Porsches, Audis, and SCCA

Audi R8 SPde George SP Grid SP DE GT4 SP zac BMW Sp Acura General Li IT 2 MARRS 1 SP GT RP Miatas Scooby SRF SSM MARRS1 Audi VIR Cayman VIR IMG_0676 IMG_0673It’s been a few weeks since my last post, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been on the road since my visit to Dominion Raceway Park at the end of March. Since then it’s been two trips to Summit Point and a quick visit to VIR.

I started off April 1st with a trip to Summit Point for PCA Potomac Regions first DE event of the year. Since OG Racing is the official sponsor of the Potomac Region’s DE program, I try to make it to a couple of these a year to walk the paddock. Friday was an instructor day with new instructor candidates completing their training and being welcomed into the instructor corps. I had a chance to get a session on the track in a soon to be PCA H Class Cayman S, thanks Vranko! Saturday morning began your typical PCA Potomac DE weekend with instructor and drivers meeting. Since it’s been a while since I instructed (yes I actually have been an instructor since 2000) so I was assigned a green student in a Porsche Macan S. My student did very well and I was very impressed with how capable the Macan was on the track, even while equipped with all season tires. Took rides in two 944s with a couple of hot shoe kids (they’ve already gone racing) and realized I may not be as fast as I used to be! One needed his checkout ride to go PCA Club Racing so I took care of that as well. As usual, there was the typical selection of GT3, several GT4s, Corvettes, BMWs, and even an Audi fully caged and race ready. I made many new track friends and it was fun to get back in the right seat.

Next up was back to Summit Point of SCCA’s MARRS 1. For those of you who aren’t familiar with SCCA racing, the Washington D.C. Region’s annual race series is called the Mid Atlantic Road Racing Series (MARRS) and it was the first race weekend of the year, hence the moniker, MARRS 1. OG Racing is the “Official Motorsports Supplier” to the D.C. Region so it’s important for me to make it to as many MARRS races as my travel schedule allows. Well the weather was a little different than just week earlier. While drivers were enjoying temperatures in the 80s on April 1, it was 43 on April 9th, and windy. I had a helper with me on this trip in the form of my 9 year old son. He loves coming to the track so he asked to come along this trip. The car counts were good and as usual the SSM field was the largest at the event and as usual the battle at the front contained some familiar faces. There was good racing in the big bore group which was made up of a few old stock cars, Mustangs, Corvettes, and even an Acura and a Porsche.

Following the MARRS Race on Saturday, by Monday I was on my way to VIR for the Audi Advanced Drivers School. This special event was for solo drivers only. In addition to lots of track time, participants were treated to a few classroom sessions as a bonus. Professional driver coach and data wizard Peter Krause spoke about driving VIR and shared some of his vast knowledge of the use of data acquisition systems and video to help make you faster. Peter has over 15,000 laps around VIR in many different cars and is has a wealth of knowledge that is loves to share. If you get a chance to attend one of Peter’s seminars, do it. Following Peter’s talk was 2006 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona GT Class winner Michael Levitas, owner of Turbo Performance Center in Jessup MD. Mike covered how your suspension and tires work together to optimize your car’s handling and lap times. He also covered the latest advancements in suspension technology and how the computers in modern cars optimize suspension systems for maximum performance. And lastly, it was my turn to discuss the latest in driver safety gear technology that is helping the nut behind the wheel perform to the best of his/her ability and reduce fatigue. In the past, all us drivers just accepted that fire resistant suits, and under garments were supposed to hot and uncomfortable in order to protect us in the event of fire. Today that is not the case. Advancements in technology from the major manufacturers like Sparco, OMP, Alpinestars, and new innovative products coming from TraqGear have changed the game in motorsports by bringing moisture wicking and compression technology to fire resistant race wear.

Well that’s enough from me for this week. In a few days, I am off to Hershey for the Annual Porsche Club Swap Meet. If you are planning on attending, please stop by the OG Racing trailer.

