A friend of mine reminded me that I needed to get back to recapping the events since I forgot to do the Florida event…so here we go.
The event in Virginia is one of my favorites. The track has a lot of grip but it is not a record setting track at all due to the elevation. It is the views off of either side of the runway at Ingalls Field that are absolutely amazing. You can see mountains for what seems like states. We really don’t get views like this at any other event. To make matters even better, the Omni resort that we stay in Hot Springs, VA is awesome. Last year I roomed with a friend of mine and after seeing the place I knew I had to bring my wife this time around. She ended up coming along with a really good friend of mine with his Chevy SS and his wife. Randy with his TT Vette and V3 CTS-V was also coming with his wife so it was turning into an adult vacation weekend.
We got there on Friday after a quick stop Thursday night in Asheville, NC (Wicked Weed has some awesome beer!) and headed up to the runway after checking in to drop off the V. The weather was insanely nice and the views lived up to my memories of them.
On Saturday morning, the wive’s went to the huge spa for a message and we headed to the track…
Saturday at Ingalls Field Airstrip
We woke up Saturday morning with a surprise. The weather at the resort was perfect. The weather had been threatening to be bad all weekend long and as we walked outside, we were pumped for a full day of racing as it was overcast and cool…perfect…or so we thought.
As we started the climb up the road to the airstrip the conditions went from perfect to horrible. Apparently there wasn’t any rain to be found, but the clouds had lowered to the point you couldn’t see 15 feet away from your hand up at the airstrip. We waited around until about 1pm to see if they were going to lift until we decided to head back down to the resort for lunch. As you can expect…the weather was still great there and everyone was playing golf. The forecast called for rain all Sunday so I ended up going and picking up my car and brought it back down to the resort on the trailer just in case it was a rainout. There was not a single pass by anyone on Saturday. We had a great dinner, hung out and relaxed.
Sunday at the VA 1/2 Mile
Sunday was supposed to be a complete washout. We woke up to rain in the morning and decided to wait until about 10:30 before even heading up to the airstrip. About 11am…the sky opened up and the sun was out. This was not supposed to happen! The weatherman was wrong both days for the airstrip but I’ll take it. I unloaded the car as they were drying off the track and we were getting ready to race. The bad news was the friend of mine that I brought up only bought a Saturday pass was already headed home after seeing the rain.
While the track was dry the air was horrible. There was 100% humidity with about 8,000 ft DA. For those of you that don’t know what that means…there is a lot of water in the air and very little oxygen. The cars really need better air conditions to run at their best. While air conditions were bad last year…this was on another level. My car was down 3.5 pounds of boost due to just the air quality. It really didn’t matter in the long run though…we were racing and I was using this event as a test and tune on my car anyway as we got the new fuel system dialed in with the built motor. This was going to be fun to get some passes in while getting the car setup for GA in two weeks.
Run #1 – 151mph Boost Only
I did the first pass of the day against a turbo Cyclone. I hadn’t seen one of those in years! We both took off and I was on a baby tune just to get a log on the car so Mike could start working his magic on my C16 tune. The race was neck and neck. I got him by a few but he would actually end up running faster than this pass later. He was a really cool guy who wanted to recount the entire run later. That is why I really love these events. As a point of reference…my car runs 160+ on boost only at other events. The MPH on this trip was going to be way off.
Run #2 – 153mph Boost Only
Mike made some tweaks to the tune and I headed back out. This time I lined up against a new Nissan GT-R Nismo edition. It’s a beautiful car. We took off and he got out on me a little bit at the line thanks to AWD but I ended up reeling him in and passing him right before the line. That was a fun race even though I wasn’t spraying yet. He came to talk to me later in the day as well about the run and we sat there and talked cars for a bit.
Run #3 – I don’t know the MPH – Nitrous 57 Jets
I headed out for the first nitrous hit trying something new. I really have been wanting to get first gear lockout to work so I don’t have to pedal 1st gear so bad keeping nitrous out of the system. The hope was to get the MPH up in 1st to be able to try to hit nitrous harder in 2nd. It didn’t work. The kit didn’t come on until 4th for some reason so I just ended up pulling straight into the pits.
Run #4 – 166mph – Nitrous 57 Jets
I headed back out after cooling everything down. Everything on the run went great until I got to the 3/4 shift. I over revved 3rd and ended up getting locked out of 4th. I had to clutch in and back out again to get it to shift so obviously the MPH suffered due to the lost time. Even with that…we got another good log on the car so it was time to look at the data. It was time to jet up a bit and see how things go. I have been running the 57 jets for a year on the stock block pulling no timing. Now we were pulling 4 degrees on the built motor so instead of turning my favorite knob we went to the bigger jets.
Run #5 – 174mph – Nitrous 62 Jets
For this run, I lined up with Randy in his bolt-0n/cam V3 for a fun run. We pull up to the line and he takes off before the tree lights even come on! I yell “that mother *&$#^%!” and take off. The car feels awesome. The built motor is taking the increased hit very well and I am off and rolling. He took off so much before me I couldn’t real him in even after finishing 20mph higher. That would become a fun joke between all of us the rest of the weekend. We got the car back in the pits and took a look at the log. Everything was perfect but we were still way down in boost thanks to the air.
Run #5 – 165mph – Nitrous 62 Jets
I went out for another run but got locked out of 4th again. I am starting to think my completely stock TR6060 is starting to see some wear…especially the syncros. It might be time for a RPM trans eventually. We’ll see how the car does in GA under better conditions.
The Weekend Overall
While it may seem like the weekend should have sucked thanks to the conditions and weather…it didn’t. I got to hang out with friends, stay in an awesome resort, race my car and hang out with my wife. Even if it wasn’t record setting and we didn’t get as many passes in as we would have hoped…I don’t care. I had a great weekend and would do it all over again tomorrow.
As always, Vengeance Racing over delivered and produced me with a car that won the 4 door class and was faster than all of the heavy weights at the event as well. The support and encouragement is always incredible and I am thankful to have a group that I can work with like this and call friends/family. I really wish my friend with the SS would have gotten passes in but that is just racing sometimes. You can’t control the weather. Blake and his crew at wannaGOFAST put on another amazing event despite the hurdles. We are now ready for GA.