Andre and Fiona
Mosport Raceway, VARAC July 2010. Andre Rousseau and his Fiat 124 named 'Fiona' have someone's eyes on them...
This weekend I raced at Sonoma Raceway (formerly Infineon and Sears Point) for the first time. I did a track day there about five years ago, but racing there with SFR SCCA was a whole ‘nother experience. The 2.5 mile, 14 turn track has big elevation changes, several blind corners, walls where you don’t want them, and very few places to catch your breath. I came home both grinning and exhausted. We had weather from wet and chilly, to hot and windy, and with four weekends in a row of pro racing at Sonoma preceding our event, it made for variable traction levels every session.
Friday’s two Test sessions gave me a chance to learn the track again. Saturday’s Practice, Qualifying, and Race saw me slowly getting quicker as I dialed in shock settings, sway bars, and tire pressures. A great race-long bout with the 2014 CF Champ showed me the difficulty of passing at this track, as you really need to set some moves up a couple corners in advance. I spent Saturday night studying the day’s video and reviewing my set-up changes. Sunday’s Qualifying left me on Pole for CF, and after some good dicing (and some competitor attrition), I took home a Class win. Thanks go to my crew Art Jurado, and to all my fellow FF and CF racers who shared their tips and data with me all weekend.
Photos by A. Jurado
A ten minute video from this weekend.
The 710 went to the paint shop this summer. The old patina was great, but after many seasons of track abuse, it really needed freshening. The blue I used on the hood and trunk is the actual 1974 Datsun 710 ‘Light Blue’ that the car came painted in from the factory (you can still see the original paint in the door jams). I found an old PPG paint code book and had my painter find a current match in single stage. I’m currently reassembling and installing fresh hood pins, hardware, etc. And I got my excellent vinyl work done at Vinyl Styles in San Carlos, CA.
I have a hard time fitting well in car seats, race and street. Not only am I tall and thin, but very long waisted. So I need a tall seat back to have the shoulder harnesses fit properly, but that is usually only found in XL seats that also come with a very wide seat bottom. Ten years ago I had Ultrashield make me a custom aluminum seat for a previous car, so I had them build me another one for my current car. They made it with a narrow seat bottom and a +2″ seat back so the shoulder harness holes and the helmet halo containment system are the correct heights. Not cheap, but safety never is…
My 1980 Crossle 40f did not come with an air dam behind the radiator when I bought it. During my first race in the heat last season, my feet got so hot I ended up making one out of cardboard to get through the weekend. Since then I’ve seen several different versions made out of aluminum, fiberglass, and even carbon fiber. I ended up using a fiberglass piece available through Porter Racing. The first two pics are of the one I just installed, following them are examples of others I’ve seen at the track.
Tim and Art helping me get the Crossle ready for the track next weekend.
SFR SCCA was back at Laguna Seca Raceway last weekend for their second out of three visits for 2015. We had a good turnout, and the usual June weather in Monterey, cool and foggy mornings, warm and sunny afternoons. I started my weekend with a Thursday night visit to the Baja Cantina where there are always some cool bikes and hotrods on display.
I hung out with my racing buddies in the pits, enjoyed a nice stay at some local friends’ house, the Crossle was running well, and I lowered my best time, can’t ask for much more than that 😉
Some guys just like lots of stickers…
Below – a 1:40 lap in a 1980 Crossle 40f vs a 1:05 lap in a 2003 Ferrari F2003GA, or…
110 hp @6500rpm, no wings, hard slicks and a club racer vs 930hp @19,000rpm, wings, sticky slicks and a Ferrari test driver… they both look good in red however.
I enjoy just about everything at the race track: the noise, the smells, the cars, the rigs, the pit bikes, etc. You just may have noticed that through many of my posts. So here are three great links that feature some very fine race car transporters.
Had a great weekend with SFR SCCA at Thunderhill Raceway, we even had cool temps for May, in the mid-70s. The Crossle was running strong, and the fresh shock rebuild from Performance Shock in Sonoma worked quite well. Had some great battles on the track with the regular pack, and rolled it back on the trailer afterwards ready for the next race weekend, can’t ask for much more than that. We even had a Novice racer doing his first race weekend in his just-purchased Datsun 510, gotta love the old school race cars that just won’t quit!
That’s a close finish…