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Things are Shaping Up at Dominion Raceway Park

Tower Band 3 Band 2 band 6 Band on track late model 1 late model 2 Late model 25 legends Sportsman 2 Sportsman U cars U cars U car 3Most track junkies living in the Mid Atlantic Region probably already have heard there is a new track nearly completed and is set to open soon. Dominion Raceway Park is conveniently located right off Interstate 95 in Thornburg VA. For those of you who do not live in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Thornburg is just south of Fredericksburg, on the stretch of I-95 between Washington D.C. and Richmond.

Construction is moving right along. The road course and the oval are paved. The building that will house race control, the restaurant, locker rooms, and the hospitality area is up and glass and interior going in. The road course is paved and the crews were working on the runoff areas, tire walls, and other track safety components. The oval was open for business this month for two practice days for late models, sportsman class cars, on down to U-cars and Bandoleros. The bleachers are in underneath the control building, and the framing for the catch fence is up.

I visited Dominion last weekend to check out the action on the oval and to get a look at the facility. It’s shaping up to be a top notch motorsports complex and the construction crews were hard at work while there was action on the oval track as they were holding an open practice. Cars went out on track according to class. I was really impressed watching the kids racing the Bandoleros. Talking to some of the dads who were serving as team owner, chief mechanic, and crew I found that most of these little guys were under 10 years old and had started in karts at 4-7 years old. Impressive to say the least.

Seeing all the work in progress shows that the track management is working hard to get Dominion Raceway Park up and running sooner rather than later. Can’t wait to do an event there, and I would love to take a crack at the oval at some point. This week it’s back to Summit Point for 3 days with PCA Potomac. See you at the track.

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No Seriously – Where is my SA2015 Helmet?

JUST UPDATED!! GF3 & GF1 Open Face Helmets in stock in all sizes!

Snell-Update years are generally one of the busiest for us as everyone is pushing and shoving to get the latest rating so that they can use the same helmet for the next 10+ years. While we generally don’t agree on this tactic for reasons of personal hygiene, we do respect the need for the latest rating and plan far enough ahead to make sure we’re stocked and ready to go for the season. At least that’s what we’ve done every other Snell-update year.

As you’ve probably heard by now, it’s really, really hard to get a hold of an SA2015 helmet right now. The biggest problem this season has been Bell production delays. Not to blame them for all of the ills of the world, but we typically rely on them to keep us stocked for Snell-Update year. We’ve played this game long enough to know that most other manufacturers are not ready to ship when the new rating drops, and generally take their time releasing new helmets. Bell also happens to easily account for over half of our overall helmet sales. They have the broadest offerings, best budget-priced helmets, and tend to have the most universal-fit.

Unfortunately, that means that we currently have a wait list for SA2015 Bell helmets numbering near triple-digits. And it doesn’t look like it’s going to get any better. Right now, Bell is frantically trying to meet production demands in their new factory in Bahrain. Helmets are being air-shipped as soon as they move off the production line; but as the backlog is now so great, it probably won’t be until this summer until we have a comfortable stock to work with. OG-Racing did get our pre-season order in very early last year, which grants us a first-in-line status on just about everything. Of course that also means that we sold out of some of our initial shipments from last year already – if you have a helmet, congratulations on planning ahead!

If you’re hoping to get an SA2015 helmet for your first Spring event, and it’s out of stock, it’s safe to say it’s going to be a gamble on getting it in time. Luckily, most groups are aware of these delays and are allowing the use of SA2005 helmets through the year. If you’re completely new to the game and don’t have an SA2005 helmet, you should consider looking into an SA2010 (which we still have lots of really nice deals on); settling on a model you don’t really want that is in-stock (see below); or renting a helmet (yes, we rent helmets – call us).

To help make things a little more transparent, I’m listing out what we have below. You’ll notice many models are missing from the list – that’s because we don’t have them and don’t know when they’ll be here. For instance, some of the most sought after helmets, such as the M.8 and GT.5 Touring, were initially promised by Bell in February (which has come and gone). As a deadline passes, the best estimate I can provide is the following month – April in this case. Or go by the saying we use in the Motorsports Industry: it’ll be available when it shows up in the warehouse.

