Let me start off by saying that there was so much to cover in this race that I thought I would give the readers a choice of the cliff note version or the full meal deal version. Here we go.
The cliff note version –We had the largest BRM field yet with eight cars and drivers showing up to compete. When it was all over Marty had won, Jim was second and Brian was third.
The full version – Pre-race Warm Up – This race in the series would be highlighted by some new cars and some familiar faces. For new cars we hadRoy with his factory freshToyota 88C, the firstToyota to run in any of our BRM races. Prop’s toRoy for bringing out something new and different. The other new car was Russell’s Ford Probe. The car was not completely finished but looked really good. This car was using the chassis and mechanicals from Russell’s Momo car with some slight modifications. I can’t wait to see the finished product. It was good to see something other than a Porsche in the hunt for the points. The familiar face was that of club member Clark and his custom Guinness Porsche 962. Clark has been away from the track for a while and is coming back to make a run at the BRM series. Great to have him back!
The news was not limited to the new cars and familiar faces. This round of the series promised to be one of the best and fastest with everyone having time to get their cars dialed in and ready to race. In a pre-race interview with Jim he told us that his car was “OK”. That was all Jim had to say. When Jim is this quiet it usually means he is very fast. Jim was very fast in the last round with his new version of the pink motor and now he has had two more weeks of time to run it and break it in. I guarantee you we will see him some super fast times from him in this race if not the fastest lap.
Brian’s had his car dialed in better than I have ever seen it. He had some of the fastest warm up laps we have seen from him in the series.
Ary was back after missing the last race. As always, his cars are flawlessly prepared and very fast. It will be interesting to see if the time off has any affect on his driving ability. I wouldn’t bet on it.
Shawn had a great run in the last series and I am sure will continue his consistent form and pace in this round. His mechanical in the first round of the series was unusual and Shawn is back and ready to contest for a podium spot.
Marty was back again with the Jagermeister Porsche 962 after winning the last two rounds. Would he be able to keep up the win streak or would one of the other fast club members take it to him? Lets see how it all turned out.
Heat 1 had Marty and the Jagermeister Porsche in the yellow lane,Clark with his custom painted Guinness Porsche in the blue lane and Jim with his Miller Porsche in the green lane.
This was a great race between Marty and Jim whileClarkwas re-learning how to drive his beautiful car. The race saw Marty come away with 73 laps to Jim’s 71 toClark’s 64. Jim also set the fastest lap with a time of 3.91. Anyone that thought Marty’s Jagermeister was too fast to beat did not see the times Jim was running. It was also during the race that you could hear the crown gear in the Jagermeister starting to grind. Marty made the decision to hold off on the gear change get everything ready for the gear change at the next break between heats.
Heat 2 had Marty in green, Jim in blue and Ary in yellow lane with his custom painted Kenwood Porsche.
On paper the race looked like it would be one of the best of the day but things did not work out that way. Everyone had their own issues that held them back from making this the great battle it could have been. Marty’s gear mesh issue made the braking on his Porsche very inconsistent and he de-sloted six times with five occurring at the same part of the parabolica turn. Marty would have finished much farther down the timing sheet if it were not for the quick re-slotting jobs done by the clubs president and re-slotting guru Brian.
While Marty had his issues Jim put in a good run but still had three de-slots that affected his lap total at the same time Ary his own issues with a lack of grip at the rear of the Kenwood Porsche. The result was each driver coming away with 72 laps with Jim once again setting the fastest lap at 3.904! That was the fastest lap time seen in a BRM race at that point.
Heat 3 – As soon as the second heat was over Marty grabbed his car and took it to the pits where the tools and parts for a crown gear change were laid out and ready to go. He frantically began the gear change as the two minute break between heats quickly ticked away.
The others racing in the heat were Ary with his blue Kenwoodin the green lane and Roy with his stunning new Toyota 88C in the Taka Q livery running in the yellow lane.
