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Triathlon at Electron Raceway on 1/27/20

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#1 rvec


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Posted 30 January 2020 - 08:57 AM

Seven regulars showed up to race a Triathlon at Electron Raceway on 1/27/20. Track conditions were good and racing was closely contested. For example, in the Trans-Am race the gap between the winner and second place was only a foot. In the Sports car race, the race director could not determine who actually finished in second place.

In addition to the regulars a new potential racer, Rob Rippy attended the practice session driving a loaner and stayed to watch and marshal all three races. Rob recently moved to Roseburg from Payson, AZ. He used to race slot cars during the 80s. It was obvious that Rob, with the right cars, could become competitive quite quickly.

Below is a summary of the race results
  • Trans-Am Rich, Bob and James for first through third respectively
  • Sports Car Bob, James and Rich for first through third respectively
  • GT1- Bob, Mark and Rich for first through third respectively

The grid was an all GM show. Camaros were fielded by Rich (1969), Mark (1969), Ron (1968), Bob (1967) and Mike (1970), Both James and Scott ran 1968 Firebirds.

The battle for podium spots was between Rich, Bob and James. All three ran in the first heat finishing within four sections of each other. Rich rotated out and Bob and James continued their battle both tied at 43.3 laps after two heats.

Entering the final heat it was Rich with 67.8 laps, Bob was about a half lap behind while James was a full two laps behind Rich. Bob closed the gap as the final heat progressed and it looked like he might overtake Rich. In the end, Bob fell short by only a foot or so. Therefore, it was Rich, Bob and James for first through third respectively.

Meanwhile Mark and Ron were fighting for fourth place. Mark started the race on red lane and therefore was the first competitor in the barn at 85.9 laps. Ron was last to rotate in and needed 22.5 laps in the final heat to overtake Mark (a steep hill to climb but not impossible). Ron did run a good final heat but fell short of overtaking Mark for the fourth spot by a half of a lap.

Scott, as a relatively new racer, is coming on strong posting a personal best of 83.7 laps and a fast lap time of 5.121 seconds. His 68 Firebird has the potential for a podium finish. Watch out guys


Sports Car

It was a Ford versus Ferrari show in the sports car competition. Bob and Rich both ran Ferrari 458s while Mike ran an OSCAR based Ferrari 599. Ford GTs were fielded by Ron, Scott and Mark while James opted for an OSCAR based GT40.

James GT40 was clearly the quickest car on the grid turning 4.799 seconds. Note that this OSCAR based ride also won the King of the Hill competition in the recently completed LeMans Trials Series. Rounding out the three quickest rides were Bobs Ferrari 458 (fast lap of 4.932 seconds) and Richs Ferrari 458 (fast lap of 4.995 seconds)

The Ford GTs were pretty competitive among themselves turning fast laps of from 5.116, 5.170 and 5.253 seconds for Mark, Scott and Ron respectively. It was possible for any of these Fords to make the podium but they would have to run quite consistently to do so.

The initial heat featured three of the top four seeds as well as the fifth seed (Mark). Bob turned 22.1 laps while James was three sections behind Bob and Rich was three sections behind James. Mark ran 19.5 laps on his least favorite lane (red).

Rich rotated out while Bob and James continued to battle for supremacy in heat #2. James overtook Bob for the lead in that heat turning a full 24 laps. Bob ran 23 laps (a good result) but fell more than a half lap behind James.

Going into the final heat it was Bob in the lead with 68.1 laps. James and Rich were two or more laps behind the leader with not a chance to win without Bob falling on his face. James entered the final heat three sections behind Rich. Throughout most of the heat, Rich maintained his lead. Then, coming into the 180, an errant ride blocked Richs 458 running in the black lane. The marshal was quick to move the errant vehicle out of the way but valuable time was lost. Both Rich and James were now running neck and neck. Both finished with identical lap and sections counts and it was impossible to determine second place. See the image below. In the end, James was awarded second and Rich third.

Meanwhile, the battle for fourth place was raging. As the competitor who began the race on red lane in the first heat, Mark was first in the barn. Although turning only 19.5 laps in his first heat, Mark improved his average lap count/lane to 20.67 to finish with a total of 82.7 laps. Scott rotated in on red in heat #2 turning 19.8 laps. Scott, like Mark improved his average lap count/lane as the race progressed. Going into his final heat (#5), Scott needed just under 22 laps to overtake Mark. As it turned out, Scott edged out Mark by a single section to finish with 82.8 laps. Now, the ball was in Rons court. As the fourth seed, Ron was last sit-out and entered the race in heat #4 turning a total of 20.4 laps on the red lane (his least favorite). Ron caught fire in his next heat (yellow lane), turning 22.4 laps. By the end of the race, Ron built his lead to over three laps. So, it was Ron, Scott and Mark for fourth through sixth respectively



The GT1 field was quite diverse including two Nissan R390s (Rich and Mark), a Jaguar XJR8LM (James), an Enzo (Bob), a Toyota GT-One (Ron), a Porsche 962 (Scott) and a Ford (Mike). It is interesting to note that no one make/model has become the dominant force in GT1. I love having diversity on the grid. It simply makes the race more interesting.

Four drivers managed to break the magic five second barrier. These included James at 4.743 seconds, Rich at 4.762 seconds, Bob at 4.814 seconds and Mark at 4.949 seconds. Ron wasnt far behind turning 5.010 seconds. So, from the outset it looked like any of these drivers had a shot at a podium finish yet one would fall short.

Heat #1 featured three of the top four seeds (James, Bob and Rich). Rich managed to win the first heat with 23.5 laps. Bob was only one section behind and James about a half lap behind Rich. Mark was the fifth seed and therefore started the initial heat on the red lane turning a credible 21.7 laps.
Rich rotated out for heat #2 but Bob and James continued to fight. After the second heat, Bob had increased his lead over James to nearly a lap. Mark ran a fine heat of 23.6 laps, still a bit more than two laps behind Bob. At the end of heat #4, Mark was first in the barn with 90.3 laps

Going into the final heat, Rich was in the lead with 71 laps with Bob a couple of sections behind. James was in third place almost a lap behind Rich. The heat proceeded without much change in the gaps. Then, near the end of the heat, Rich made an unforced error coming out of the keyhole. His Nissan was launched onto the floor by another driver who did not have time to react to the off. The race was stopped. Amazingly enough, the only body damage to the Nissan was the loss of a wingtip (which was located and found almost immediately). Unfortunately, the front axle hanger was twisted. When the race was restarted, the Nissans problem was discovered going into the turn adjacent to the start/finish line. The Nissan de-slotted and the clock ran down to end the heat.

Bob avoided the carnage and won the race, finishing with 91 laps. Mark, already in the barn was second with 90.3 laps. Rich was third with 90 laps and James fourth with 89.3 laps. Marks Nissan is quite a competitive ride and second place was Marks best finish in GT1 at Electron Raceway


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