Note: The info below can change daily, and I’ll do my best to keep things updated. So if you see something that you want, I would suggest ordering asap. Our website uses a live inventory. If you see a backorder message (click here for details), that means someone else got to it first.

Bell Helmets:

Sport: X-Large Orange Only Out of Stock
Sport Edge: Small Only Out of Stock
Sport EV: Small/White Only Out of Stock
Sport Mag Open Face: Small-XL Available in White or Black (except Large/Black).

BR.1: Medium & X-Large Flat-Black Available
K1 Pro: Medium & X-Large White Available
Vador: All sizes in stock – Limited Color choice
GT.5 Touring: A batch of White helmets has arrived. After pre-orders were shipped, we have 7-1/8, 7-1/4, and 7-5/8+ remaining.

RS7: 7-1/8 and up available (limited color options)
RS7-Carbon: Some sizes available. 7-3/8, 7-5/8 Available
RS7-Carbon w/Duck Bill: All sizes except 7-5/8 In-Stock
Dominator.2: 7-1/8, 7-1/2 & 7-5/8+ Available (limited color options)

Simpson Helmets: Simpson has by far been the most reliable for SA2015 helmets so far. The budget priced Voyager.2 helmet is still in production, but we otherwise have good stock on the models we carry (click on the link above to see these). We’re working with Simpson to see which other models are currently available, and will release those offerings online as we hear about them. For now, any of the models on our site are for the most part in-stock.

G-Force Helmets: JUST UPDATED!! GF3 & GF1 Open Face Helmets in stock in all sizes, but not all colors.

Arai Helmets: Our inventory is spotty on these. Seems like as soon as one is purchased, it takes 2-3 weeks to get another one in. Pre-ordering should be pretty safe at this point, but will probably still take a few weeks if not currently in-stock.

HJC Helmets: HJC is not planning on releasing an SA2015 rated helmet until 2017 (next year) at the earliest.

Sparco Helmets: Sparco is not planning on releasing an SA2015 helmet until late Summer at the earliest.

Updated: April 19, 4:28 PM

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Want to Go Faster on the Track? AIM Data Seminar with Roger Caddell

AIM 1 AIM 3 AIM 4 AIM 2As most of you reading this have probably already figured out, club racing has really evolved over the last decade. Technology that was pretty much only utilized at the professional level, has found its way down into the cars and paddock in club racing. When I ran my first race nearly 16 years ago, hardly anyone was using radios for the driver to talk to his crew during the race. If you wanted video, chances are you had a Sony Handy Cam mounted to an IO Port camera mount, and tethered to the roll cage with the included strap. Data acquisition was only something seen at the professional level.

The market in data acquisition for us mere mortals has really taken off over the past seven to ten years. Gone are the days where we club guys/girls had to settle for a lap timer, with a beacon that needed to be placed on the pit wall to trip the receiver mounted in the car. For a lot of us, me included, we made due with a stopwatch attached to the steering wheel, or a family member timing from the pit wall. Today, we have GPS based systems that know what track we are driving on at any given weekend, and will display times in real time. Companies like AIM Sports cover the whole gamut of data acquisition and video, to help drivers of all levels of skill to improve their technique and therefore go faster. The amount of data that even a basic AIM Solo and or SmartyCam can record can be overload for a novice driver. It’s what to do and how to use data acquisition that can be intimidating and scare off some drivers.

That’s why last weekend, OG Racing hosted a Data Acquisition Seminar and decided to bring in AIM data acquisition guru Roger Caddell to make sense of it all. Most people in the racing world know of Roger and the years of experience he brings to our hobby, both as a racer, driving coach for his son and his involvement in the continued evolution of data acquisition from the grassroots, to the professional levels of racing. We limited the size of the event so as too allow the attendees to soak up the most knowledge they could during the 6 hours Roger was speaking. After bagels, donuts, and some coffee, Roger got down to business. After a brief introduction, he got into the basics of “what is data acquisition, followed by an explanation of what it is, and how to use it. For those of us who aren’t the most technical savvy when it comes to gadgets, Roger spent some time covering the hardware installation and set up. After that, he got into how to interpret the data in Race Studio, and how to get the most of integrating the AIM SmartyCam into your set up.