The race began with Ary andRoywith Marty still finishing work on his car. He joined the race two laps in or just in time to hear the crown gear inRoy’s newToyotagrind away so bad that the car just coasted to a stop on the back straight.
Ary immediately pulled his car into the pits to help his good friend sort out the problem. WithRoyand Ary both temporarily out of the race Marty was once again running by himself in the blue lane. With no one else on the track Marty treated the race as a qualifying session for three and a half minutes whenRoyand then Ary rejoined the race. The race finished with Marty totaling 72.65 laps and a record best lap time of 3.874. Royonly recorded 20 laps but at least theToyotawas running strong again.
Heat 4 had Shawn in yellow, Ary in blue and Roy in green. After the problems with his crown gear were fixedRoy and his newToyota 88C were ready to run. Shawn’s Porsche was in for its first heat and if he continues his form from the last race he should be tough to beat. Ary, who had stopped in heat 3 to helpRoy, was back and ready to run.
The heat was very close with Ary out front being chased by Roy and Shawn. Shawn’s lap times were off about .2 from his usual time and you knew something was not right with the white Kenwood Porsche. Then you could hear the problem. Shawn had a slipping crown gear that affected his acceleration. Coming out of the esses he could not put the power down and was losing time. The question of whether or not to stop for repairs was soon answered when the heat took a turn for the worse. At the halfway point Ary’s car came out of the slot under acceleration exiting the parabolica only to be collected by Shawn’s car that was just behind Ary’s after being passed. The result was Ary’s car ending up on the grass hillside by the start-finish tunnel and Shawn’s car showing no apparent damage. The race was stopped and Ary’s car was checked out and put back on the track and Shawn was permitted to tighten his slipping crown gear under the yellow. The rest of the race was fun to watch as Ary tried to weave his car around the others to run as many laps as possible. The end result was Ary with 70.2 laps and a fast lap of 4.043 toRoy’s total of 69 laps and a fast lap of 4.18 and Shawn’s 66 laps and 4.148 fast lap.
Heat 5 had Shawn in green,Roy in blue and Brian in yellow for his first heat of the day in his very well prepared Daurer Porsche. This was one of the closest races of the day with the lead changing back and forth with some great driving. At the three minute mark the newToyota lost its wing and the race was stopped while the wing was reattached. The racing continued and it became clear that theToyota, although narrower than the Porsches, could become very wide in the turns as anyone who went to pass on the outside would find out.
With a minute and a half to go the Toyota started to make the same nasty crown gear noises it had made earlier in the day. This time the damage was terminal and theToyotapulled to the pits and was retired. It was a great showing for a new car. This left Brian and Shawn racing with no one in the center blue lane to get in their way. Shawn had a lap on Brian but the Dauer Porsche was setting some great lap times. The last two minutes would be some of the best racing of the day. Brian knew that this was his chance to get back on the lead lap and as the clocked ticked down he turned his brakes completely off at the absolute last second. As a result he was able to get on the same lap as Shawn and then some. With no brakes and the momentum he was carrying at the end of the start-finish straight he flew off the track, passed the corner marshal and landed on the floor. It didn’t seem to bother Brian as he was happy enough to stay on the same lap with Shawn. Shawn did a great job of driving to hold off Brian and end up with a total of 69 laps (2 feet short of 70 laps) and a fast time of 4.09. Brian just totaled 69 laps but with the extra distance from the off track crash he completed more like 69.7 laps. Brian had a very impressive fast lap time of 3.98. With his mechanicalRoymanaged just 49 laps with a fast time of 4.108.
Heat 6 had Shawn in blue, Brian in green and Russell in yellow for his first heat of the day. It will be interesting to see if the Probe and match the speed of the Porsche’s. This question was answered in the first minute as the Probe was slightly off the pace of the other two racers. Then at the one minute forty five second mark the Probe was in the pits. The mechanics took a look at the drive train and sent the driver back out. It was a quick stop but still cost the driver two laps.
