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INDE race report
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TOPIC: INDE race report

INDE race report 13 years ago #10839

Grate times at Inde Motorsport Ranch (IMR) May 6,7,8, Me, Dave Hauk, Steve Marlow, Jeff Wojnar, Kim Unger, Doug Nelson and joining us for support were Kent Buckly and Cliff Orbach. This was Doug Nelson's first 944spec race, but not a stranger to 944's he has been racing in spec-944 for several years with SCCA and I do believe he has won every championship since starting with SCCA many years ago, Doug built a car to meet NASA's rules which this year will also be the same set of rules for SCCA, I want to congratulate him for building a competitive car and doing it with the true spirit of our class in mind, the end result was some really good close racing for us and we both walked away better drivers for it!!! Doug is a member of IMR and has a lot of track time there as well as he instructs for IMR. Doug spent a lot of time on Friday doing lead follows and drove many of the racers, 944 and others in his personal street car around the track which was very helpful in learning this 21 turn track with several places that have enough elevation change that you can't see what's over the next crest. So big thank you to Doug from all of us!!!

First time on the track for a few of us, we thought it would be a good idea to come down for Friday's practice day to learn the track, so we did, our first practise session was from 12 to 1pm, I took the not so skinny Kent Buckly who unfortunately doesn't have a 944spec car any longer after a crash last year and for personal reasons will not be rebuilding another 944, so he generously volunteered to come down to Inde to instruct, the least I could do was take the 200 pound ballast out for us both to learn the track. We drove for a full hour of which a few laps were following Doug, lap times were around 1:12, next session was from 2 to 3pm, I was graced with the lovely Susan, (my girl) for a few minutes then graced with Roberta, Cliff's wife for the remainder of the hour, lap times 1:09's then at the end of the day I thought it's time to go out alone, as I was looking over at the Toyo rig, there sits Bryan Shackleford looking kinda bored, so I picked up an over 200 pound ballast which was fun for us both, he had some good suggestions, like for starters, stay on the track, but also staying in 3rd gear in a couple of places I was going to 2nd and we saw some 1:08's, I had asked Doug what his fastest time was and he said 1:07's, so I had a ways to go. So day one was a learning experience going through a set of 888's and 20 gallons of fuel in 144 miles on track,

Race #1 - Saturday #99 got a fresh set of RA1's and no human ballast's, qualified with a 1:07.049 and Doug with a 107.147 that's a .098 difference, having pole, turn 1 is a fast right hand sweeper at the top of 4th gear, I was on the inside of Doug's car so he generously let me in front to lower the odds of contact (really good idea) the entire sprint race was really close lap after lap, good thing these 944's are so loud, or the spectators would of heard me screaming like a little school girl being chased, I was praying to God, Jesus, Buddah, Allah or anybody up there that could keep me ahead, when the white flag came out, I was anticipating Doug's strategy to pass me, but instead he dropped waaaay back, when entering impound, I saw he had about -9 degrees of camber, his nut on top of the strut tower broke, so I am not sure which of the above heard my screaming prayer, but they busted Doug's nut, I am guessing one that most likely likes terrorism! Dave, Steve and Kim all ran with in less than a half of a second fast lap times with Jeff being a bit faster. Finishing order for race 1 of 4 was me, Doug, Jeff, Steve, Dave and Kim.

Race #2 Saturday we also had a make up race from last month's enduro that was shut down after about 10 minutes because of Tage's fire, the grid was set by how the enduro ended, I was last! Great, Inde is not an easy track to pass on, but with more prayers etc... the #99 team found it's way to the front with Kim, Dave, Steve and Jeff just behind. I hope the guys post some of their race experiences, there was some good racing going on in the middle of the pack!

Sunday morning, I know Doug's car is fixed and he is ready to kick butt, in the morning practise, Doug's previous fast times in the 107's just turned into a 1:05.925, so now I am putting on my little girls screaming voice again and to mix things up a bit, NASA-AZ decided to make qualifying a qualifying race, grid was set by that mornings practise, so Doug had pole, so for Race #3 going into turn one, Doug was inside of my car in the fast sweeper, so I thought what would Doug do? I chose to side with caution like Doug did the day before and let him in front of me and the race was on, I followed him for a couple of laps looking for a place and way to pass which were few and far between, all you can do is pray for a mistake to be made and capitalize on it, anybody that knows Doug, knows he doesn't make mistakes, well being in position to capitalize on anything that I can, I found one place on the last turn that leads onto the the straight, Doug took the turn just a hair tighter than I did, so I was able to get on the throttle a millisecond earlier than him and like in slow motion, I was able to draft him and got up to the side of his car pretty much wheel to wheel by the time we were at the fast right hand sweeper were I was able to get the leed. The rest of our race was close with me screaming again to the God's. Qualifying race finishing order was me with a 2:05.854 (new track record) Doug, Dave, Jeff, Kim and Steve.

Race #4 By now, we are all really tired, asking for a shorter race in the race meeting, a one lap shoot out would have been fine with us after 3 days of screaming and driving! The race was pretty much a replay of the previous sprint race, uneventful just total focus on NOT making any mistakes and of course talking to the God's, near the end, white flag time, I am again waiting for what he might do to get by me and then again, I noticed our gap getting bigger, so to be safe, I held back just a very small bit to lower the odds of makeing any mistakes, and just before the finish line are a set of S's, well Doug drove straight through those and got pretty close, but one of my terrorist God's that I was talking to put a small tear in his boot between the AFM and Throttle body taking just enough power away for me to finish .631 ahead of him. The rest of the field came in Dave, Jeff, Kim and Steve.

It was over all a great weekend of racing and camaraderie, again a shout out to Doug for being a racer's racer in helping everybody out to go fast, faster and safer than trying to figure it out on our own. He is a welcomed new member to the 944spec family! Next NASA Inde race is in October, if there is anyway you can make it, you should!!!
Norman #99

Re: INDE race report 12 years, 12 months ago #10849

I really hated missing you guys down there.

Glad you had a great time. So far I still planning to run October out there.
Joe Paluch
944 Spec #94 Gina Marie Paper Designs
Arizona Regional 944 Spec Director, National Rules Coordinator
2006 Az Champion - 944 Spec Racer Since 2002
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