By Rick Norris  27 May, 2011

The car and truck were loaded in between rain storms and pointed south for the SCCA double race weekend at Carolina Motorsports Park.

We'll head out early in the morn to beat the holiday traffic and wrecks on the West Virginia Turnpike.

Saturday has a 35% chance of thunder showers and Sunday looks dry, temps in the 80's. Should be fun dodging those pesky Spec Racer Fords! The “bumper car” Miata’s have their own race which keeps them out of everyone else’s hair. I'll be in group 4, E Production. Also have the number 32 on the car as my usual 36 was taken.

28 May, 2011

A great day for racing!

The rains went away but, it did remain overcast most of the day which made it comfortable to wear a quilted suit!

The sun came out for the rest of the day along with high humidity and 87 degrees.

No problems with the car at all either! Ran the morning practice and qualifying then did the 14 lap 30 minute race. I found plenty of people to race with. Almost got rear ended by a Pinto entering the last turn on to the front straight. I out braked him and got in front but, I missed a gear and went to neutral! He came by later in the paddock and said he did everything to keep from hitting me as he didn't want to be the first to hit that beautiful car! He said that even as a committed Ford fan.

The Corvair got a lot of compliments from the workers and other drivers.

Jim Kellogg in his BMW Mini Cup car took the race with a lap of 1:46.773.

Compare that with my slow ass best lap of 2:02.380. However it was good enough for a second place in class. I finished 18th out of 28 cars. They run a lot of classes together so it looks good on paper.

They throw a pretty good beer, burger and hot dog feed after all the racing today which we partook of. I never met a free beer I didn’t like!

I ran into a several folks who remembered the car from Atlanta and the HSR Mitty. The car is getting a rep! Street cred even!

Tomorrow will be another day of racing. If all goes well I'll have my two race requirement out of the way for another year.

29 May, 2011

It’s all over but the trip home.

It was another great day for racing a Corvair!

The car is filthy but happy! No dents, no dings but, plenty of rubber marks.

We survived the race and had a real big eyed time. I had plenty of guys to play with. Also during my morning qualifying session I came very close to getting under the two minute lap time and my best lap ever here. I really had the Hoosey slicks hot and greasy by the end. Lottsa dirt tracking! I also got slightly out of control and in the dirt more times than I remember. Damn good fun too!

I have to thank my friend Bob Coffin for reminding me I needed to go to impound! They didn't flag me in and I forgot that if you place in class, go to impound. It just so happened the battery was dead in the car but we jumped it and I made it back to impound before they disqualified me. I forgot I got 2nd place in E Prod both days.

It was very hot today with high humidity so the water intake was critical. You don't notice it when you are racing hard. I had to wring my helmet out!

All in all it has been a very successful and fun week end with the racing folks down south.

30 May, 2011, the follow up.

We arrived back at Corvair Alley here in the great windy city of Hurricane about 8:30 this morning. We woke up at 1:00 AM, couldn't get back to sleep so we hit the road for home. Lots less holiday traffic too.

The Monster Memorial double regional race week end put on by the Central Carolina Region of the SCCA at the Carolina Motorsports Park this week end was a total blast!

I entered this event to maintain my Regional Competition license and to get some more badly needed seat time in my car.

Having just finished the Walter Mitty week end in April I was lusting for more racing fun!

I certainly had plenty of that!

I wasn't sure how the weather was going to be as it rained on us during the trip down and most of the day Friday with a hellacious thunder storm Friday night. It was one of those that you could hear the air sizzle after a strike. It woke us up during the night.

Not to worry as both Saturday and Sunday were free of rain but the temps and humidity were indicative of the South. Not good fat guy weather!

It made getting your fire suit off a real chore.

My original plan for the event was the same as last year. That was to just pedal it around, stay out of trouble and finish the races to satisfy the license requirement.

That went out the window about three laps in to the first practice. The slicks were warmed up and my engine was running really well.

I thought to myself, there are other races I could run if I don't complete them here. I built the car to race so, let’s do it and have some fun! I really hammered on it. I don't mean I abused it. The new cam really likes to rev and since I reset the limiter to 6800 it feels better as the revs mount. My secondary carbs were kicking in noticeably.

I was shifting at 6000 which seemed to work best. I did get on the limiter several times during the Sunday race when I was trying to run somebody down or keep someone from passing me at which, I was successful most of the time! Red mist you say? That's when I turned my fastest laps.

Oil temps never went past 210 and the heads stayed within range. Not sure of the exact numbers on my CHT gages. Brakes worked all the time with out a hitch. I was diving in some corners hard when I was trying to pass and locked them up more than once. Went off track too! The Hawk pads felt the same all week end.

No video as my HeroCam took a dump and is now trash! If I was at the gun range I would have used it one more time.

After the race on Sunday I was paid a visit by the sound guy who informed me my new merge collector headers at full song tripped the meter a tick or two above the limit. He said next time they would require everyone meet the limit as set by the SCCA. I think it all sucks for air but, I always have my SuperTrapps handy.

I suspect I dented my headers when I straddled the dragons teeth rumble strips in turn 14 or, when I almost went around in turn 11 or.........

Rick Norris

#36 Sunoco Corvair

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