BARC - March 3rd & 4th, 2007
(Story and photography - Scott Miller)
Ice Race Journal Index
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This was the last weekend of racing for the 2007 season and what a finale! Again just below zero temps meant the track held up with only a small area in the kink suffering where the studs wore through to the dirt and generally better grip. The event was hosted by the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC) and very well done too, thank you to all.
It was also the ice race rules meeting Sunday morning at 9 AM.
A few of the more important changes to the rules were no more modified bumpers, bumpers must remain stock, and no other tire than the Hankook 409's for the street stud class may be used (sorry Nick you'll have put those 404's on your street car!). Rearward facing 55 watt light mandatory on all cars next year. Entry fees are going up maybe as much as 20% as Tom Prentice has been absorbing the shortfall recently. Tire prices for street stud will be $105 each with a $50 tradein rebate on old tires. For complete rule changes please contact CASC for new rule book when it becomes available.
Arrived shortly after noon on Friday
with Steff Haas as passenger to do some prep and tire testing. I put on my 409 street stud tires
that I had repaired using PL Construction Adhesive and went out to do
some laps. I was simply amazed at the level of grip with all studs in
the tires but Tom Prentice was on track plowing and after about 3 laps
was flagged down and told no cars allowed on track as Tom was concerned
about ice depth in a couple spots. When I came back and checked
for studs loss there were none missing! I thought the problem had been
solved and that tommorrow I would be unstoppable. Unfortunately this
didn't last and after 5 minutes of practice and about 3 laps in the
first race I could feel the grip going away. After the 1st race there
were approximately 75% of the studs missing so the cure did not work . I
put back on my old 401's from last year.
snow from a couple of pits either side of mine. I had the idea to make it look like James King, Curtis Pike and Jeff Wenzel's cars (aka the Tirecraft guys) were buried by a heavy snow fall so I started to blow snow over the tarped cars only on the one side that faced south towards the road in. This way when the Tirecraft boys arrived in the morning they would get a visual impact coming in the pit road but that it would only be on one side and easy to remove. Unfortunately that wasn't good enough for SOME people and THEY proceeded to run my snow blower out of gas by totally burying the cars under at least a foot of wet, hard packed snow. I must say I wished I had my camera out to capture the look on their faces when they arrived
and it took a while
for Curtis and James to get over their original shock, anger, depression
and then finally laugh at it. Then I said why not just hook a chain to
the tow loop under the front of each car and just drag them out of the
snow pile. That would have been fine except the metal tow loop was
welded to the rad frame on Curtis' car and due to age of car and how
stuck it was in the frozen snow the force of the pull twisted the rad
frame and as a result poked a hole in rad. Now that was not intended and
bummed everyone especially Curtis who decided not to bother replacing
the rad and quit for the weekend. I offered my car to him but he firthur
After Steff digging for another 20 minutes we were still buried at least half way into the track snow bank but we managed to get Nick Majors' attention over in the pits and in about 10 minutes he came around to pull us out. Not as easy as that though as his 4x4 dually truck couldn't get a grip on the icy surface either. We finally repositioned and pulled the back of my pickup truck sideways and away from the bank which worked.
I had a lot of fun for this last weekend with a lot of friendly trading of paint. In the first rubber race I had had a pretty good race with Larry Kovacs trading positions back and forth. On the last lap going into the last corner Larry went wide and into the weeds. As I was coming by for the pass, Larry turnde towards me trying to steer back onto the line. His car suddenly hooked up and shot across into my front fender making contact just in front of the front right wheel. I still made the pass and crossed the finish line 1/2 a car ahead of him but that hit shifted the rad mounts enough that the fan contacted the fan shroud throwing a piece into the rad and causing a small leak that fortunately seemed to fix itself by the next race.
Saturday - had a bad stud race Saturday. I was coming around the east end clockwise when there was Mrs. McCulloch's yellow civic parked against the inside bank. You could not see over the extremely high banks so as you rounded the sharpest part of the corner wham there she was. There had been no yellow and I think because the marshals could not see her car behind the high snow bank. I had to avoid hitting her and didn't have time to turn left to go around so turned right and into the inside snow bank which spun me around so I was sitting up tight against the bank but facing the on-coming traffic and had to wait until the entire field went by as you could not see over the high snow bank if there was anyone coming. For every lap after that there was no yellow shown for her and the second time around the back of her wooden bumper lay shattered on the track and as I rounded her car there was Ian McIntrye skidding off into the outside bank with the right front wheel dangling from the suspension (broken tierod). Ian got raked over the coals for that (at one point they were trying to fine him $2500 but in the end he got fined 13 points and is under 13 month probation) but I don't know why he couldn't avoid her as he knew she was there although again there was no yellow. Steve Drysdale and crew got the car repaired and were able to finish their weekend.