It really is amazing how much you can see looking at the data recorded by devices like the AIM Solo DL, and MXL line of dash/loggers. It really has become a valuable tool that can help any driver, from the person who has a good understanding of the basic fundamentals of track driving; to the experienced racer find those couple of seconds down to just those last few tenths. If you ever run into Roger in the paddock, I highly recommend you pick his brain a little. He’s always happy to share his knowledge and help make us all a little faster.

Next week, it’s off to VIR for me to the Chump Car race on March 5th. See you at the track!

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2016 Track Season off and Running-Sebring with PCA

924 GTR 944s Boxsters Bud light Clarke cool bikes GT3 R 991 Hoover Hupfer More Boxsters Moses Neilsen GT3 Omar and Evan PMNA guys rain RSR Schlitz ML Wet Boxster tire changeThe 2016 track season is off and running. We already have seen some great racing at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. In the world of amateur sport car racing where most of us participate, Porsche Club of America kicked off the season with its annual 48 Hours of Sebring. This is one of the biggest PCA Club Races of the year, attracting drivers from as far away as Canada, Texas, and California. This weekend saw the debut in PCA Club Racing of Porsche’s new Cayman GT4 Club Sport. For those who aren’t Porsche fanatics, think of it as the GT3 Cup version of a Cayman. The 944 Cup kicked off its first race weekend after officially joining the PCA racing family.

As usual, the event was packed with racers driving everything from 914s to 991s. There were good sized fields in several of the stock and spec classes. Spec Boxster continues to grow on the East Coast fielding over 25 cars in class. The ever popular E class had a great turn out with some familiar faces mixing it up at the front of the pack. As the popularity of the Cayman as a racing platform continues to grow, the GTB class was again packed with a variety of Caymans from all over North America, racing out of various well know shops. As is typical of the 48 Hours of Sebring, there was some good racing in the GTC classes. Lots of 996 and 997 GT3 Cups mixing it up in a field containing several 991 GT3 Cups, a GT3R and a familiar 997 RSR that was fast as usual.

One of my favorite things about Sebring is the diversity of the field. Whether you prefer vintage Porsches, or the latest hardware, there is something for everyone. The volunteers who organize and put on the 48 Hours of Sebring do a fantastic job and deserve a big “thank you.” As do the PCA Club Racing staff and stewards from tech to the tower.

In addition to its track, there are some interesting sites to see. Since I travel a lot, I’ve spent many a night in a lot of different hotels. This year, curiosity finally got me to book a room at the Kenilworth Lodge on Lakeview Drive. I have driven by this hotel countless times in the 10 trips I have made to Sebring for the 48 Hours, so I decided to see what it was about. The hotel was built between 1914-16; three years after George Sebring founded the town. Back then, it wasn’t just a place to sleep, it was a destination for well to do Northerners to spend their winters. Entering the front doors you are greeted with a 4000 square foot lobby, with a grand staircase with wings on either side. There is even a billiards room on the main floor and the expansive lobby has lots of seating where guests probably socialized and had afternoon tea back in the day. The front veranda gives you a great view of Lake Jackson. Behind the front desk are the mail slots for each of the guest rooms. The staff was very friendly, and I was surprised when they handed me an actual key for my room. I love places like this. The room was clean, the bed comfortable, and the staff extremely friendly. The hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. So, if you like historic places with a lot more character than the typical chain hotel check out the Kenilworth Lodge.

See you at the track in 2016!

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Cars and Coffee in Charlottesville

944 and 911 fire Audi MGB Porsches and Benz split window vette z28 and Evo VWsAs most of you know, I do a lot of traveling to various track events up and down the east coast as part of my job working for OG Racing. I meet and occasionally race with a lot of interesting people which is one many great things about working and playing in the racing world.

