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Scenes from the track - 2003

24 March 2003

Afternoon lapping at Pacific Raceways. Pictures taken by my sister.

Click for a larger version My first out-lap of the day, heading for the apex of Turn 9. (Track entry/exit is between Turns 8 & 9).   Going down the front straight to the dogleg. You're flat out from the exit of 8 all the way to the entry to Turn 2. The barely-visible crest in the distance is Turn 1. Click for a larger version
Click for a larger version Woohoo, look at that body roll! The OEM suspension on the Integra is pretty stiff, but the compromises that enable a more comfy ride on the street sure become obvious at the track.   I'm the second car in this group of five that's going through Turn 8. We had several fun laps as a nose-to-tail group that must've looked fun from outside, too, because several of the all-day students remarked on how we "sure weren't fooling around." Click for a larger version
Click for a larger version Bombing through Turn 9 with a zippy little Miata on my tail. Notice how flat his car looks compared to mine; his is a full race suspension, while mine is still bone stock.   Our intrepid adventurer, fully prepped for battle, even if his trusty steed isn't: Note the seatbelt threaded through the race seat, since I don't have a harness yet. Click for a larger version

7 June 2003

My first race, at Portland International Raceway in Portland OR. Pictures taken by my wife.

Click for a larger version Getting ready to go for my first practice session as a "real" race car driver.   To quote the Abominable Snowman from a Bugs Bunny cartoon: "Gosh it's hot." Click for a larger version
Click for a larger version I really don't want to be wearing all these clothes...   Cripes, is this blasted race ever going to start? Click for a larger version
Click for a larger version Judy Thacker signaling 1 minute to go.   Drivers responding to the one-minute warning. Click for a larger version
Click for a larger version Approaching the green flag, I'm on the (driver's) right of the track, behind the blue RX-7 and in front of the white Miata.   Green flag! Go, go, go! Click for a larger version
Click for a larger version At the end of the first lap, I'm still in 9th, although the RX-7 has been passed by the blue & white CRX.   Passing the entrance to the pit lane (not in use by us during this week-end) and one of the timing stripes. Click for a larger version

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Turn 12 sequence

 

2 August 2003

A few snaps from my second Novice race, also at PIR in Portland. Pictures taken by my wife.

Click for a larger version Coming off the track after the second practice session. The big yellow cross on the side of the car is where I taped the transponder I borrowed, after my hard-wired transponder failed to report at the timing stripe for the second race in a row.   About 10 minutes before the start of the Novice race, our hero is playing it cool on pre-grid. Click for a larger version
Click for a larger version Mugging for the camera, seemingly without a care in the world.      

16/17 August 2003

Random mini-assortment of photos from my third Novice race and first "senior" race, at my home track of Pacific Raceways. Pictures taken by my wife.

Click for a larger version Climbing in before my first practice session on Saturday. How can you tell it's the first? Lookit'em shiny white wheels!   My car's a bit blurry in this shot, but it serves to show how scary the weather looked Saturday morning. It also shows some nice person toasting my car as I go by.... Click for a larger version
Click for a larger version A little past the exit of Turn 9, scootin' along in 4th gear, heading for the kink on PR's front straight during the second Novice practice session.   Heading for the kink at the beginning of the Novice race, we'll see the green once we pass it. I'm gridded 7th, next to Sage's dirty-pennyŚcolored BMW 318i. (The morning's weather had cleared up and it was a pretty nice day.) Click for a larger version
Click for a larger version Same spot on the track, second full lap, and I'm up to 4th. Sage has got a whole lot more track experience (racing and otherwise) than I do, but my car's horsepower advantage was showing and I finally dropped him on this run down the straight to Turn 2.   Third lap, I've passed Stan Bovetz' 325is (E30) to take 3rd (Stan was the guy I was trying to keep behind me when I hit the Turn 12 wall in my first race, so passing him was pretty satisfying), and Carl Hatfield has just finished running me off the road as I tried to pass him for 2nd. (Hey Carl, it's my Web site, so I'll tell the story any way I want to. Nyah. [To be fair, Carl is a good guy and I probably shouldn't slam him in perpetuity for what really was a racing incident, and not much of an "incident" at that.]) I felt sorry for the cone I killed, but I hung with it and got by Carl a few seconds later as we went through the kink. Click for a larger version
Click for a larger version The front end of the pole-sitting (and leading) Mustang as I chase it out of Turn 9. (Yes, those are two more cones that Carl "made me" knock over.) The 'stang was dancing all over the place in the corners, but really flipping fast on the straights. I'm about 2 car lengths behind him...   ...as you can see from this picture. Unfortunately, horsepower tends to exert itself on straights and he's already pulling away. It was about a lap later I decided to back off, just a little, 'cause catching him was a bit much for my tires, brakes, and nerves. Click for a larger version
Click for a larger version Why my wife would take this picture is beyond me (almost as far beyond me as why I'd actually post it), but this is Ron Craig, running for the hyper-professional Kahn Team Racing, passing me for 2nd.   Rolling towards the start of Sunday afternoon's Group 5 race. I had taken it really easy during qualifying, so I'm starting near the back (37th of 41) of a loooong train of cars. I finished 28th. Click for a larger version
Click for a larger version Chasing a couple of RX-7s that I know, from past races, I'm faster than, but they both finished ahead of me. (Yes, I have professional writing experience. Sheesh... somewhere, a whole host of grammar teachers are rolling over in their graves.)   This shot pretty well encapsulates the bulk of my racing experience that day, once the field had spread itself out. Click for a larger version

4/5 October 2003

The last race week-end of the season, at my home track of Pacific Raceways. Pictures taken by my wife.

Click for a larger version Running around during the first Novice practice session, shortly after the fog lifted enough (but not completely, as you can tell) for the track to be opened safely.   Heading down the front straight for the dogleg between Turns 9 & 1 (some are calling it Turn 10) almost an hour and a half after the previous picture. Notice how the fog's not really getting any lighter. Click for a larger version
Click for a larger version I don't know what's up with the color balance in this picture, but it's during the Group 1 qualifying session on Saturday. I'm following Richard Cabe's ITA Miata and ahead of one of the Kahn Team Racing BMWs.   Same trio, one lap later. That's Ron Newell's ex-Speedvision World Challenge Touring series BMW E36 325is in the background. (His fastest lap that session was 10 seconds faster than mine. Sheesh.) Click for a larger version
Click for a larger version Eric Krause's spiffy 968 entering Turn 9 during Group 1's second qualifying session, Sunday morning. In the background, you can see me letting Mac Russell and his tube-framed 350Z by under braking for Turn 8. (As you can see, Sunday started off a bit foggy, too.)   And now I'm going through Turn 9.... Click for a larger version
Click for a larger version Same shot, one lap later.   My trophy for finishing second in the C Production class. The celebratory beer was not provided, more's the pity. Click for a larger version
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