There was a huge crash on Saturday which saw 3 Stud cars taken out two definitely trashed the other one needing some fairly extensive repair. The accident happened toward the end of the race near the end of the straight where cars are reaching their maximum speed (around 120KMH). Jeff Lehman, driving a Subaru (AWD class), had finally got by Nick Majors' Nissan 240 SX (RWD class) and caught up to Todd McCall in his Honda Civic (FWD class). As Jeff was passing Todd on the outside (between the banks and Todd's car) near the mock grid track entrance you could see his car get loose. Then, with both Jeff and Todd enveloped in an immediate and
huge cloud of exploding snow, Jeff must have got into the bank catching the front end and rotating his car around 180 degrees so it sat facing Nick's oncoming car going full throttle. The front left of Nicks car tore through the front left of Jeff's car in what could have been way worse if Nick had been even a couple feet further to the left there would have been a head on. As it was the front corner's and suspension of each car was ripped off their respective mounting points and thankfully no one was injured. For videos of the crash see the following links to YouTube posted courtesy of Nick Majors' in-car footage: The Actual Incident , Slow Motion Version , Jeff Lehmans Car Damage . After that hit Lee Watterworth's Honda Civic (FWD class) t-boned Jeff's driver door spinning him across the track and into the opposite bank.
Lee's was the 3rd car involved and also suffered front suspension/drive damage to the extent that I thought I heard Lee say he was not going to fix it. Nick bought Afshin Montezari's gold 240 to race on Sunday.
I took a tour of the upper parts of the Rockcliffe this weekend - pretty scary stuff. Hard to believe now that people used to stay there but even now the new manager Chris lives upstairs. There are more pics at the bottom of this report.
Sunday - In one of the rubber races on Sunday we were all on grid about to go green when we were signaled to shut down. After about ten minutes the starter informed us there would be an indefinite delay. We then heard an ambulance siren and soon saw it enter the fairground and stop near the snack shack. We must have sat on grid for at least 25 minutes some with their cars idling. I began to see big puddles of ice water melt underneath them. We were finally started but I heard rumors afterward that someone involved in an accident had felt fine but then returned later to John Sullivan our medic complaining of pain again and John decided better safe than sorry and ordered up an ambulance. There could be no movement in and around the fairgrounds until the ambulance had come and gone thus the delayed race start. Had some really great racing fun in rubber to ice as i had on the Hakkapolitta II's . They work well when there is any grip at all but are totally useless on polished ice.
In SS1 I had a tire go flat on the mock grid so pumped it up and it stayed good for the race.
In other news ....
Both Tony McGrath and Chris Martin showed up fresh from their competition in Sherbrooke to thrill all with some high speed passes in the full stud class
Thanks to Ian Lok again for towing home my iceracer which meant I could tow the tool trailer and not have to make another trip to Minden. I towed his car up to Tom's pit.
The trip home was almost a disaster as I turned south off 47 to head down to Glenarm the back wheels of the pickup truck started to slide out from under me towards the right at about 120KMH! Then the tool trailer decided to join in the resulting pendulum swing action and that's when I thought it was all over. The tail twitching back and forth happened about 8 times and so rapidly that I would not have thought it possible. Thanks to my iceracing experience and the Big Guy upstairs I did not panic but threw it into neutral and tried to correct for each fishtail. I don't know why I didn't go in the ditch as that was where I was slowly drifting towards but I am sure Providence had a hand. The vehicles suddenly straightened up and I continued on at a slow 60KMH crawl as all I kept encountering after that was more black ice.
Don't forget to get your Ice Race Banquet tickets and we'll see you there! I believe that's the most long winded report to date!
Oh yeah, I just checked the final points standings and I got a SACond in the Street Stud RWD class!!! Looks like Tom Smith and Graham Lobbam were the spoilers to Tim Fleguel's attempts to beat me this past weekend as both Tom Smith and Graham finished ahead of Tim in all four races as well as Tom Prentice. Which meant even though Tim beat me all weekend he only gained 2 points each race he beat me in because we were finishing down in 4ths and 5ths.
Saturday: below freezing
cloudy with lots of snow flurries all day no warmer than
Sunday: sunny but very windy and again no more than -4C.
Sat. - track started to wear through in the kink but warmer temps provided better grip
Sun. - similar conditions to Sat.
Look em up on the CASC web site www.CASC.on.ca , click the ice race link
no great finishes
SACographer: James McGlade