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Author Topic: Cumberland Classic Majors @ PittRace, May 11 & 12  (Read 378 times)
Rich Grunenwald
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« on: May 07, 2019, 01:12:47 PM »

Plans were to hit the VIR Super Tour in April, but the car wasn't ready and I just didn't feel like thrashing on it to make the race. So, we adjusted our plans and are going to PittRace this coming weekend for the Cumberland Classic Majors.   

Lots of changes to the car since last year, including springs, camber plates, no restrictor (yay!), less weight, and improved exhaust. I hope I guessed right on the spring rates!  Many thanks to Dave Wenger at The Northend Wrench for help!

We like going to PittRace as it is a great facility and the folks are super friendly.  As of today, there are 125 entrants (pretty light), 26 cars in my group, and 6 cars in T4.   

Our pal Ferd Boehmer and his wife Janet are stopping by, and we are looking forward to that as I haven't seen Ferd since 2006 or so. 
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I have two big heavy 'Murican race cars. Must be an old guy thing.
Simi
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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2019, 11:33:56 AM »

we will be in pittsburgh this weekend too!
but not for racing  Tongue good luck!!!
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Rich Grunenwald
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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2019, 07:48:03 PM »

we will be in pittsburgh this weekend too!
but not for racing  Tongue good luck!!!
Have fun!  I was born there, and my parents grew up there, so most of my cousins and such are there.
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I have two big heavy 'Murican race cars. Must be an old guy thing.
Simi
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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2019, 08:56:24 AM »

For anyone who doesn't know Uncle Rich had a fairly adventourous time on track this past weekend.. that led to a visit to good old youngstown ohio's st elizabeth hospital (i'm from ytown and know this hospital well)

from his facebook post:
Quote
Short story - hopped into car for race and shifter was disconnected. Jacked up car and the nut holding the stationary rod to the trans was gone and the rod was disconnected. Help from Charles Boehly got me on to the track only missing the firs lap.

Full of adrenaline, turned quick laps, passing cars (remember I was a lap down), and turning in solid wet times. Aggressiveness took over good judgement, and was a bit fast at the kink - well more than a bit - and poor traction took me off track left. From there, I knew what would happen.

Got the car sideways and hit the tire wall. Hard. Brief loss of consciousness. The first responder asked me to crawl out the passengers side, which I did and promptly fell to the ground.

This and my general incoherence earned me a ride to Mercy Health St. Elizabeth in the ambulance. Met a nice ER doc by the name of Dr. Foley. Not sure he appreciated my catheter jokes, but the ER staff seemed to like them.

Also met a couple of Youngstown PD's finest, and a couple of their clients. I wasn't sure who they were, but I figured by their looks they had to be famous musicians based on their clothes, jewelry, and body art!

Dr. Foley tired of my humor and released me around 9:30p, We will pick up the car tomorrow.

In the meantime, Kathy was back at the track cleaning up my mess. Thanks to everyone that helped her pack up, especially the Alliance Autosport folks and our other friends.

Second hand from Kathy, the damage appears to be sheet metal only but will know tomorrow. Tire walls did their job.

Also thanks to the Steel Cities SCCA folks, the The Ohio Valley Region of the SCCA, OVR folks, and the Pittsburgh International Race Complex staff for help.

PS - Leads on drivers side front fender and door for a 2005 - 2009 Mustang appreciated!

Seriously, many thanks to everyone for their help and concern.
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Rich Grunenwald
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2019, 01:18:02 PM »

Thanks for cross posting Simi.  

Additional info, photos forthcoming:

Friday was overcast and cool - high 50's / low 60's. Got unpacked, setup, tech'd and headed to Beaver Falls. Paddocked down from JT and Glenn Murray, and the Alliance Autosport teams.  Saw Sam Halkias and Erik Zanner were there but didn't get a chance to say hello.  Dinner at a decent little place called Z's Pub.  Both Kathy and I had developed allergies and sore throats, so we headed back to hotel for some early shut-eye.

Saturday was a simply glorious spring day.  Temp int he 60's, sunny, breezy.  Former autocrosser Ferd Boehmer and his wife Janet came to the track, and spent the day with us.  It was great to see Ferd - we used to hang out back in the '80's and early '90's.  He stopped by a couple OVR Events about 12 years ago, but I had not seen him since.

