Rain Cancels Watkins Glen Qualifying?

Posting subtitle: “Rain challenges you to be a better racer.”

I may have mentioned in the past that I’m no fan of NASCAR.  But even so, what’s this about NASCAR’s “rain allergy”?  They couldn’t (or wouldn’t) properly qualify for this weekend’s race!  I did not catch the rainy August 2nd NASCAR race (the NAPA Auto Parts 200) at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.  It was said to be a NASCAR first, with the use of an effective heavy rain tire from Goodyear.  It was something NASCAR fans had never seen before.  Go figure…

Ron Fellows wins at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, in Montreal

Watkins Glen is a wonderful, 11-turn road course racing facility in Upstate New York, in the Finger Lakes Region.  I have a special place in my heart for that facility as I grew up within an hour from there, but I never got to the track.  I AM going back there, someday.

The track at Watkins Glen is one of the few locations where NASCAR drivers realize that their cars can also turn right.  I have seen some NASCAR racing on the Infineon Raceway (formerly known as Sears Point).  It is actually entertaining.

Infineon Curves, by J Emley

Watching race drivers aggressively compete in the rain keeps you on the edge of your seat.  I remember watching Ayrton Senna racing in Formula1in the early 90’s on the Interlagos track in Brazil – he was awesome in the wet!

Interlagos Brazil

Here’s a print titled, “Where Senna Dares”.  It shows Aryton Senna at speed racing in a Donington Park F1 race in 1993.  This is one of my favorite racing images…

Where Senna Dares

Here’s a less than 2 minute video that clearly illustrates the racing genius that was Aryton Senna, at the start of that same Donington Park Formula1 race in 1993!  Its an exciting video – I love the emotion of the announcer!  Really enjoy this – this all happens within the first lap!!!

Donington Park - Senna\'s flying!

After viewing that video, I think you will agree.  Some of the most exciting & nerve-wracking racing happens in the rain & wet.  Just recently, Bo Rivers of Harris Hill Road said it is a lot of fun running in the rain at his facility.  He had it designed so water would shed off the track & not puddle or stream.

Here in South Texas, when it rains, people SLOW down so very much – too much!  Its like they are afraid of hydroplaning or something.

Have you had the opportunity to competitively drive or race in the wet?  At MasterDrive, the driving school by Ronn Langford, he actively has students learn to act & react on wet asphalt surfaces.  Many of the other driving/racing schools do the same.  Its a good thing to know!

I was raised where it snows in the winter.  I learned to drive in the white stuff.  There are actually winter driving schools where you can learn to hone your winter driving schools, if you are so geographically placed.

My point is, regardless of where you live, you should know how to drive (& compete) in any weather conditions, to be truely considered Racing Ready!

Dan

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4 thoughts on “Rain Cancels Watkins Glen Qualifying?”

  1. In the F1 world there would be no racing if they cancled because of rain, as a matter of fact Michael Schumacher was refered to as the boat captain because he seemed to race better when it rained. It was almost a shoe in that he would win if it was raining.

  2. Is that why they called him Shuey? I couldn’t resist…

    Thanks for the contribution, your international perspective will lend this blog more depth. Hope to see you here more! 😉

  3. I find watching rain races frustrating – they are usually pretty exciting, but I always find myself wishing it was dry so we could see who is really the fastest.

    I guess I feel similarly about racing in the rain. It is a little fun to slide around now and then, but I would rather be going fast.

  4. I have to disagree with Richard. For me, finding – and playing with – the limits of adhesion is much more fun than just “going fast.” I’ve always loved racing in the rain – it’s easier on the car, easier on the fuel budget, but harder on the driver. It’s the Great Equalizer.

    The Tire and Vehicle Test Center, where Spokes has held a couple of Divisional autocrosses, has the ability to flood the entire course area to a consistent 1/2″ depth, and one day I would love to see a wet/dry two-day event, with the watering system turned on on Sunday if it doesn’t rain on Saturday. Unfortunately that’s unlikely to happen because a lot of folks would likely not enter if they knew it was going to be wet. Pussies.

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