In a message dated 10/5/98 6:59:10 PM Central Daylight Time, JHarkness writes:
<< Greetings, old buddy? Hope all went well at IRP. Would really love to
hear a report from you - how you did, Bob, Jack, Joe, Don, etc. Also have a
keen interest in the antics of group 4. So, how did it go? >>
Hello to you! The reference to 'old' is sure apropos! Found that out after
racing a Go Cart for fifteen minutes Friday night at Stephan Johansson's (sp?)
Indoor Go Cart Track. A humbling experience to be sure! Eighty racers
divided up into teams of eight drivers each. Two hour Enduro involves seven
pit stops (driver changes). It is like racing an aluminum lawn chair. I have
a serious power to weight ratio problem, but fortunately, I am an expert at
using the whole track (especially when people are trying to pass me). Wismer
did GREAT! Very, very consistent. He was about a second slower than the FTD
from the whole group, which was about a second off the current track record.
A guy from our Team drove that lap. Everything is electronic, and you get a
time on every car on every lap. The circuit was impressive. Hard to imagine
a two and one half mile indoor track. I would do that again, but I have to
get in shape and lose some weight. Our Team lost mega-seconds during my
The Alexander and Drews TR4s were ABSOLUTELY AWESOME!!! I could not get
anywhere NEAR them in my TR3, and I was four or five seconds faster than my
previous best IRP times. They both were consistently under two minutes. My
best lap was just under 2:02, but most of my times were well above that. I
never got a Race Results Sheet, so I am not sure, but I think Alexander and
Drews beat all of Group Two except for two of the Mini's and one Porsche. As
far as I know...they beat EVERYONE else.
The All-Triumph Race was a hoot, albeit a light field (less than a dozen
cars). Jack Wheeler was the Pace Car in his street TR4. The Zippy GT6 won
overall, with the two IOWA TR4s right close behind. They pulled a NASCAR
finish, using a full course Yellow to bunch the cars up for the end of the
race. A neat idea, but there was some confusion when the course went green.
When we all pulled around the last turn, the bridge was not displaying a
yellow, but the field did not go racing. I finally decided we were racing and
so I passed everyone.
When no one else did likewise, I lost the confidence in my decision, and
dropped back into my previous place. The bridge finally waved a green, but my
restart got screwed up, and I lost a position. I still think I was right, and
I should have WENT FOR IT. Since no Pace Car picked us up on the full course
yellow, when the bridge did not display a yellow...we were racing.
It would have been interesting to see that finish, because if I would have
gotten to the front, I would have opened both my doors for that last lap.
Just between us girls, there was at least one GT6 and two TR4s, who would have
'blown my doors off'!
It was great fun. I had a good dice with Galen Emery in his GT6.
The TEAM THICKO PADDOCK AREA was THE place to be. We were invited guests, but
traditions are hard to break, and we ended up in our usual spot. I understand
the New Orleans Mardi Gras people are coming up next year to take notes in the
TEAM THICKO PADDOCK. The New Orleans people do a nice job with their Mardi
Gras Party, but its like comparing pros to amateurs when they try to measure
up with the TEAM THICKO bunch. Kudos to all, but especially Jim Donato and
It was GREAT to see Bill Thompson. I missed him all year!
The Triumph turn out was disappointing, and I think it will be a while before
VSCDA does a TRIUMPH event again. Thankfully SVRA plans one for the future.
>> FWIW, had a great time at Summit this year. V ran beautifully. Had a
steady misting drizzle on Sunday, great for a V. It doesn't like standing
water as it just rides right up on it? Had qualified 18th of 35 or so cars
originally, but started the race in 9th due to attrition. Passed car after
car and ended up 3rd after the 8 laps! Best finish ever and great fun. And
yes, there were something like 18 or 19 finishers, not just 3! <<
Russ Moore was singing your praises. Said you DONE GOOD! Of course, we have
heard several complaints via the grapevine (from the rest of the Race Group).
They said your aggressive driving style (Formula VEE???) is just not
consistent with the Vintage Spirit. I say, "Don't let it bother you! It's
just sour grapes from people who don't like to be passed." Seriously. Good
For You! Russ Moore said you PUT ON A REAL SHOW. I say, "GO GET THE
Concerning Group Four, Bob Wismer can give you a more accurate report, but
this year's IRP was relatively calm and mild. Not many incidents.
Impressive, especially since we had serious rain on Saturday. Most of the
troubles we had however, DID involve Group Four, and it is directly related to
the disparity between the VEEs and the rest of the group. One thing I noticed
that concerned me, at the Saturday morning Driver's Meeting they asked the
Group Four drivers to stay for a special meeting (naughty boy lecture). As
far as I know...there were ONLY Formula VEE drivers present. NONE of the
others. That's ridiculous, and should not be tolerated. I gave Phil Cull
your Grattan Video. He seemed genuinely pleased to get it, and was eager to
see it. Perhaps you will hear from him.
>> Hope all is well with you and Shirley. Eagerly await your report. John
All is GREAT with Shirley and I, but she requires an awful lot of physical
attention, and I am getting so tired. I have lost track of when all this
stuff started to be her idea. Truth be told, John...she is gonna kill me.
When I go, you can quote me.
Love and kisses to you and Lin. Hope to see you soon!