Page 43 - PCA Metro NY Region POST | 2019-April-eMag
P. 43

Sebring 2019
There’s nothing better for a PCA club racer than starting off the DE/Racing season with the PCA opener at Sebring Raceway held every Febru- ary in Florida. Prepping cars over the winter for this event has become commonplace at our shop over the last 10 or so years. Making sure our transport rig is well maintained and ready for the coming track season is another part of the prepa- ration that cannot be overlooked.
When taking this trip, I like to drive about 10 hours a day and stop. At the end of the first day of trav- el we stop at a pre-determined truck stop for a little dinner and some shuteye. This time we left Freeport NY at 5 a.m. on Tuesday the 29th. We took a nice leisurely trip, not breaking any speed records. On the first day we drove to Manning, South Carolina where we parked in a T/A truck stop overnight. The next day we were on the road by 7 a.m. We arrived at Sebring at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. This year our trip to Florida was un- eventful. We like that.
We had registered for the “Test and Tune” day that precedes the PCA club race weekend. We unloaded all the cars on Wednesday night and were ready to rock and roll Thursday morning.
Back home on Long Island there was a “Polar Vortex” bringing temps down into single digits. Down at Sebring we were enjoying 65 degrees and better.
It was really nice to be joined by fellow NY Metro PCA members: George Markadakis, Tom Lynam, Stavros Kokkosis and Sebastiano Balestrieri. They were participating in the advanced solo DE
held in coordination with the race. Crewmen Bri- an McGrath and Tom McCarthy were there pro- viding support.
First day (Friday) race practice 1: The sun was shining and it was 68 degrees. In the first ses- sion I did fairly well (my opinion of course). After 5 hot laps I was 5th in SPB with a 2:34.402. I was happy with that but now...I’ll need to find some time. The leader, Bernard Nussebaum, turned a blistering 2:30.664. Second and third fastest SPB drivers turned 2:31.2 and 2:31.7 respectfully. Like usual I had a lot of work to do.
Race practice 2: The ambient temp was up to 74. I went out on my old tires. I was trying to hone my entry points and braking zones being sure not to waste anytime as I transitioned from full throttle to brake. I thought I was doing well but after check- ing my times there wasn’t much improvement. My times had not dropped. However my position had dropped. I now sat 14th overall, P-7 in SPB. It was time for new tires.
Practice 3 “The Qualifying” session. All was look- ing good as I brought the car and myself up to temperature. On lap 4 coming out of turn one it almost felt like I may have slipped on fluid but... Was something wrong with the car? It was easy to figure out after just a few more turns that it was the car and not the track. I slowed but continued to drive as I looked for an emergency off. I found one just before “Bishop’s Bend”. I then made my way back to the paddock. My day was over. P-8 in SPB. Yuk !!! A suspension alignment adjustor was the culprit.
Race time I grid in the 6th position to start the first of two sprint races. I knew the lead cars had been turning lap times about two seconds faster than me. Question was could I keep within strik- ing distance and would I be able to capitalize on a mistake if they made one?
(Continued on page 42 )
Driven for Speed Bill Rudtner, Chief DE Instructor

   41   42   43   44   45