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February 2008

February 10, 2008

Event 2 of 4 for the 2008 Spring Series

by Dave Lahey

Conundrum in the Sunundrum


People in northern states must hate us. Here we are in February, autocrossing in (get this!) glorious sunshine and temperatures in the high 70's! While others are putting on layers and layers of warm clothing, shoveling snow, stoking fireplaces, and keeping the hot toddies flowing, we are applying sunscreen, wearing shorts and t-shirts, and drinking lots of water to stay hydrated. In February? Well, believe it, it's true, and we love it!!! An unseasonably warm day, and we'll take it!

This course was again designed by Britt Dollmeyer, and featured a large loop with lots of transitions and a slalom to start off with. Some went to the right, some went to the left, and some just couldn't seem to decide, so many slalom cones in this section took a real beating! Then there were those that went to one side the first time through, and the other on the return loop. Quite the conundrum indeed!

Along the top side, there was a fairly severe left-right-left offset into a 90 degree left, with a bit of a hairy diagonal through the middle (which was changed from the posted design as pictured to a right-left-right-left flick up the middle). Back up the slalom at the beginning, the top again, and on the second loop, you headed down another flick left-right to a hard 90 toward the finish. There was a lot of sideways action at the end, and most (though not all) were able to negotiate this part without coneage.

Launch intervals were on the safe side, with three runs apiece, and times in the 38 second to 50 second range. A lot of those pesky cones tended to pop up at inopportune moments, so a few course workers might be able to skip a session at the gym this week, due to chasing down displaced apexes and slalom markers.

Top Time of the Day went to Brian Peters again, who is still working with suspension and alignment settings, and is only going to get faster. His 37.752 not only set fast time, but Top PAX as well. This spells doom for the rest of the CSP Open crowd, and affects everyone with PAX index, but hey, when Superman shows up in a car that is very much to his liking, and drives to his exceptional ability, this is going to happen! Get used to it, deal with it, and do your best. That is all one can do anyway, no matter where the bar is set.

Other notables among the fast times were David Seybold in his gorgeous Brunton Superstalker (with GM 3.8 V6 supercharged power) running a 38.166 on slicks in EMod, Tage Evanson in Frank Miller's BSP Mitsubishi "Evil" with a 38.191, and a slew of the rest of the CSP guys with only Dan Hawrylkiw in among the mix of top ten fast cars and drivers, taking 6th spot in his Goodyear slick-shod Lotus Elise.

While conundrum-solving Flyin' Brian Peters took top PAX, Tage Evanson took second in the index-sorted results with Jay Balducci in Brian's car taking third, and again, most of the other CSP Miata runners interupted this time by Patrick Riley's AS S2000 in 7th, and Steve Eymann in 8th in the Screaming Yellow Zonker Honker Z06. But Peters was so good today, the rest of the scores fell a good 10 points from where they usually are. Again, nothing you can do about this but your best.

Making a triumphant return, Lindsay Amato (formerly Maxfield) showed that she can still get it done, taking a full 10 seconds off her first runs in two years to take the PAX Ladies win. Getting the rust off in the first run group with a brand new set of Kumho 710s on the Lahey-mobile, she put the smack down on the rest of the gals, and her last run was a smokin' 41.351 which held Fast Time of the Day through the first three run groups! Deb Ey(wo)mann was second, with Teresa Clement and Debi Hamersly giving chase. This should shake things up a bit if she makes the rest of the events and continues this fine form!

In the Open classes, Jim Young took SS in his pretty yellow 1993 Mazda Rx7 with grinning and enthusiastic co-pilot alongside. Dennis Vermilye drove his 2003 Toyota Mr2 Spyder to the win in CS with an even 900 PAX score. Chris Black once again took the FS class, beating the purple GTO shared by Cherrie Windfeldt and Eric Ware, who was complaining about the power steering locking up. Darrell Covert ran alone in ASP and won that class. James Frink and Geren Smith shared a BSP Open ride in a 2004 Subaru Impreza Mrx Sti, with James getting the better time. Louis Boertje ran his Mini Cooper S in FP for some unknown reason, but a win's a win! David Seybold must have scared off the rest of the EMod guys, and took that class. Dave Young continues his domination of SM, but Frank Miller was a lot closer today, only .2 seconds behind. Paul Hamersly ran alone in SM2 with a respectable 41.949 seconds.