I have been lucky enough to be seated in the room when Brian Redman told a story about the first time he drove a Porsche 917 at Spa. I met Randy Pobst when he was walking around the paddock at the Sebring PCA race a few years ago looking for a ride in the Sunday enduro, and one of my track friends invited him to co drive the D class 911 SC he was driving that weekend. Unfortunately a mechanical issue with the car cut the race short.

Since December isn’t exactly full of track events in the Mid Atlantic region, I ventured out a few weeks ago to a local Cars and Coffee in Charlottesville VA where I live. Several of my local Porsche Club friends are regulars at this event so I decided to check it out. I was happy to see my old 1986 944 present. It’s undergone a semi restoration since I sold it in 2010 and looks fantastic. There were also some neat classic muscle cars, a 1963 Corvette Stingray Coupe, a 73 Camaro Z28, and even a vintage fire engine. There was also a nicely kept chrome bumper MGB, a couple 911s, and some more modern and modded Subarus and Mitsubishi EVOs.

I got to talking with the owner of the Z28 about cars in general. Turns out her Z28 is her daily driver. She then tells me she drove it over 11K miles recently on a book tour. Turns out I was speaking with Maggie Stiefvater who happens to be the author of the Shiver Trilogy and among other books, the Scorpio Races. Her husband and children were the ones who rolled up in the fire engine. Maggie is a certified car nut, and in addition to her Z28, has a hot rodded EVO, and her father is into Porsches. She expressed interest in getting one of her cars out on the track so we talked about the various car clubs that have HPDE programs. She was also kind enough to give me a copy of her book, the Scorpio Races, autographed personally for my son. So you never know who you could meet at a Cars and Coffee.

As we head into 2016, there is lots going in the racing world. Porsche finally decided to build a factory racecar out of a Cayman. Look for them to debut it this week at the Roar before the 24 test at Daytona this weekend. The cars will also be raced in the GT4 Cup Championship at the major PCA races. Ford will be returning to LeMans with their latest iteration of the Ford GT to mark the 50th Anniversary of Ford’s win at LeMans. Renault is back in Formula One as a constructor. The new Dominion Raceway is set to open by summer and it is apparent based on the photos circulating around social media that there will be cars on track this year.

So 2016 is shaping up to be an exciting year in the road racing world. See you at the track.

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ChumpCars at VIR

190 944 work 944 Acura and Nissan Audi and BMW Audi and Ford Audi pack Big Ford BMWs Chevy c10 Chevy truck and Honda e36 e30 work fixing the tirewall Ford and chevyThe 2015 track season may be winding down in the Northeast, but that didn’t slow things down at VIR the weekend of December 5-6. The ChumpCar World Series was in town for some “low budget” racing action at the historic Virginia International Raceway.

For those of you who haven’t heard of ChumpCar, it’s an endurance racing series built around low budget cars. Aside from the necessary safety gear, like a roll cage, racing seat, harnesses and fire suppression, the car you enter cannot be valued at more than $500, based on market value. The rules are very clear. You can’t add a bunch of trick race stuff like adjustable shocks, big brakes, and other go fast parts and be within the rules. Tires are required to be DOT approved and with a minimum tread wear rating set in the rules, so don’t attempt to show up with 3 sets of fresh Hoosiers or Toyo RRs.

Races range from seven to 36 hours. Teams are required a minimum of 3 drivers, four for the longer races. It’s also a good idea to have a few crew members as part of your team. Given the low cost of your race car, some will need some late night repairs so bring your friends who know how to work on a race car.

One of the great things about ChumpCar races is that you can count on seeing an interesting mix of cars in the paddock. The VIR race was no exception. In addition to the usual mix of E30s, Miatas and several Honda products, there were a few cars not typically seen on a road course. The most interesting was perhaps the Ford Galaxie 500 convertible. This might be the first time I have seen a Ford Land Yacht coming around the snake onto the short straight before turning up the hill. They were running the North Course so didn’t get to see if negotiate the climbing esses. Included in the show of older Detroit Iron, there was also a Chevy Nova (not the front wheel drive Toyota based variety, and a C-10 pickup truck. There were even two Ford Probes and a Nissan 300ZX that had their roofs removed to make them more aero dynamically efficient. And even a first generation Toyota MR2. Since I am partial to 80s and 90s German engineering, it was neat to see someone crazy enough to run an Audi V8, a Mercedes-Benz 190e, and two Porsche 944s. Variety certainly is the spice of life. So as always, ChumpCar put on a good show.

