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Another Year at the SCCA Solo Nationals

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#1 Gary Dranow

Gary Dranow
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Posted 12 September 2009 - 03:27 PM

Well folks, we are back from this year's SCCA Solo National
Championships.  This year is was held at the Lincoln, Nebraska

It was a blast, even though Murphy's law ruled the day.

Charlie was out to back up his 2008 win and I was out
for a trophy.  Liz just wanted to get closer to the competition.

All was good at the Test 'n Tune Saturday and Sunday.  All
three of us had great times, I was within a second of Charlie
and the car didn't miss a beat.

A day off on Monday (lots of Tennis on TV).

Then came Tuesday's first heat on the West Course.  Did I
say how massive and great this venue is?  It is also cement so
the grip is fabulous.

Well on my first run it was quite apparent something wasn't right
with the "Grenade".  We have breakdowns all season so why
should the Nationals be any different.  This time, however, Charlie
couldn't work his magic and get the car running right.  

For me it was just a distraction and took me off my game, for
Charlie is was a disaster.  After Tuesday's heat Charlie was in
7th, a few tenths out of the trophies and about 2 seconds off the
lead of Keith Brown.  I was way back in 12th place out of 15
drivers.  I ran clean all three runs but no matter what I tried I
could only pick up about 7/10ths per run ending on a 61 flat with
the leader sitting on a 56.5.

Charlie worked on the car most of the night.  It turned out that
one of our injectors was clogged or just not feeding fuel properly.

On Wednesday, as I pulled out to stage on my first run the rain
started to pour down.  I pulled a 62.8 on my first run West Course.
By the time I pulled into Grid the rain was a deluge.  It was over
from there.  With a slightly drier course than the top drivers I
jumped over 5 drivers to finish in 8th place, Charlie, Keith Brown
and several other of the top drivers ending up from 10th to 15th.
A shocking turn around.  I was about a second out of the trophies
but still in the top 10, one of my goals.  Just didn't want to do it
with rain separating the group so horridly.

In between my second run and Charlie's we did a Chinese fire
drill change of tires to our "Rains".  Liz did a great job of taking
our rental car way back to the paddock and brought back the
four tires, jack, and impact wrench.  We have the tires off and
rains on in less than 5 minutes.  The change of tires enabled
Charlie to run a 66 and get off the Schnyde finishing in 13th. A
dubious honor for last year's National Champion. The fates just
weren't with us this year, at all.

Next year we'll be back at Lincoln for the 4th straight National
Championships and perhaps the gods will smile on us.  The car
will be re-conditioned top to bottom so that won't hold us back
next time out.

These pictures say it all

We've got a few more events this year.  We'll be driving the Zo6.
Now our brains are starting to focus on the upcoming ski season  cool.gif

"Developing Faster Racers is MY Passion"


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