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DAC - February 19th & 20th, 2011
(Story, photography and video- Scott Miller)
Ice Race Journal Index
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DAC hosted this past weekend and I say
did an excellent job with only minor glitches (eg. I was missing on SS1
qualifying grid sheet). A large thank you to all who participated in
making this - one of the nastiest, cold, and windy days of the season - a huge
success! Entry numbers for Saturday were 135. All classes ran including
the 2nd driver SS class. Sunday numbers were down below 100 and some
fields were rather sparse. I also must make a special heartfelt thank
you to all the Kinsmen and other volunteers who through their hard work
and dedication strapped on their rubbers and waded (in some cases)
knee deep into the freezing cold waters that had flooded the track late
last week and by pumping enormous amounts of water off recovered a track
that from what I saw on Friday looked a complete disaster! Well done
I arrived at the track Friday with temps at a beautifully balmy +12C and sunny to be greeted by exposed ground, mud everywhere, pumps running removing water from the track (it's usually the other way around), Lake Mindenhammer in the infield and skid school lot to the north of the track, 6 inches of water around the back of my pits, snow depth and banks severely shrunk, crusty sugar like melted ice on top of the track. All in all looking like it might be the last weekend of racing. But, they got the track pumped, the temps started to plunge rapidly to about -18C overnight, the banks were pushed out to cover the last of the exposed rut (down to the dirt BTW) from last weekend and by Saturday morning things looked pretty darn good for racing. It did however snow and drift Friday night so any areas that had snow over them were insulated and the water and slush beneath did not freeze - thankfully I had several pieces of 3/4" plywood and used them to bridge the puddles in my pits. Once again the area along the chainlink near to the food booth flooded up over the wheels of cars parked there and anyone who didn't move their cars ran the risk of it getting frozen in. The track was plowed after the practice sessions which delayed the start of the quali races until 10am. The biggest
problem Saturday were the high winds sometimes gusting to 70KMH that produced windchills far below the ambient air temp. By Saturday evening most slush had frozen as well and by Sunday all was frozen. Sunday started out sunny then became overcast and temps began to fall from -7C. I had installed 1/2" #8 tech screws in the treads of my boots and that worked great on the slippery pit conditions however not so good on ceramic and tiled floors.
Not a bad track considering the amount of rain that fell Thursday (25mm) and the +12C temps Friday. About half the original track width in corners as inside banks were plowed out to cover the huge groove that had worn down to the dirt on the inside of the corners. Outside areas of each corner still have lots of ice depth and so looks good for next weekend as well. Again, amazing job done by the track people bringing it into race-able shape, still hard to believe the difference from Friday noon to Saturday at 8AM.
Was tough to see at times in the stud class Saturday as the snow thrown up from the studs and the high winds made visibility nil in the corner by the quonset hut. The raceable part of the track was very narrow through the corners with passing opportunities pretty much limited to the exit onto straight, the straight itself and entry into last corner. There was a lot of ice missing around the inside of corners and then a ledge of higher ice about 3 to 4 feet from the inside which would rip the steering wheel out of your hands when hit during a drift. I unfortunately (with a few others) was the recipient of the wrath of the red eagle talon (John Seymour) this weekend in Saturday's 1st Stud race. He slammed into the side of my car as I passed him up the inside of corner 2. The resulting upset to my car spun me around and stuck my right rear wheel in the snowbank about a foot or so just enough to get me stuck with the Menards and thus a DNF.... see VIDEO clip
Saturday evening was the DAC awards dinner which was held for the second time now at the Grill on The Gull (affectionately known as the Gull On The Grill by many dyslexics). Sorry you missed it Judy - she had to stay home with spasming lower back muscles and Candace - she had to leave Minden Saturday after performing starter's duties all day to deal with a home furnace issue. there was an exceptionally delicious meal of chicken and BBQ's ribs with strawberry cheesecake for dessert. The traditional open bar from 8 to 9 pm was well tended to by our hospitable host Sean and well attended by many DAC
members. It was good to see a solid Bartels presence at a DAC event as Ruth Bartels and son Chris, Shoba Bartels and her daughter Alexa were in attendance and enjoyed the camaraderie and support that only a club filled with fellow racers can provide. Chris Bartels was well pleased to show off his award to his friends. I was the proud recipient of two club trophies, both the Beaver Award (doing the most for the club) and the Ice Race Champion Award (trophy designed and built by Raul Backstrom). As is DAC custom each trophy comes with a choice of a keeper model car. This year I chose a black Lamborghini Diablo SV and a red Porsche Carrera GT.
