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Ice Race Report

Feb 16th & 17th, 2002

(Story and photography - Scott Miller)


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I apologize for sparseness of last weekend's report and will try to make up for it this weekend although I have no pictures.

Basically I blew up the motor in the Ol' Green Ovlov last weekend (3rd weekend) and wound up buying another Volvo station wagon (black) from Todd McCall (SAC#118). I towed both cars to Port Perry to Reach Park Motors and parked them beside each other in the garage. The green wagon had toasted a bearing and rod etc etc but not bad after three and a half years of abuse. After assessing both cars it was decided to replace what was needed on the "new" black wagon with good parts off the green wagon. In retrospect I believe it would have been faster to just swap motors. The black wagon was supposed to have a limited slip diff in it but after removing leaking pot cover we noted that the diff was in fact open! I should have welded it at this point but thought that I might learn how to drive open diff. HA! The black wagon has a 2.3 L injected motor while the old green wagon had a 1.8 L carb.

Long story short...swapped complete ignition switch/steering column (key could not be found for black one), rear door (black one had broken rear window - no key), rotors, pads, wheels, tie rod ends, exhaust, alternator, rear shocks, axle weights, interior weights. Repaired steering rack plumbing line, no power to fuel pump, fuse panel, battery mounting. Spent 40 man hours in the process of getting race ready. Much thanks to my mechanic Andy Hertzberg and to my father for all their assistance and hard work.

Last weekend Dave Watson told me that would be it for his ice racing this year as he is off to new work location in California. But there he was for Saturday. Winds up he probably should have stayed home as he toasted the left front in a collision which involved Carol Raitt and a white Hundai.

Mike Zenon had a fun time racing in rubber to ice although he still has a problem with the car's computer.

Results:

AIl I have is class 1, 4 resullts as I picked up last week's class 11, 14 by mistake.
Class 1 and 4 results this weekend

Track Conditions/ Weather:

Saturday stayed below 0 C with very slippery no grip anywhere conditions. Sunday got progressively colder with high wind and sun while track remained in excellent condition, grip kept getting pushed further out.

Racing:

Saturday:

Towed "new" black wagon to track Friday nite. Entered both class 1 and class 11. I had great difficulty trying to adjust to the open diff after having driven 4 years with a locked diff. Others said that they couldn't find grip anywhere on a very slippy track. Car has lots more power than the green one but could only manage 4th's and 5th's with open diff so asked around and found guy just down the street from the track who would weld up the diff for $30. Spent most of the evening under the back of the car waiting for the diff fluid to siphon from the 4 litre container down the 5/16" rubber hose into the diff. Diff fluid when cold is like molasses, I figure it took two hours to put 1.5 litre of gear oil in the diff! Thanks to Dave Fluggal for all your assistance and to Terry Dalton (SAC#60) for your help and support. Thanks to the Dave the owner of the Home Hardware who went back to the store and reopened 5 minutes after closing just to get me a tube of gasket silicone!

Sunday:

AHHHH ... much better, I really love a locked diff! Had great racing Sunday with a second place (by inches) drag race across the finish with Larry Kovaks in class 11 after spinning out near start. Very fast track after stud race!!! Placed 3rd in both races in class 1 after being hit and spun in both and going way back to the back. If I could avoid that I would place 2nd maybe 1st. Tom Prentice blew up the motor in his Skoda ruber car last race Sunday. Larry Kovaks hit exit bank hard right in front of me and spun himself side ways in one of the races. I could not avoid and hit him hard. Sorry Larry. Lot's of high on the bank action by almost all cars in all races on Sunday as the only grip left was way out on the outside near the banks. I myself was airborn twice and into and on the banks many times with near rollovers several times...very exhausting steering wheel action. My last race Sunday was class 1 and found me chasing Terry Dalton hard and fast on the exit of the last corner on the last lap in view of the checkered flag. I hit the wall hard and something broke but still crossed finish line keeping my position. Turns out the lower ball joint had had enough beating from the banks all day and finally said bye bye.

So for yet another weekend I am towing a car home for repairs! This has been a very busy and trying season so far.

Highlite(s):

- first race with welded diff. Sunday Class 11 : starting third, moving up to first, getting spun to back of pack , finishing second by inches to Larry Kovaks in a drag race finish across the line!

- SAC-DAC BBQ next weekend!

- I think Steff Hass (SAC#14 - front wheel studded) won all his races this weekend, don't quote me but he will be producing a race report of his own in the near future coplete with pics to be posted here in the "Ice Race Journal"

- the Ice Race dinner was a huge success with the celebration of 25 years of ice racing in Minden. It was put on by the Minden Kinsmen with donations going to the new time keep trailer. Approximately a dozen "old timers" where located and attended to share many hilarious stories of "the good ol' days" of ice racing.

Scoty@rogers.com