OCTOBER 21, 2011

The BRD (Big Red Dodge) is loaded and I just finished loading the car on the trailer. We are ready to head out in the morning for the ProdFest at VIR.

This event is also a spectator event so anyone can attend but, ya gotta buy a ticket. No, I do not know what the gate fee is.

Still cold, windy and drizzling as it has for the last two days. Sat/Sun forecast is for sunny and low 60's at the track. Good Corvair and fat guy weather!

I’m looking forward to getting it out one more time and being with the Corvair family before winter kicks in.

The next event for me will be the Performance Workshop in Indy in March.…   See ya there.

Saturday October 22.

Well, it was another beautiful fall day here at VIR. It was cold and foggy early  this morn but the sun came up and warmed things up some but, it never got hot  though.

Bob Coffin and I went out in the second group for one time practice and qualifying. Bob ran fine but, I didn't do so well. I was trying to learn  the track and it was cold as I said. My tires were cold and I had a brain  fart on the second lap and went off in the Oak Tree turn hitting some  rough whoopty doos. I got back on track then the gas pedal went to the  floor and the engine went to idle. I was at a pull off by the flag station so I was off the track and no yellow flag but I was dead in the water.

I had to wait until the session was over to be flat towed back to the pits. Further inspection confirmed what I had suspected. I had broken the throttle linkage pivot shaft off at the transmission mount. This is a vulnerable spot even when installing it for breaking off.  After trying to get the stub of the threaded part out our intrepid pit  monkey Barry Ellison, who was awaiting us in the pit area as he had  arrived in the middle of the night and slept in his truck used a drill to  get a hole big enough for an Easy Out which worked. I did not have another shaft with me but, we were going to make one from a bolt so I could race Sunday.

In the mean time David Clemens and Michael LeVeque went out on track for the practice and qualifying session. David came back from the grid as he had forgotten his transponder. We got him back to the grid in time.

After several laps both of them were no where to be seen. Both had to be towed back to the pits. Michael had a flooding problem with his center mount carb plus while trying to restart the gear came off the starter shaft and punched a small hole in his bell housing. In the mean time David was looking for the problem in his car when he saw a huge crack in the bell housing. After further investigation and finally removing the engine, his worst suspicions were confirmed. The crank was broken. This caused the diff snout to break off. It was a stock cast piece. The decision was made to run back to the shop and fix it, returning in the morning to reload. Barry, Warren and Michael went with them.

Tomorrow will tell the tale. As for me, David has a pivot shaft which he  will bring back with him so, we will both be flogging early in the morn to get on track for the race. Hope it’s not as cold and foggy...…

Sunday, October 23, 2011.

Here's my final report from our last race of the season. Now it's time to get ready for the Mitty!We broke camp and left VIR for home about 12:30, arrived back at Corvair Alley 5:30 ish.

Well, it certainly could have been better for the Corvairs.

David Clemens has to be the real marathon man here. After breaking his Crank shaft which broke other things he and his crew made the decision to remove the drive train, run 90 miles back to Roanoke, fix it all and drive back to VIR, bolt it all back in the car and make the grid at 10:00. Alas, it was not to have a happy ending as the engine lost oil pressure but, I will let him tell the tale.

Michael LeVeque finally got on track for some laps after fixing the carb and starter issues but, he went up in smoke. Janet has the photos! Michael thinks it was a broken crank, Warren thinks its another thrown rod. They are probably somewhere on the road back home about now.

As for me, I managed to make some laps after fixing the accel rod pivot on the tranny with a bolt from David Clemens. We began our race at about 8:30. It was sunny but around 45 degrees with a damp cold track and racing tires. I was gridded last as expected but that was good as I could concentrate on learning the track and trying to get some heat in the tires. It was like ice! As I got a bit more comfortable I began running a bit faster. As I was trying to wind it out in second gear it would not go more than 5 grand! Damn, what’s wrong? I kept trying to get more out of the motor in the other gears but on the down hill coming on to the front straight I heard it pinging. I had suspected the timing was too far advanced which turns out it was. I decided to come in before I holed one of those nice pop up pistons and call it a day.

I don't know if I completed enough laps to have a complete or a DNF or not but, I think I had the most laps complete for the Corvairs! GGG!

As mentioned earlier Bob Coffin was with us but, running his VW in H Prod which, he won. Congrats to Bob as this was the first race for points of 2012 for the SARRC series he runs in.

This was also my first ProdFest which is an event for production cars put on by Mark Coffin and his wife Barrie. Saturday evening they had a big cook out in the paddock and gave out door prizes and awards. Janet and I left early after we ate but, I won some stuff! I was voted the Hard Luck prize.

Before you say what about David, he and Michael were not participants in the Prod Fest as they both ran in SPU. My prize was a nice bottle of Crown Royal with two nice tumblers for drinking it in. also for a door prize I won a bottle of private Label red wine and a couple of gift cards from Sheetz Stores, a gas and go franchise of which we have several in our area. So, I made out like a bandit! I highly recommend the ProdFest next year.

The trip home was actually very nice. It was another gorgeous fall day and we enjoyed the rural sights along US 28 through the Virginia hills.We are tired but feeling rather good about it all.

Work tomorrow....

Rick Norris

#36 Sunoco Corvair

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