreaked havoc with North Carolina. Summit Point West Virginia was not too far away. We constantly checked the weather hoping we wouldn’t get rained on.
We arrived at the track at exactly 6:30pm on Thursday evening. Once at the track, the guys unloaded all the cars and set up the tents making our home camp as usual. As soon as we were set up it was off for a quick shower at the hotel and then dinner. Friday morning would get here fast.
The first day of the race weekend was nice. No rain. Once on track, session after session it seemed like I just could not get it together.
The car just felt “off” to me. Maybe I was off? We checked this and that. Reset some alignment specs, checked again and still, on this first day at Summit I was a “Mid-packer”. Jon, Marc and Todd were all running well. Richard Lambert had come down a day early for the test and tune day to get some extra practice (This was Richard’s first time at Summit). He was also running well. Metro’s “Track chair” Henry Hoeh was doing great. Henry was running up there with the leaders. In the sec- ond session Henry had the fastest SPB lap time. He turned a 1:24.559. Sweet! In the third session, (I don’t know why they just don’t call the third ses- sion the qualifying session. It always is). Henry qualified 4th fastest driver in SPB. He turned a 1:25.58. Not too shabby.
Saturday morning we awoke to a very wet Sum- mit Point. Although the rain came in overnight it did continue a little after we arrived at the track. It took a session (or two) to dry out the track. I was surprised that I grid in the 9th spot to start this race. My position was due to a “Split start”. This ”Split start” was great for the SBP cars as it meant that all the 944 cars (SP-l, SP-2 and SP-3) were taken out of the equation. All the SP class cars would be starting a few seconds behind us SPB (Spec Boxster) racers. Teammate Jon Bednarsh was grid just a place ahead of me. At the drop of the green Jon and I had a great start. We both advanced a few positions coming out of turn one/ two and all was looking real good.
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