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Clutch Chatter -- August 2000

RE News
by Mark J. Badgley

This month I find myself contemplating an age old question….Does size really matter?

As I reviewed the Observer’s Report for the May Double Regional at IRP during the June Board Meeting, you could see the sense of frustration on the faces of those that had busted their tails to ensure that the road race competitors in this region continue to have a place to play. This report stated that this region should get serious about whether or not we want to continue to stage road races. This revelation was based on the reality that the worker turnout for this race was too small.

The report did state that the workers in attendance were motivated, competent, worked hard, and did a great job. I have been told that this sort of compliment is meant to make you feel better when your size is questioned, but somehow it did not work. I was still left feeling somewhat inadequate and not sure what to do next.

As the time for the Indy Grand Prix approached, my feeling of inadequacy started to catch up with me. Questions about our seriousness started to creep into my head. Maybe if we worked harder or if we beat up on the race chairman and the worker chief, then we could feel better about our size. While the worker attendance was light, the event came off wonderfully. Sure we were staffed lightly, but the racing was great, the tribute to Bruce May was emotional and my feeling of commitment was never greater. Thoughts about having to do your best with what the good Lord gave me came to my mind.

So what does it all really mean? Well….while size may matter, the size of the heart and the commitment of those who stand on the corners, chair the events and give of themselves week in and week out cannot be questioned. As we think about next year, we must certainly address a very difficult and multifaceted problem, but I look forward to working with all of you again.

See you all somewhere.

CALENDAR

Aug 8 -- Board Meeting at Laughner’s Cafeteria
Aug 19 -- Road Rally Points Event
Aug 20 -- Solo II Points Event
Aug 22 -- Clutch Chatter Deadline
Sep 10 -- Road Rally Points Event
Sep 17 -- Solo II Points Event

RALLY REPORT
by Chuck Hanson

By the time that this appears in print the fourth event of the season will be history. The August event has been pre-checked and is ready to go. Next month we will publish the mid-season standings so that you will know how you stand for season end trophies. Remember that the final standings will be based on your best six finishes (75 % of the events), and that you have to be a member by Sept. 1 to get a yearend trophy.

I am seriously thinking about volunteering to continue as Rally Chairman (if the new Board wants me to) for the 2001 season. That means that I am starting to think about the schedule. Anybody who is interested in being the Chairman for an event is encouraged to contact me, particularly if you would be interested in putting on an event early in the season (March, April, or May). The map rally was a lot of fun. The Hart’s put it on in Hamilton County in 1999 and the DeBolt’s did Hancock County in 2000. We have the concept for you to follow. We need a volunteer for a new County in 2001!

At each event we have been handing out an evaluation form to get feedback from you. The responses have been very interesting, and some of them have brought some of our historic concepts into question. I would like to take the rest of this column to expand on the survey by asking the rest of the membership to join in.

Survey

Have you ever participated in a rally? Yes No When?

Why did you stop participating in rally events?

What might get you interested in participating again?

It has been suggested that Saturday afternoon would be better than Sunday: Agree Disagree

It has been suggested that later in the afternoon, to end just prior to dark might be better: Agree Disagree

It has been suggested that only paved roads should be used: Agree Disagree

The metropolitan area is becoming very built up. How far would you be willing to drive to reach a suitable starting point? ___________ miles.

How long should an event be? _________ miles or _________ hours.

Please reply to Chuck Hanson by Fax at (317) 780 - 7845 or by e-mail at

2000 RALLY SCHEDULE

Aug 19 -- Anywhere Is -- Bob Burns (twi-night)
Sep 10 -- Frank or Candi -- Frank & Candice Pope (Tour/Course)
Oct 22 -- October Tour -- Ken & Deb Osieki (Tour)
Nov 19 -- Dan Cook (Course)

Indy & Columbus Region Rally Points Event #5

ANYWHERE IS

AUGUST 19, 2000

The Rally will start at the Marsh Supermarket, Indiana 267 at Stafford Road in Plainfield (Between I-70 & US40).

SCHEDULE:

Registration: -- 4:00 – 4:45 PM
Drivers Meeting: -- 4:45 PM promptly
First car starts course: -- 5:01 PM
First car completes course: -- Approximately 8:30 PM, Pizza Hut in Plainfield, (expect darkness)

Members of SCCA: $10 -- Nonmembers: $20

Concept of the rally: This is an easy TSD rally with no traps. Only public, paved roads are used. There will be a mixure of Open and Do It Yourself (DIY) controls.

For further information: Charles Hanson (317) 780 - 9007 (Leave a name and phone number if you get voice mail. I travel a lot.)

Solo Report
by Dave & Cathy Hart

We hope everyone enjoyed themselves at the "Indy Solo II Grand Prix". The B.F.Goodrich Cendiv Solo II Championship event that Indy Region hosted was a big success, with approximately 200 competitors. The results from this event will be listed in the September issue.

