So, What Broke On Jay’s Z06 At Mineral Wells?

After Eric, my guest blogger at the 2010 Texas SCCA Solo National Tour, reported that Jay’s car broke, I wondered what happened.

Eric driving Jay's Z06 (Vader) at the SCCA TX Tour Nat'ls, by

Here’s the explanation I received from Jay about his 2003 Z06 Corvette fix:

Well, I got the car back this evening (Tuesday, 3/30) all repaired under warranty and ready for more fun.  It was a broken valve spring on the #1 cylinder & luckily there was no other damage.

Eric driving Jay's Z06, again, at the SCCA TX Tour Nat'ls, by

This repair was actually all covered under warranty, as Jay bought an extended warranty from CarMax when he bought the car from them.

So, now Jay’s back in business (weekend racing).  On top of that, Eric now has some ideas of what to do to affect & improve his car’s handling, thanks to his drive of Mark G’s Z06.

Mark G's Z06 at the SCCA TX Tour Nat'ls, by

Racing Ready likes to think that it all works itself out in the end…


P.S. – The SCCA put together a concise article about this event:
Tire Rack Texas Tour Concludes

Coffee & Rides San Antonio, March 2010 Edition

While Solo/Autocross competitors were getting their tires warmed up for their first day of the 2010 Texas SCCA Solo National Tour (last Saturday, 27-MAR-2010) many car enthusiasts came for the monthly San Antonio Coffee & Rides (others call it Cars & Coffee), an informal & free car show.

Racin' rooftops...

I hadn’t been to one of these events  in a couple of months, so I was looking forward to it.  There seemed to be fewer cars attending, according to some who were there last month.  But overall it was a good selection of cars to see.

3 silver Miatas with a classic Triumph thrown in for spice.

Of course, Karlino (my 1999 Mazda Miata) was there.  I decided to deck out my car as it looks when I compete in autocross, with the appropriate car number IDs & sponsor stickers; AMSOIL Racing &

Karlino in "autocross attire" with his Miata & English bretheren...

More of Karlino decked out in autocross livery!

As is usual for these events, there were some rare & old favorites…

Vintage European Iron, an English MGB & an Italian Alfa-Romeo - sweet & sweet!

Another view of these vintage European Iron examples...

…some high performance limited edition America Iron…

A colorful groupng of Vipers - lots of concentrated horsepower here!

…and even a purpose-built racer for fun!

Dalton's "It's never too late to have a happy childhood" home-built racer!

I met with existing friends & acquaintances.  I also made some new friends & contacts, for both the blog & my AMSOIL business.  Racing Ready knows this is really is more than just a car “show & tell” get-together, but a good car enthusiasts networking event to take advantage of.


2010 Fiesta Challenge Porsche Rally In SA

At last Saturday’s Rides & Coffee (Cars & Coffee?) I met Jim Garity.  He is an active member of the Porsche Club of America, Longhorn Region.  He was promoting his club’s next fundraiser, which sounds like fun!  Below are the details Jim sent me in a follow-up e-mail:

Porsche Fiesta Challenge 2009 at Fair Oaks Ranch Country Club

As mentioned, our local Porsche Club chapter is putting on a rally for all marques on April 17th to benefit Wounded Warriors.  All proceeds will go to help the men and women who have sacrificed a lot for the freedoms we enjoy.  The Porsche Center of San Antonio is sponsoring the event so even more can go to this great cause.  Attached is the entry form.

The rally is simple – the shortest distance completing all check points and finishing is the winner!  (There will also be an appropriate number of additional finish places- 2nd, 3rd, etc.) No need to worry about time, so all participants can go out and enjoy the drive!  The rally starts at Fair Oaks Ranch Country Club at 1PM (optional luncheon at 11:30) and ends in Seguin around 5PM-ish.

Again, the luncheon and rally is open to all marques state-wide, so please feel free to forward this email and/or the attached entry form to your respective groups and interested individuals.

NOTE: All registration and payment must be received by April 10th!!!

Additional information can be found at our club’s website,

My contact information is:, #210-493-6033

Thanks for your help!

– Jim Garity

Porsche Fiesta Challenge 2009, during a springtime shower...

