June Racing

Karen Stimson

Well-known member
Okay guys, how did the weekend at Mission go? Sorry to miss that one, but we opted for the trip to Laguna Seca instead. (Long trip...)

Food for thought--the basics are very important. I've heard Gary Bockman tell students in the school classroom sessions about how skidding tires don't steer. We had a first hand demonstration on the way home.

God was definitely looking out for us. Coming through the mountains in southern Oregon, we were heading downhill in a construction zone (driving truck w/ camper and 30+ ft. fully-loaded trailer). Mike was heads-up, watching the traffic, slowing down, with a large gap ahead of us. Then the cars ahead did the slinky thing, bunching together and slowing without showing any brake lights, and suddenly they were almost stopped and there wasn't enough room for us (the difference between 3000 lb. and 30,000 lbs.). Mike braked but the front of the truck is lighter from all the weight on the tail, so the front wheels locked up and we were sliding with 25,000 lbs. pushing us downhill from the rear toward a string of cars. When he tried to veer onto the shoulder the sliding wheels did nothing to change direction--proof Gary was right. Mike did the right thing by straightening the wheel then easing the brakes for traction and then veering off onto the shoulder. Luckily the first car was aware enough to jump left, as we just barely made the gap between the second car and the construction truck parked parallel to it on the edge of the shoulder. It felt like riding a runaway train. I think it took at least 5 minutes for my breathing to slow down.
I always worry about brakes and coming down off the passes--who'd think the construction zones would be more dangerous.

We also had an SUV try to take us on south of San Francisco. Like I mentioned, truck w/ camper and 30+ ft. enclosed trailer. He was coming up on our left and had approx. 50 feet to figure out we were there (duh...). He veered over into our lane to the point of being under Mike's mirror with about 4 inches of clearance even as we were swerving away to avoid an accident. If Mike hadn't given way, the idiot would have hit our left front quarter. So I guess the 40-some previous feet weren't enough to clue him in that there was a RIG driving next to him...

On a more benign note, we almost didn't make the last 30 minutes to the track Thursday morning, as the starter and solenoid died (key wouldn't turn either) in the Walmart parking lot. It was a miracle that it happened there and that Mike was able to short across and get the starter to fire one last time, so he could fix it during our stay and not on the road somewhere.

I guess in the 32 hours we were on the road this week, you'd expect some stuff to happen.

So how was Mission?
 

mikecolangelo

Well-known member
Just more proof that the most dangerous part of road racing is the drive to or from the race track. Glad you guys made it OK!
 

mark_higinbotham

Active member
Wow Karen that is more excitement than a Group 5 race! Thanks to Mike for the heads up driving. Mission was a breeze getting there and back with only a one car wait at the border both ways. Attendance was down and I was the only SM racer to come up. Weather held out pretty well all weekend but there were 2 cars into the wall that I saw. Fortunately only minor damage and no injuries. (minor damage is like minor surgery, its only minor when it happens to someone else).
 

Karen Stimson

Well-known member
Thanks guys
Bummer that we missed a nice weekend in Mission. I really enjoy running there when I can predict which tires to go out on. :)
 
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