An event of this magnitude requires a significant amount of help from everyone involved and we would especially like to thank the following people: Sherman Dedman and the Converse Aviation Board, for the use of the Converse Airport. The people of Converse, for their interest and hospitality. The Converse Masonic Lodge #601 for the Famous Fish Fry. Boy Scout Troop #390, for the convenient concession stand. B.F.Goodrich, sponsor of this premier series. The BFG Series Committee Members, all of whom volunteer their time so that we may all enjoy this top-level competition. Rick Swarts, Mark Badgley, and Darlene Badgley, who collectively helped pull all of those nasty "loose ends" together, as well as taking care of course design, registration, etc. Clemens Burger, Chris McGuire, Ann Klem, Dean Smith, and Lee Miller for their exemplary service as specialty chiefs. Terrence Garrett for the use of the RV for timing and scoring. Columbus Region for the use of their timer. And the list goes on… Our apologies to anyone we failed to mention, thanks again for your time, effort, and help.

Our next event will be August 20 at the 16th Street Speedway. See the event advertisement elsewhere in this issue.

Be sure to qualify your points by helping with a special work assignment (course setup, tech, etc.) and join/renew prior to September 1 to be eligible for year-end awards. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Dave Hart.

Please consider taking an active role in the 2001 Solo II program. Cathy and I will not be organizing the program for next year, and it’s up to you to ensure that Solo II continues to exist within Indy Region. We are looking for someone to pass the Solo II lead to and encourage anyone interested in becoming more involved to work with us so that we can have a smooth transition at the end of the year. We will continue to be active with the Solo II program (if we still have one), but need to play a "behind the scenes" role.

See you at 16th Street…

2000 INDIANAPOLIS REGION SOLO II SCHEDULE

Date(s) -- Points Event -- Event/Site
Aug 20 -- 6 -- 16th Street Speedway
Sep 17 -- 7 -- Australian Pursuit / Speedrome
Oct 15 -- 8 -- TBA

Indianapolis Region Solo II Points Event #6

16th STREET ASPHALT ADVENTURE

SUNDAY, August 20
Rain or Shine

16th Street Speedway Parking Lot
1501 West 16th Street, Indianapolis

Karts Welcome! (Contact Dave Hart for Rules)
It is the judgment of the Solo Safety Steward whether the course design, surface, solid objects, and type of karts running present an unsafe mix (2000 Rulebook 2.1.D). Please contact the Solo Chairman prior to the event to determine the likelihood of limitation or exclusion occurring.

Registration & Tech: -- 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Driver's Meeting: -- 10:45 AM
Event Start: -- 11:00 AM

$15.00 Members -- $18.00 Non-Members

Contact: Dave or Cathy Hart at (317) 849-2495 or dave.hart@insightbb.com

ON THE ROAD AGAIN
with Aeron Hylton

Our big event of the year, the Indy Grand Prix National Races, came off on July 8 & 9 with beautiful weather, great food, cool popsicles, and good racing. The day started off with Formula Vee and Formula 500. Our guys were really cooking in qualifying. Fred Edwards Jr. was third, Aaron Ellis was second and the pole went to Fred’s brother. Unfortunately the "IRP jinx" that has been following the younger Edwards son at his home track struck again, this time in the form of a flat tire. When we saw him at Gingerman later in the month, he asked Daddy and I if we could avoid using his name in the same sentence with the words "broke again." I don’t understand why, but Daddy said something about "racer’s superstition," whatever that is. Any way, he let me play with his dog at Gingerman, so I guess I ought to do what he asked. Fred and Aaron didn’t have any better luck, and neither lasted till the checkered flag. In Formula Vee Greg Buttrey was fourth, Jerry Schopp sixth, Joe Claudy (in a car borrowed from Lisa Noble) 14th, Craig Leeke 15th, Jan Castelluccio 16th, and John Reisert 18th.

Race 2 was for those cute little oil leakers, the prod cars. Bill Campbell was our only finisher with fifth in FP. His buddy Lloyd Jennings had problems with the Pinto and didn’t finish. In the big formula car race, Bob Hoppes was our best finisher with 14th in Formula Mazda. Craig Campbell was sixth in Sports 2000 and Dave Ham’s C Sports Racer only made 3 laps. In race 4 for the thunder makers, Gary Parker’s Corvette took eighth GT1, and Sheldon Wilde had an excellent second in GT3.

Race 5 was for Formula Continental and Formula Ford, and it included a special parade lap salute to Bruce May. Bruce was a friend to everybody, even kids like me, and it didn’t seem the same to be at the track without him around. Aaron Ellis, trying a new class this year, was seventh in FC, while Jerry Wieda was ninth, Paul Pfauser 11th, Ralph Johnson 12th, and David Bleke 14th. We didn’t have any FF drivers on the track that day. And we only had one Spec Racer driver in Group 6. Paul Holeman was eighth. Daddy could have had a good time with them if Mommy hadn’t chained him to that post in the Registration Tent.