Here’s more information about what a Gimmick Rally entails:


No Calculators – No Average Speeds – No Tricky Route instructions
No Hidden Checkpoints – No Stopwatches

You will need:

  • A Texas map and the ability to use it.
  • A usable odometer that cannot be reset.
  • The ability to decide the shortest route from A to B and use it.
  • Having a friend along to help would be fun also!!

When: Saturday, April 17th at 1:00 PM
Where: Fair Oaks Ranch Country Club Parking lot

All cars welcome.

Pre registration thru the Fiesta Challenge registration or at the start.
After a short odometer leg the entry will be given the name of a place,
i.e., Post Office, San Antonio

You must choose a route that will get you to that place with the lowest mileage.
You must not break any traffic laws. Or any other laws.
You must enjoy your drive through the wild flower laden countryside!!
If you do not have a good time, you will be beaten with a soggy noodle and disqualified!!

Get together at Kirby’s Hamburgers on Hwy 123 in Seguin after the event.

This just might be an event that Racing Ready will participate in – we shall see…


2010 TX SCCA Tour, Day 3 – All The Details…

So, finally, here’s the full text & pix I got from Eric about what happened yesterday, at the 2010 Texas SCCA Solo National Tour competition in Mineral Wells, Texas:

The last day of the SCCA Solo National Tour in Mineral Wells started off chilly and early for some drivers as the first car out for Heat One was at 8:00 a.m.  This led to some creative attempts at keeping the heat in the tires, as evidenced by Ricky’s use of temperature reflective materials.

Hmmm, looks like the new Honda hovercraft prototype to me...did it work?

This is Ricky, SASCA President, showing well at this SCCA Solo competition!

Ricky’s would end the day second in B-stock to Jadrice, in a well prepared and well driven S2000 CR.  I managed to sneak in a picture of the two winners while they weren’t looking, as well as part of the Heat One grid.

Competitors Jadrice & Ricky, placing 1st & 2nd in their class...

Part of the Heat One grid...

Nice C Stock entry - I can't believe this nice car is in the same class as my Miata!

Today’s work assignment was so much more relaxed than yesterday’s, as Tia was taken out of the sweeper car and added to our corner.  Then, after relaxing a bit, it was time for our final session of the event.  The sway bar adjustment we made the previous day seemed to improve the car, and after our first runs I was looking forward to improving our times.  So I climbed into the car before my second run, got all strapped in…


…and the engine DIED.  Sputtered, came to a stop, and would not re-fire.  We thought maybe the gas gauge was wrong and the tank was empty, so Marianne, one of the stewards, lent me a couple gallons of gas to no avail.  No matter what we did, the car would not start, and both of us lost our second runs due to technical difficulties.

Which was when I learned that I could make my final pass if I had a different Super Stock car.  Fortunately, racers are an awesome bunch, and Mark G, who owns the Blue C5 Z06 in the background, lent me his car to use.

The generous Mark G, who owns this Blue C5 Z06, lent his car to Eric!

I DNFed after a brain fart on the easiest part of the course left me lost, but it was amazing I even had the opportunity.

The "brain-fart" part of the SCCA Solo course at Mineral Wells, TX

He had gotten his car recently, but what few changes he made led to a chassis with lightning fast turn-in and the ability to put power down out of corners like mad.  With a little more prep time, I bet it’ll be a front runner.

In a way, I was almost glad that we weren’t able to complete our runs in Jay’s car, as the grippy concrete did a number on the outside edge of my right front tire!

Owww, the front, right corded Hoosier tire... Hello, Tire Rack?

Then came the arduous task of pushing Jay’s non-running Z06 back onto the trailer.  Fortunately, Mark W and Matt, co-driving Mark’s red C5 Z06 pictured below, helped Jay, Chris and me with a push, and we were able to get everything secured without too much trouble.

Mark W’s red C5 Z06

Jockying Jay's trailer into position, for the human-powered Vader push...

Jay's Z06 Corvette is trailer parked & ready to return home!

After some time spent packing up and a stop at the Natty Flat Smokehouse for dinner and a photo op with the largest cedar rocker in the world, we headed home.

Tia, Chris & Jay wrapping up & packing for the trek back the San Antonio...

The caravan stops to admire the world's largest cedar rocking chair.