The race was highlighted by a great battle between Shawn in the blue lane and Brian in the green lane. Brian was putting time on Shawn and catching him up but catching someone is one thing, getting past them is another. Brian found this out with 32 seconds left as he tried to get around Shawn coming out of the parabolica and hung his rear end out a little too much giving Shawn no where to go but under the Dauer Porsche. The result was one of the biggest crashes we have seen in any BRM race. Brian ended up on his roof in the tunnel and Shawn along side but still in the blue lane.
With everyone back on the track the race restarted. Would Brian’s crown gear last after all of the impacts his car has been through? The final laps were fantastic with Brian and Shawn finishing on the same lap and Russell not that far behind. Brian had another fast lap of 3.967 to Shawn’s 4.101 and Russell’s 4.260. This was Shawn’s final heat and he finished up with 205.86 total laps.
Heat 7 – Had Clark in yellow, Brian in blue and Russell in green. This was a good heat with everyone having a few de-slots but most everyone managed to keep their cars in the slot. Let’s just say there were no cars ending up on their roof or flying off the track. Brian had a good run and managed 69.55 laps and a fast lap time of 4.044. Brian was now ahead of Shawn with a total of 208.55 laps to Shawn’s 205.86. Russell had a good run and ended with 66 laps. He was not as fast as Brian but had fewer de-slots and more consistent lap times. Clark totaled a very respectable 63 laps and was getting back in the grove.
This all lead to the final heat of the day with Jim having a slim but mathematical chance of taking first place away from Marty. He would need 74.5 laps to do it. 74.5 laps has been run before so it’s not impossible but Jim would have to have everything go his way. The most laps Jim had run in one heat was 73.7 so it could happen.
Heat 8 – The heat had Jim in the yellow lane, Russell in the blue lane andClark in the green lane. Jim was flying as the race began. Russell was putting in some good laps but was not able to stay with Jim.Clark was doing a great job of driving especially considering he was in the very tight green lane. At the four minute mark Jim had his first of two de-slots. The first in the Senna esses and the second in the paribolica. These two de-slots combined with getting caught up in traffic sealed Jim’s fate. He would finish the heat with 71.17 laps, a fast lap of 3.967 and a total of 214.17 laps. Russell finished with 66.85 laps, fast lap of 4.286 and a total of 197.85 laps. Clark finished with 62.65 laps, fast lap of 4.277 and a total of 189.65 laps.
Summary – Marty took the top spot along with a total of 217.65 laps and thefast lap of the day at 3.874. Jim was second overall with 214.17 laps and a fast lap time of 3.904. Brian had a great run to finish in third place with a total of 208.55 laps and a fast lap time of 3.967. Shawn was a close fourth to Brian with a total of 205.86 laps, fast lap time of 4.09. Fifth was Russell with a total of 197.85 laps and a fast lap of 4.26. Clark was sixth with a total of 189.65 laps and a fast lap of 4.206. Sixth was Ary and seventh wasRoy with both spending time in the pits.
Other Highlights -Roy showed that aToyota can be competitive. It was great to see a different car running. Prop’s toRoy for stepping out and making a change. Now the question is will anyone else run aToyota?
Jim showed he is very fast and can give Marty a fight for the points.
Ary was consistent as always and should be given special recognition for pulling out of a heat to helpRoywith hisToyota
Russell’s Ford Probe was a little behind the others but I am sure that is only a temporary thing as Russell should have it running with the rest by the next round.
Clarkset some good times and did a great job considering how long he had been away from the track. It was great to have him running with us again.
Shawn had a consistent run and needs to have some good races to be back in a podium place.
Brian had a fantastic run and can climb the leader board if he continues his winning form. It’s Brian’s to win or lose as he finally has a car that is super competitive.
Marty just needs to maintain his lead and he can take the championship. It will be interesting to see how he will deal with the pressure Jim is putting on him.
I can’t wait for the next race!