After the awards dinner several DAC members made their way to the Rockcliffe. I must say that that has been the liveliest the Cliffe has been all season. I laughed so hard my gut ached the next day and I had to walk away several times from the ongoing hilarity to avoid being sick as I could not laugh anymore.
There was a scheme initiated to obtain free beer for Waldi from unsuspecting donors - a dozen or so pop straws were chained together, Waldi was to hide under the donor's table while a second co-conspirator would divert the donor's attention away from their drink a 3rd accomplice would then insert one end of the super straw into the donor's beverage container while Waldi would initiate consumption. The prototype had barely finished testing when a couple engineers took over and commenced developing a new and improved second generation turbo triple straw model but the business ultimately failed due to the eventual over consumption on the part of all the program's participants during the testing stage.
Terry Dalton a.k.a. nana McDalton was the designated minder of the Wenzel children this weekend as papa Jeff carried out his track duties. Terry shared cottage 3 at the Minden House with myself, Stef Hass and Lisa Shaw. Stef "developed" an especially annoying character Sunday morning around 3am upon returning to the cottage from the Rockcliffe. In the dimmed lights of the cottage his shadowy figure, eerily looking like a cross between a vulture and a phoenix and
producing a strangled duck-like cawing sound with hands raised up in a claw like attack gesture he repeatedly and alternately, for about an hour, swooped down and molested us sleeping campers. First Terry in his bed and and then me in my bed and back and forth. Sleep was hard to come by after that terrorizing experience. And then it started to snore loudly (watch VIDEO recreation) .....
Mike Jensin and Dave Watsin are somehow inextricably attached to each other every time it comes to alcohol fueled events like at the Cliffe Saturday. Much was "processed" as Watsin noted, both liquid and solid. Suffice to say there were many a wild-eyed and wobbly veteran afloat in the libation Saturday night and well into the wee hours Sunday morning. There were engine mods discussed, car builds designed, driver contracts damn near signed, relationships formed and broken in one night, model helicopters flew around, the woodstove was welcoming, Jägarmeister flowed freely, beer was in abundance, girls were groped and tall tales told ...
I think Lee Waterworth pretty much has me convinced to run a Chump car event this summer at Toronto Motorsports Park.
Leon Lok looked at his car and then went home – it won’t run?
Ian Macintyre got a call from his Gokart contacts who want him to wrench for them ASAP so he has packed up ice racing for the season and gone for the next 5 weeks to Florida.
Stef Haas took over track starter duties (bad idea) from Candace Calder for Sunday assisted by Rob Falke. Of course there was much one and two finger saluting back and forth between myself and Stef as i would pass the starter stand during the races and I ultimately received a black and a meatball flag for no other apparent reason so I simply ignored them.
Larry Kovacs graced Mindenhammer with his presence and driving acumen by running a borrowed blue Hyundai in front wheel with Terry Dalton as passenger. He says he's hoping to come back racing next season.
- Mike Jensen drove the tow truck
- Cory Little from North Bay rented the Ovlov this weekend and had a good
deal of fun but did receive a hit that bent the front driver's side strut so will be replacing that later this week
- the Porsche 924 was on track for 1st time - Kyle
? from Ottawa
- Overall Studs championship is between me and Andrew Majik now
- Little kids were discovered
wandering out on track
- Chris Martin showed up for his once annual appearance in AWD
- I sold a set of tractionized and mounted Blizzak tires with only a few
weekends of racing on them to rookie Volvo stationwagon driver and new DAC member
Richard Murphy, he did much better Sunday.
Graham Lobban spun a bearing in the yellow MR2 and had to use his backup MR2
- my floor jack died, need to get a low profile aluminum - would really like electric over hydraulic, or how about on-board pneumatic lifts !
Bunch of pics from this weekend (courtesy Jimmy McGlade):