Eric provides us with his first installment of his participation at the 2011 SCCA Solo National Tour in Houston. This was arrival & prep day.
Today marked the start of the 2011 SCCA Solo National Tour in Houston. One of the things that competitors learn is that in order to be successful, preparation is key. Unfortunately, I waited until the night before to mount my new Hoosiers just to discover that one of the valve stems was leaking! Fortunately, I was able to take it to Discount Tire first thing, costing me $12.95 and an hour and a half of sleep. By the time I was able to finish packing and getting myself ready for the day, Jay was at my doorstep and it was time to load the car onto the trailer.
After a stop for breakfast at Jim’s, we made the four hour trip to Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, just east of Houston. Fortunately, we were able to get Sunshine unloaded and through tech in time to make a few runs on the shortened practice course.
Though the two of us only made a total of three passes, it was enough to scuff in our new tires. The car felt great, and it was a nice change to actually be able to come off the corner, thanks to fresh rubber. One of my runs is shown below, and while I wasn’t really pushing the car, it was enough for to get a feel for the surface, which reminds me of SASCA’s new/old venue at Retama Park.
Back in the paddock, we had ample time to mount our SCCA required sponsorship decals, along with our spiffy new RacingReady.com static clings.
Roger “The Real” Johnson designed our courses for this event, the Day 2 map of which is below. Both courses will be run in the same direction, with each featuring some different elements. Some of the tighter offset sections have extra added trash cones in an attempt to confuse the driver, and we’ll see what effect (if any) these have at speed.
One of the biggest surprises of this event was the turnout, or lack thereof, in Super Stock. I’m used to class sizes of 12-14 cars at a National Tour event, but this time we only have eight. Of course, with several Corvettes, a well-driven Lotus and a nationally competitive Porsche GT3, the class is still going to be as competitive as ever. It seems that a lot of competitors have flocked to the SCCA’s huge new STR class, which has 15 entrants at this event, including Chris with his blue S2000 in the background.
Now, I think it’s time for me to get some rest so I can drive tomorrow without falling asleep on the course!
Thanks, Eric, for a great descriptive start! Racing Ready looks forward to it. Damn, those RacingReady.com cling logos look great on Sunshine, Eric’s yellow 2001 Z06 Corvette!!!