Manfred "yes, it's an automatic, but check out my new wheels!" Reysser put a full second on Clinton Campbell's Mini Cooper in STS with Jeff Williams in third. In STS2, Jim Rohn got the best of co-driver and car owner Kevin Venisnik, and left Kevin searching for that lost half second in Time Only runs. In the other much-discussed and smackdown trash-talking (on our Forum) ST classes, Chad Mizner was ecstatic and absolutely glowing with his win in ST1 over George Sklyarevsky. The Rx8 was once again the top runner against Greg Rubenstein and Ron Huber in their Subarus. In ST2, another smack-talking group, Mike Rogers bested the field with "Mr. February" (Pylon Press Profile) Matt Soeffner a close second, Scott Meyers taking third with a noisier muffler ("So I can actually hear the revs!"), Todd Houser in fourth, and Dougie Rowse abusing The Burrows' 10th Anniversary Miata and Falken Azenis for fifth place. Kevin O'Neill and Jeff Hancock ("Mr. January") tied on points with Mark Shaw giving chase. Sharon Roberts took the STL win over Lisa Folb and Glenda Meyers, with Mitzi Burrow getting coached and improving in the Miata!

David Webb bested the PRO field today with a very respectable 41.985 and 944 PAX. He bettered Ted Lewis in his Lotus Elan, and Steve Ryan came third on the highest-mileage C4 Corvette with the oldest tires on the planet! In the ever popular and populated SPM class, Tage Evanson took the win over Jay Balducci, with Patrick Riley in third, Steve Eymann fourth, and Dan Hawrylkiw fifth. Clint Child shared the red Civic ride with Britt Dollmeyer and bested Britt's time, though they were split by Tom Tkacik in seventh place. Dave Munsey in his Boxster S and Ben Clement round off the top ten of twenty participants with Mindi Cross a close 3 points behind Ben.

Lots of Novices, with once again Justin Davenport taking NV1 in his gloriously delicious Dodge Viper followed by Mike Mah in a Lotus Elise and Chris Blair in an Infiniti G35. NV2 had Josh Szepe showing the way in his Scion TC with Tom Perme giving chase in a Subaru WRK, Jim Thompson in a Mini Cooper S and Tim Rice and Daniel Brue sharing a 2000 Miata. NV3 had Mark Osier tossing the mighty BMW 535Is to the win, followed by Christopher Largent in a Subaru Impreza L, Justin Milks in an '05 Dodge Neon and Harry Steiner in a MazdaSpeed 3, closely followed by Jason Lifgren in a Nissan Se-R Spec V. Colleen O'Neill grinned and giggled her way to the NVL win with Vivian Schiliro and Gwendolyn Hanigan-Baily rounding out the pack in a Lotus Elise.

Photographer Rob Rockefeller comments that Ted's car makes cones look big, but it was not only a car, but course design and cone placement that kept workers busy. The conundrum was to figure out a clean and smooth line and execute your plan as best you could. Some excelled and others faltered. Perennial favorites were either once again at the top, or displaced by someone whose execution was better than theirs. Event #2 of the Spring Series was yet another success story. A fantastic day weather-wise, another superb Dollmeyer-designed course, and a smiling happy group of autocrossers headed home satisfied, for the most part. For the rest, there are other events to come, and new challenges to face. You'll be back; you know you will!

Thanks again to Rob Rockefeller and Dave Lahey for the fine photos which included time display, and to Timing and Scoring for getting the Results up so quickly! And to you folks in the cold frozen nether regions of the North, we salute you!

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