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2012 FIR MONDO TRACK

October 2012 Mondo report: Great weather, great track and great competition. What a combination. Everybody seemed to have had a lot of fun on the Mondo track, and it kept all the drivers really busy.

There was not any practice on Friday, so we all showed up on Saturday with high expectations, and hit the track early. Unfortunately Dan developed a little gremlin the first session. Little bugger was knocking inside the block, so safety being primary, Dan took the car home. On Saturday there was a little spinning, a little bumping and a lot of close racing, with the EFF’s being hounded by some of the other classes in the group. The Thunder Roadster and the Legend cars kept the EFF’s really honest and there was no slacking off. At the end of the day, new guy Tracy in his RF94 showed us the way around and thumped us all. After spinning on the first lap of the day (smoootthhhh!) Tracy kept his head down in the race and even though he was under pressure, he never cracked enough for anyone to get by. What a great drive. Jim set some rally fast times, Tom had new shocks/springs on the Crossle and was ‘shocked’ by the difference and John kept getting faster and faster. Tim spent the day bumping in the rev limiter, so Saturday evening we found a new spectator sport – watching a hot gearbox gear change. There was ample advise, lots of suggestions, some finger pointing and all around entertainment. Lisa walked over and asked if this was a union gathering; about 7 people watching one guy struggling. Funny, as soon as Tim asked for actual hands on help, the crowd vapourized. MMmmmm? One can only wonder ……

Ed arrived straight from the Bonneville Salt Flat after the wind picked up and spoiled any chances of a record run. They were about 1mph over the record but with the wind could not back it up. Seems like any form of racing is really fickle. Sunday dawned bright and beautiful and we were on track at 8:05am. OK, some of us were on track that early. Apparently the track was moved a little to the right overnight. I spent the first two laps next to most of the track, and from reports some of the other drivers also spent some time looking for the ‘golden’ black ribbon. Everyone showed up for the Qualifier and Jim was just magic. Heck, the rest of us were not even in the same book, never mind same chapter. Lot’s of pontificating, gesturing, drawing on the ground, complaining about lack of power/grip/turn-in/(choose anything) when Lisa suggested the obvious – drive faster! No wonder we don’t put her in a car.

The QRace was interesting and I finally passed Tim, John and Tom, who were having a great time. I believe that we have more passing between 3 cars in one race than the entire F1 field in a season! There were some unorthodox lines being used, which just shows that you can’t believe all these how-to books at all – if it is black and between the curbs (or even brown and outside the curb) use it to get by. There were lot’s of orange cones that were quivering in fear. The first lap of the race proved very interesting; Jim was up front and Ed was determined not to let him get away. I was a few cars back, with Tracy next to me and Tom, John, Tim, the CSR and others behind. Great start and I was blocked all the way to the Maricopa Carousel. Try as I might, between making sure Tracy doesn’t get by, and trying to get by the very broad at the hip Thunder Roadster, I am inches off the roadster as we come out of the carousel and I consider a jinx to the right, hoping that Rick will see me and give me room. The plan works brilliantly and I am rewarded with a shower of bright, shiny objects and a champagne spray of oil/water as it dawns on me why Rick suddenly gave me all this room! Ed is heading for the edge of the twisty track in a spray of liquid and bits as evidenced by the starter hanging by a wire from the left side of the car. The small end of number 3 had decided ‘enough fun’ and let go. A black flag brought us all to the pits and the incredible ProAuto staff cleaned up the track rather quickly. During the black flag Jim pulled off as he was (OK, the car was) overheating again and when the race resumed we went to full attack mode. Tracy hounded me lap after lap, and behind him Tim, Tom and John had a good scrap. Tim really liked the taller gears, so we will get the data from him and publish his gear-set. I believe the gears I ran, which were the Willcox set, could be better; definitely a taller 4th as I was rpm’ed out at the drag strip score board so had to neutral throttle it the rest of the straight. I think a taller 3rd as I was at max rpm going in to the Maricopa Carousel. If I could learn to carry more speed up over the hill coming in to that corner, I would need more rpm. Any ideas on gearing, please send in and we will publish.

It was generally a great turnout for the weekend; we even had a ProMazda and a Zetec join us. The beginner group was maxed out at 40 some people; the other race groups were well attended. It currently looks as if we may have 13 to 14 EFF’s at the West track.