After an eventful weekend, it’s good to be home, though I’m not looking forward to waking up for work tomorrow morning.  I’m extremely disappointed by my times, especially compared to last year, when Sunshine and I were less than two seconds out of the top-10 and about six away from first.  But I thank Mark G again for giving me the opportunity to finish my last run in his Z06.  I’m looking forward to trying some of his setup tips on my own car.

Racing Ready is sad for the lack of good results for Eric & Jay.  Better luck next year!

And THANK YOU, ERIC for a nice job of documentation all of this, for those of us not able to actively participate.  We all enjoyed doing so vicariously thanks to you!


2010 TX SCCA Tour, Day 3 – Jay’s Car Broke!

This afternoon, while on a Hill Country cruise with my wife & Karlino, I received this text message from Eric (my Guest Blogger):

What’s up?  You’ll love tonight’s blog.  Jay’s car broke! 😛

Well, I didn’t get Eric’s e-mail of blog data before I went to bed & I did wait awhile…

So, both you & Racing Ready will have to wait for the specific, intimate details till tomorrow.  🙁


2010 TX SCCA Solo National Tour, Eric’s Day 2

Today was the first real day of Solo (SCCA-speak for autocross) competition at the 2010 Texas SCCA Solo National Tour.  Here’s the latest communique from the racing paddock by Eric, my guest blogger this weekend.

Day 2 of the Solo National Tour started early, with a driver’s meeting.  As you can imagine, there were a few more people than at the typical SASCA or Spokes event.

SCCA TX Solo National Tour, Day 1 Drivers' Meeting

Ricky, SASCA president extraordinaire, was out in the first heat, had some fast runs and was able to post a time of 81.366, out of first by just half a second.

SASCA Pres workin' it!

Early morning run group on grid, preparing for their first time out...

Chris made his national debut in STR and ended up in eighth place, not bad for his first major event in a brand new class.

Chris visualizing how to drive the course...

Super Stock worked second and ran fourth.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take any pictures from my corner station, but for some reason run group four was the smallest of the heats and we were severely lacking in corner workers.  My corner only had three, while one had just two workers.  Which wouldn’t be so bad, except that the SCCA requires us to record the class and number of every car at every corner, whether they hit a cone or not, and the person designated to the clipboard isn’t supposed to be chasing cones for that reason.

Dedicated track Camero, ready to roll!

Part of the HS class grouping on grid...

After about two hours of stress and another two hours of downtime, it was finally time for us to run.  There were a wide variety of cars on the grid, and Super Stock was dominated by Corvettes, with a lone Porsche GT3 and Lotus Elise to add variety.

Jay's car being given the once-over by an SCCA official

As you can see, there are some "cherry" cars in competition...

The course was fast and long.  Most of us are used to 45-65 second runs, not high-70s and low-80s.  Jeremy in a yellow C6 Z06 set top Super Stock time with a 79.595, and was the only car in our class to come in below 80 seconds.  Jay struggled to an 86.643, and the only way I’ll manage to not finish last is if someone passes away during the night.  Coning away every run and being generally unhappy with the car’s handling doesn’t help much!

The Super Stock grouping...

XP & other classes waiting on grid

In an effort to become more competitive, we adjusted Jay’s Pfadt front sway bar, which will hopefully make the car a lot more predictable.  The concrete was brutal on our tires as well, as the right front Hoosier A6 has started to cord at the edge.

At least the night finished okay, as we took a turn at the Spokes “Biergarten” before heading to a hole in the wall for some good Mexican food.  I am happy that someone from SASCA has a chance to win their class, and I’ll be making some passes to warm the tires for Jay, who still has a chance to move up in the standings.  The next major race, we’re taking MY car!

Racing Ready really appreciates of the efforts Eric has already put out thus far, as frustrating as it has been.  The fans at home are very appreciative, too.  Keep up the great work & let’s see a trophy!


2010 TX SCCA Solo National Tour, Practice Run

Here’s a quick post to show you Eric’s third practice run from yesterday, for the 2010 Texas SCCA Solo National Tour:

It’s a deceptively simple looking short course, but like all track layouts, I’m sure it is trickier that it looks.  As Eric mentioned in his previous post yesterday, they were having air pressure measurement issues that they have resolved.  It should result in better times & more consistency for them today & tomorrow.

GO Eric (& Jay, & Tia , & Chris, et al) GO!  Know that folks at home & Racing Ready are supporting you!