Qualifying went OK.  I had clear track but never really turned a solid lap.  Struggled getting the esses right and the entry to the straight.  Qualified 4 / 7 in T4, and 24 / 29 OA.   Third and fourth qualified right in front of me, so it looked promising for a good race.  

We were the last race of the day, starting just before 5p.  Took to the pace lap and the field strung out as usual.  What is it that is so tough about keeping a tight field on the pace lap.  I decided to hit the gas coming out of 17 and assume the green was out which was a good thing.   Got a decent start and went to the inside passing a few cars before 1 but lost the gains headed down to the bowl - looked ahead and Glenn got into tussle with an STL Miata which took him them off track - hopefully not much damage done.  

The race unwound, and I found myself just behind P2 and P3 in T4.  The gap stayed the same, lap after lap, and I just couldn't seem to close enough to pass.  I was faster on the straights and they would pull me in the esses.  The straight from 14 to 17 needed to be another 100 yards  long for me to take advantage of them.  Every time I would try to close at, say, outbraking into 1, it would lead to over driving and then I would drop back.  Finished a frustrated 4th.  However, turned my best laps ever at PittRace by about 1.5 sec.

Cleaned up and the four of us headed to dinner at Sal's in Beaver Falls.  Rated as the best place in Beaver Falls, and was not disappointed.
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I have two big heavy 'Murican race cars. Must be an old guy thing.
Rich Grunenwald
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2019, 01:51:29 PM »

Sunday was a damp dreary overcast day. Low to mid 50's, light rain / heavy mist on and off.  I skipped qualifying as start for the Sunday race was based on your best lap time for the weekend, and I wasn't going to get any faster!  Sat around, rested, watched some races, etc.  Our race was scheduled for 4:50p.  Watched various races from different places to see where there were streams across the track and where people were struggling.  

By the time our race rolled around, I was ready.  Suited up, hopped in the car, put on Hans, Helmet, connected radio, tightened belts, fired the car up, and...the shifter flopped around like a mop in a bucket of water. Damn.

When something doesn't work, you look at the last thing you touched, which in my case was a clutch change. I guessed it was a shifter rod that fell off and I guessed right.  Hopped out, jacked up car, and with help of Charles Boehly (SM Competitor) got the rod connected again.

Suited back up and strapped in, and off to grid. The race had already started and I joined about 1/2 lap down. I went out with adrenaline at its highest, and started laying down laps.  Passed a few cars at the end of the field.  Kathy told me I was turning the quickest times in T4...right up until I wasn't.  

PittRace has a back straight with a kink right before the braking zone.  In the dry, you have to respect it - you are at 110 mph+ in the dry, and if you go off, you will hit a tire wall hard.  It's known as the one place on track you really need to respect...otherwise you risk totalling your car.  It's eaten more cars than any other turn.

On my 5th or so lap, I approached the kink faster than I had been.  Looking back, I should have slowed prior to the kink, but remember, adrenaline. Turned into the kink and the front broke loose. I was going too fast for the traction available, and it took me off track left.  From there, I knew what was next and I knew it wasn't going to be pretty.  Got the car sideways before hitting the tire wall.  Hard.  

I remember hitting the wall, and the next thing I remember was the Corner Worker shouting at me "Are you OK?"  Of course I said "Yes" being of sound mind and judgement (!), and he then asked if I could crawl out the passenger side., which again being of sound mind and judgement (!), said "Yes".  Crawled out the passenger side and immediately fell to the ground.  

The rest is as above. More reflection on this later but wanted to get things down while I could before forgetting them.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2019, 09:31:44 AM by Rich Grunenwald » Logged

I have two big heavy 'Murican race cars. Must be an old guy thing.
erickz
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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2019, 03:13:01 PM »

So sorry to hear that Rich had an "off"...we were chasing our tails all weekend with no joy.
Great facilty - lots of paddock room and the people were just great. About the same distance as going to Nelson Ledges but without the mud and pit toilets, altough I hear that has changed.
ez
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Rich Grunenwald
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Street Racer
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Posts: 3458

Stirring the pot...


WWW
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2019, 08:22:07 AM »

So sorry to hear that Rich had an "off"...we were chasing our tails all weekend with no joy.
Great facilty - lots of paddock room and the people were just great. About the same distance as going to Nelson Ledges but without the mud and pit toilets, altough I hear that has changed.
ez
Erik,

I stopped by to visit a couple times but you weren't there...apparently out chasing your tail! 

Rich
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I have two big heavy 'Murican race cars. Must be an old guy thing.
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