31 May, 2009

We loaded up and hit the road Friday morning for our easy trip to Beaverun Race track located in greater Wampum PA.

We arrived at the Hampton host hotel in Cranberry Township just off the PA Turnpike (Interstate I-76) around three in the afternoon.

We were the first Corvair to arrive but, Smitty's grandson James was sitting on the curb waiting for any Corvair to show up. He said he began to think he was at the wrong place for awhile until we pulled in.

I walked around back to check out the parking situation and when I returned the Canuck Contingent in the persons of Jay and Tyler Dover and John Gray had pulled in. Soon the rest of the likely suspects began arriving. It didn't take us long to set up the beer and BS camp out back! Finally I had to reluctantly say goodnight and went to the room. 

Saturday morning dawned cloudy and cool but, turned in to a very pleasant day. Jacket weather in the morning unless you were one of the younger guys with good circulation! After breakfast in the hotel we mounted up and headed out to the track.

Actually, we didn't know exactly what to expect and in our meeting the night before Brian O'Neill explained what he knew and the fact the track hadn't informed him as to how many more participants we would have, how it was going to be run, etc. Having attended two previous Track Days at BeaveRun I guessed they would go with what they know and run it the same which, they did with the exception of the class room sessions between runs. We had the drivers meeting where Tim Silbaugh, one of the instructors (and my first one at Beave) gave the basics of point by's, flags and passing zones then, it was run sessions by group.

We did have a few guys who had never done a track event and some who had never run at the Beaver. I knew exactly how they felt! 

I shared my car with David Clemens who went out first in group A and I was in group B. That made changing drivers interesting as they didn't waste any time gridding up so we were usually late out the gate. It also ran the car twice as hard! 

I don't remember how many sessions on track we had in the morning but, the Sunoco Corvair ran great. Some of the other guys didn't have my good luck. Smitty was blowing smoke (the car not him this time!) and thinks he broke some piston rings. Chuck Sadek had some issues but finally got on track only to have his engine make very expensive metallic noises. After some diagnosis he thinks he might have broke a piston. John Egerton was running strong with his early model when it began making similar expensive noises so he retired. 

I didn't escape entirely from the mechanical demons either. When we began the afternoon sessions David came in and said the car was pulling very hard to the right under braking. I suited up and went out for my session and came right back in. It was pulling so badly and making a nasty noise when the brake was applied I wasn't willing to drive it until we investigated. After pulling the left front aluminum drum we found the brake was over heating for some reason and it had hot spotted the cast iron lining which created several big cracks. Scratch that drum. We began the search for any drum we could use to get the timed runs in. Wouldn't you know the Head Bohunk and Commander in Chief of the Bohunk Brothers Racing Team, Chuck Sadek just happen to have a fresh set in his trailer. Obviously, as the ONLY member of the BBRT that has held the racing banner high over many events this season he wasn't going to turn me down. He did say he wanted it back he just didn't say in what condition. Keep reading.

We installed the drum, readjusted both front brakes and did some test runs in the paddock. It wasn't as good as before but, I suggested David take it out during his session and see if it would be okay for the timed runs. He pronounced it good to go and we sat out the rest of the sessions until the timed runs began. I went out first for the four laps running my warm up lap gingerly, testing the brakes. They still pulled to the right but would settle down and stop straight.

I got the green flag and began my two timed runs. The brakes were pulling more each time and I was not willing to go 10/10ths because of it. When I came in I told David how it felt and it was up to him how hard he wanted to run. We had Brian grid me out early and David out late so the brakes would have max time to cool off before his run.

As the time sheet shows David did what David does and ran a second best lap time of a second and change off Dave "Edstinger's" top time. Note: I pay no attention to any other vehicle if it's not a Corvair on the lap sheet.

After David made his runs and came in we removed the borrowed drum. That sucker was HOT! When I inspected it, it looked exactly like the one it replaced including the nasty cracks in the lining. Damn! I owe the boss money or another drum.

I will change out the brake shoes and check the system. I need to move up to some real racing compound. I have been running the Carbotec XP8 compound which is the first in their racing linings. When you come in to turn 10 at the Beave carrying a lot of speed you need good brakes. That is the only place I have gone off at Beaverun and that was during my very first time there. 

Considering all the ups and downs Brian went thru to make this event happen and with the tracks help and a low Corvair turnout it was a great day at the track and if you missed it, you missed another good one!    


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