In qualifying for race 7, Bill Baten took his pretty new T2 Camaro and made it ugly by taking out a whole row of fence posts on the backstretch. Then he spun into the turn 12 guardrail in the race. Not a good weekend….unless you own a body shop. Dave Hart was running his first National Race and found out just how serious these people take their hobby on his way to eighth. But Cathy won him a really nice anniversary present at the party Saturday night…..a set of Hoosier Tires from Dave Garner and Hoosier Midwest. Bob Sirico was third in Touring 1. Ralph Porter was fifth in Showroom Stock C.

In the Valvoline Pro Vee Series race, Greg Buttrey put on a cool drafting display as he and two other guys diced for first. Greg came out second best, but the race was exciting. Jerry Schopp was seventh, Joe Claudy ninth, Craig Leeke 12th, and John Reisert 16th.

Results from the Ohio Valley National at Mid-Ohio in June show that Fred Edwards was fifth in Formula 500, while that brother of his had better luck and was second. Greg Buttrey was fourth in Formula Vee, and Chris Jennerjahn was 16th. Sheldon Wilde was third in GT3, and Ralph Porter was third in SSC. Steve Alexander barely made half the laps in T1.

At the July 1-2 Cincinnati Double Regional at Mid-Ohio, we had quite a turn out. Tony Fesi and Bruce Shire shared a Formula 500 and took third and second. John Reisert was eight FV both days. Ricke Katko had a great weekend and won GT1 both days. Dave Bleke had a fifth and a seveth in Formula C. Dave Hart had a little trouble staying on track Saturday, but still got fourth in American Sedan. On Sunday he stayed on track, but only got fifth…..go figure! Jason Baugh was 17th and 23rd in Improved Touring S. In Spec Racer, Stu Coomer was second on Saturday, but got punted around on Sunday and was only eighth. Daddy went the fastest he’s ever gone at Mid-Ohio and was 14th and 12th. Don Munday was 17th both days, and Darold Rude was 19th and 23rd. Jeff Brueckheimer didn’t finish either day in his F Production Midget. Brian Duncan was 14th ITA on Sunday. On Saturday he only got 4 laps, which shouldn’t have even counted as a finish, except the race got cut short at 9 laps, so it counted for Brian. Dave Thomas was 11th and 18th in ITB.

Daddy ran Gingerman for the first time ever at South Bend’s Double Regional and got faster and racier as the weekend went on. He got 14th and 9th. But here’s the scary part……Mommy got in the Spec Racer on the test day, and now she’s talking about racing it at Grattan!!! Renee Edwards had her first front row start, but had to stop on the pace lap to fix a loose steering wheel (good idea!). She finished second both days. Her husband, ole what’s his name, is going to have to get another car ready for Nationals soon.

On the rally side of things, the Phillips and Gilbert team took their SAAB to Wisconson at the end of May and came away with two second place finishes. Then they ran an event in Michigan and had to dodge high water hazards on their way to a win. They currently lead the points for the "limited" class in the CenDiv championship.

There Tom, I kept my promise. Can I play with your dog again at Grattan?

DUMPSTER DIVING WITH DENT
by Larry Dent

Editor’s Note: Those of you who roam the Internet have probably seen a rather controversial article regarding the new SCCA President written by an anonymous author who calls himself The Drummer. The following are comments from long time SCCA member and former Area 4 Director, Larry Dent.

In 1969 I felt there were some serious problems with the SCCA and so I wrote a quite caustic letter defining the problems as I, and some of my fellow members, felt they were.

I SIGNED THE LETTER.

I was suspended from the club (rightly so) and only allowed back in after I was able to prove most of my points in a national hearing and apologize for the TONE of the letter, not its facts.

Now a person calling himself "the Drummer" has circulated a very caustic note on E MAIL, very widely, to SCCA people making a lot of charges about our new director Steve Johnson. The tone of the E Mail is worse than anything I did, and there are NO facts, only charges and innuendoes.

HE DOES NOT SIGN THE LETTER.

I believe that all the Newsletter Editors and Regional Executives that received the communication should toss it in the garbage, where it belongs.

The strength of this club has always been in the members, and at the same time its biggest failing has also been in the members in their ability to cloud the waters with rhetoric such as this.

We have a new CEO and now we need to give him our support and get on down the line. If he does well, great. If he does not do well, THEN it will be time for other action. What that action would be is interesting, too. At one time I applied for the CEO's job, about the time Nick was hired. Today, I think any one applying for that job has to be about a half bubble off plumb. The Drummer and his ilk are good reasons why.

If you see his note, don't put it in MY dumpster. It smells too bad.