Also, it appears that a least one person out there actually reads what I write for the OG Racing Blog. I got a call last week from Steve Coleman. The same Steve Coleman I referenced in a blog post a few months ago about the Renault/Koni Cup. Glad to see that someone is reading my posts.

So as 2015 is coming to a close, all of us at OG Racing want to wish all of you Happy Holidays! See you at the track in 2016!

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Wine, Women, and Racing

Morais 1 Morais 2 Morais 3 Morais 4 morais 5 Morais 6 TB1 TB2 TB3 tb4 tb5 TB6 tb7 tb8 TB9 TB10 Tb11 TB12 Tb13 tb14 tb15The 2015 track season is winding down on the east coast (unless you live in one of the southern states. Racers always deal with the conundrum of how to keep their spouse or significant other happy so they can keep racing during the season. Some bring them to the track with them to watch and crew for them during a race weekend. That usually only goes so far. But, every now and then there is an event that the spouse or significant other will be happy to go to. There was one just such event recently at a local vineyard and winery in Bealeton, VA.

The Morais Vineyard & Winery opened in 2011 and its proprietor, Jose Morais is also a car guy. His son-in-law, Antonio Conceicao is a PCA member and club racer, so he thought why not have a social gathering, wine tasting, and invite all his PCA track and non-track friends out to Bealeton for some wine, music, BBQ, a car show, and bench racing. That’s exactly what he did on November 21. The weather was perfect and attendees were treated to a tour of the wine making facilities, and then headed over to the tasting room to sample their current offerings. It was a wonderful setting and even the racers significant others enjoyed themselves.

A few days later, it was back to Summit Point for me for the Turkey Bowl. Vintage Racer Group hosted the 19th Annual Turkey Bowl at Summit Point November 27-29. It’s a vintage racing event, but don’t worry, if you have a non-vintage race car you can still come out to play since they have a race group for you as well.

The Turkey Bowl is a fun race event since it’s the last race of the season and it attracts racers from many different sanctioning bodies like SCCA, PCA, BMWCCA, NASA, etc. It gives racers in the Mid Atlantic area one more race weekend before they put their cars away for the winter. It’s a relaxed environment, but the racing action is great and some interesting cars tend to show up. I was there Friday to work our trackside pro-shop, but did manage to make it out to snap some photos of the action. It’s been 12 years since I got to race at this event so I hope to be racing in it next year. If you are looking for a fun, laid back race weekend and want to squeeze one more in before the season wraps up, then put this one on your calendar for 2016. Hope to see you there!

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Spec Racing in the 1980s

Renault Cup 1 Reanult Cup 2 Renault Cup 3Lately it seems spec racing is all the rage. On the amateur level there is the ever popular Spec Miata. PCA Club Racing has Spec 911, Spec 996, Spec Boxster, and new for 2016, Spec Cayman. Both NASA and BMWCCA have their versions of Spec E30, E36 and Spec E46. And all these are just some of the Spec classes a grassroots racer can play in. On the professional level there is the GP2 Series, which is a stepping stone to Formula One. In sports car racing you have the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge where racers compete in “equally” prepared Porsche 991 and 997 Cup cars. Over the past few years there has also been the Prototype Challenge class in the Tudor United Sportscar Series and formerly in the America LeMans Series. I know there are a lot more spec series I haven’t mentioned, but I want to get to the point of this story before people start falling asleep.

While going through boxes of my belongings that spent the last 20+ years in my parents’ basement, I came across some of my old Car & Driver magazines. In the back of the October 1982 issues, I came across and interesting story about a spec series I had never heard of, the Renault/Koni Cup. A Google search turned up zero, zip, nada. So the only details I have are what I read in the article.

As some may remember, Renault brought the R5 to the U.S. market in 1976 as the “Le Car” to compete with other compact cars like the VW Rabbit and Honda Civic and they were sold through AMC (American Motor Company) dealerships. The Le Car was successful in SCCA racing is the SSC class. That led a racer named Steve Coleman to propose a low cost, one marque racing series to Renault USA Competition Director Baltasar Clar. The cars would be closely policed and few modifications outside of a bolt in roll cage, and racing harnesses would be allowed in order to keep costs down. At the time, Renault USA was asking Clar to come up with a way to promote the brand in the U.S. so the timing was right. Clar presented the idea for the Le Car Cup to management and Renault USA and Koni came on as sponsors. Clar’s plan promoted the dealers sponsoring and providing the cars, and supplying parts at cost. The dealers also paid the entry fees.

IMSA added the Le Car Cup to its calendar with races being run on the undercard for its Camel GT Series, which meant spectators in the seats. The series was highly successful since racers could race on the same weekends as the likes of John Fitzpatrick, Danny Ongais, Hurley Haywood, and Derek Bell. Fifty one Le Cars were on the grid for the inaugural race at Road Atlanta.

All allowable modifications to the car came in a single package. You got bigger torsion bars, sway bars, Koni dampers of course, a MOMO steering wheel and wheels, shaved Goodyear tires, harnesses, window net, a bolt in roll cage, and a fire extinguisher. There is no mention of a race seat, because drivers raced in the stock seat! And of course you got the requisite decals and driver’s patches as part of the package.

There was even prize money involved. The purse for each race was $8,000 and paid out for 1st through 20th place. An additional $1500 in contingency prizes was also part of the deal. The top six finishers in each race received points and at the end of the season, the top three finishers won and all expenses paid trip to France to compete in the European Renault Cup Finals.

So what happened to the series? Not sure since I couldn’t find anything online about it. The series probably closed down after 1983 when the Le Car was replaced in the U.S. market by the R11 (Renault Alliance). After reading the article, it sounds like it was a well attended and fun series, in a quirky French car. So if anyone bothering to read this post knows more about the Renault/Koni Cup, please share it with the rest of us. See you at the track.

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Helmets Off to Heroes on Veterans Day

Flag and Caterham HOTH 2 HOTH 3 BMWs HOTH Mustang HOTH V8 QuattroOn Veteran’s Day last week I was invited to instruct at a very special track event held on the Jefferson Circuit at Summit Point. Helmets Off to Heroes is an event for retired and current members of our Military organized by Miriam Schottland and her company Drive Lab. Miriam has been organizing and putting on this event for several years as a way to get our troops out to the track to have some fun and learn a few things about high performance driving. She pulls in instructors from many different car clubs, like PCA, NASA, BMWCCA, Audi Club, BSR etc.

We got things going early with tech opening at 7:15am. The drivers then had chalk talk in the classroom while final preparations were made for each of the exercises the drivers would be doing in the morning sessions before being turned loose on the track with their instructors after lunch. After their classroom session, the participants went through three stations, braking, skid pad, and a slalom exercise. There were a wide variety of cars on hand. Some notable ones were a hot rod Lotus Exige and Elise, a Dodge Challenger Hell Cat, a Hemi Charger, several BMW M3s, a Jaguar XF, XKF, an Audi Quattro Coupe that had a 4.2 V8 stuffed in it, and even a Volvo XC90 SUV.

After lunch, it was time to hit the track. After the instructors got to play while the troops got another briefing from Miriam, they turn some laps with their instructors in the right seat. Smiles were everywhere. My student Ryan was driving his daily driver Jaguar XF sedan. While the car was big and fast, its brakes were not too happy. That didn’t temper Ryan’s enthusiasm and he seems to be hooked since he was talking about getting a car more suited for track days. And his father, who came along to watch, was more than encouraging him! I think it is safe to say Ryan will be doing this again.

Once again Miriam put on a top notch event. Everyone there had a great time. The weather was perfect, smiles were abundant, and it was nice to give something back to the men and women of our armed forces. I love working this event, and was honored that Miriam invited me to instruct and show some of our soldiers a good time.

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