Solo Is: Girl Watching
by Warren Leveque

Our # 2 favorite sport after Autocrossing , or do I have that backwards? I need to insert a definition here: Anecdote--A short account of an interesting or humorous incident; also, secret or hitherto undivulged particulars of history or biography.

You’ll notice that nowhere in that definition do you see any reference to FACTS. All of my articles are anecdotal. They are just observations. At no time do I claim to actually know anything about the subject. I need to state this especially now because I am going to talk about women!

In my youth--anything under 40--I was consumed with girl watching, unless I was actually on the track. Under 25, maybe every where. I always believed that in my early days of road racing, the way they kept us from passing out on the grid ( 90 deg. and Nomex) was to parade cuties in shorts by us, supposedly to check our gear. A genuine pleasure when registering for an event now is being greeted by the pretty, friendly, feminine smiles.

Anyway I’m digressing. Now all of the women are girls to me, and I love to watch them in competition. At a recent autocross my daughter Michelle, who had just flown in from Texas, wanted to autocross after a 5 year layoff. She entered my Corvair Stinger in the CPL class. This class is always nail biting to watch, but today was especially interesting to me. These girls are SERIOUS. You would never get a more diverse group of cars. One was a " tub prepared" Mustang; powerful front engined, race prepared on a stock chassis. Another was a " tube prepared" Camaro which is sort of a huge front-mid engined formula car built to GT1 specs. The other was my Corvair which is a rear engined "tub" car built to GT3 specs.

I mention all of this because the girls don’t know or care how diverse the cars are; they just go for it. After 5 runs of constantly switching the lead between the three, they all finished within the same 1/10 of a second. How is this possible? When the men ran, the diversity of the cars was definitely reflected in the times. Some cars just fit some courses better.

I quizzed my daughter about the lines she had taken. She looked at me like I had just asked about the theory of relativity. She said, "I was just going as fast as I possibly could." Actually her lines were pretty good, but the point is that she was mostly interested in just "nailing it". That’s what makes them so much fun to watch. These girls finish every run breathless, flushed, and trembling.

Over several seasons, I’ve tried to analyze the differences in the runs of men and women. There’s usually a couple of seconds difference in their respective times. Yes, I know about Shauna Marinas winning in the open class at the Nationals. This is about lady drivers in general.

One renowned CP driver remarked to me that his wife always wore out the front tires and that he always wore out the rears. Aha, a clue! Upon closer observation, I’ve noticed that on approaching a right hand turn for example, the men driven cars would "step out" very noticeably at the rear to the left. The front of a lady driven car would "step in" very noticeably at the front to the right. This was true when watching a great sample of drivers. They hit the same "spot," but in a very different manner. The most obvious example of the male method of turn-in is watching Dan Pop in his Corvette. He drives visually like a Pro Rally driver, but never misses a "spot".

I had occasion to ride with each of a man/lady Miata racing team. The man drove into the corner under great "entering courage". It was unbelievable that he could make it. The lady drove into the corner VERY precisely, sometimes slowing very much to hit the spot exactly. Their times were within hundreths of each other. One wonders if something from both methods could be combined in one National Championship run.

If there is this much difference in technique in the more powerful cars, then a 2 sec. difference is easier to see. Some of the ladies are entering the open men’s class for practice events. Their stated reason is to relieve the pressure of winning and learn different methods of going faster.

If I had to postulate a theory at this point I would have to state that the rear end out technique of corner entry yields a smaller "half a heart" or smaller classic late apex at a greater speed. The ladies have to wait until the front wheels are straight enough to accelerate. The men never had the front wheels turned. Naturally this shows up more when there is more acceleration to be had.

So why don’t the ladies use this technique? Many do. You’ll find their names at the top of the trophy list. I’ve interviewed many ladies about this. Some very fast ones actually liked the feel of the rear end of the car sliding. Very few did. Most blame it on being in an accident precipitated by sliding--most likely while sitting to the right of their male counterparts.

Back to the three CP ladies, my guess is that they very precisely find the limit of the rear tires and drive right on it. Since all three very different cars had the same limit, they ran the same speeds. Conversely, it can be said that the men never find the limit of the rear tires (they are always over it) and would be faster if they did. This argument holds fast for front wheel drive cars also; they just have a different method of stepping out or rotating the rear end of the cars.

It seems upon review, that I’ve demonstrated again how little I understand the ladies-but insist on continuing to try-- and have admitted to spending way too much time watching them.

CLASSIFIEDS

FOR SALE: 10 x 20 Canopy with Galvanized Steel Frame (complete). Only used a couple of weekends. Original price $200. Asking $100. Call Dave Dudgeon (317)357-1089. (8/00)

FOR SALE: 1995 Dodge Neon ACR damage to right rear quarter. Asking $2500 or best offer. Call Ralph Porter (765)457-9034 after 4 PM. (8/00)