DRAGON 7 HILLCLIMB – A Weekend to Remember!

SCCA’s Central Carolina Region hosted another great event in Robbinsville at the 7th Chasing the Dragon Hillclimb presented by TOYO!  Although weather played a role in keeping our drivers from records being set, the competition was close in many classes. Over 2400 spectators came to watch the event and enjoy hamburgers, BBQ and funnelcakes  while watching cars and drivers compete for trophies and cash on the 2.2 mile course. The range of cars went from rally cars, a vintage MGA, Porsche GT3 RSR , Evo, Ariel Atom, Brunton Staker, FFR Daytonas, chump cars and many street prepped cars. We had great attendance of drivers along with many first timers at our hill. We also welcomed back Cory Friedman, our current overall record holder and the first winner of the Dragonslayer sword at the very first Dragon Hillclimb in 2011.

The event began earlier in the week with Ted Theodore, George Bowland and others that came to prep the hill, cleaning, mowing and weed-eating the worker and spectators areas. Hay bales were wrapped in white plastic and placed along the course. We owe a big thanks to all who came, worked, towed trailers and helped set up and take down the mountain. Rolling out 2 miles of wire from the back of a truck is a lot of work but necessary for timing and scoring. The hardest part is at the end of day Sunday, rolling it all back up! (Thanks Scott Sipler for staying and helping). Friday, registration was held downtown at The Hub before drivers took their places in the paddock and set up for the weekend. First timers on the hill met Friday night at Microtel to go over the course, the danger areas, protocols and event flow with an instructor and mentors.

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Saturday morning went smoothly with our Launch tire and dragon in the air and course green. The damp course was a challenge for our drivers and some did get bit by the dragon. The saying “Saturday is for wreckers and Sunday is for checkers” is never more true than at a hillclimb! In spite of the occasional rain, the competition heated up in many classes and put on a great show for our spectators and course workers. We were honored to have Area 12 Director Tere Pulliam running her first hillclimb in a CSP Miata! Thanks to her and her husband Larry for coming and running with us! I suspect we will see them on the hill next year in THEIR car! We were also pleased to have Thach take a run up the mountain again in Elvira. Thach is a NC Highway Patrolman who is well known in the area… and if we can get him a car, whatever class he is in will have a new contender!

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The Saturday night dinner at the Huddle House was enjoyed by workers and drivers. Steak night has now become Steak AND Hat night with prizes for best hats.

Sunday was some slight rain on and off during the day and the course never did completely dry out. While this made record setting runs impossible, it created extra challenge in the competition to get the most out of their cars while making safe runs. Our drivers did a fine job and the crowd cheered on our drivers with cowbells. The younger spectators had plenty to do meeting drivers, getting autographs and playing with dragons! One driver who hoped to make this year’s hillclimb had started a car build specifically for this event and tracked his progress through a blog. He was unable to chase away all the gremlins and decided to leave his car home and come watch. One of our drivers, Rocco Bocchiccio offered his BMW to allow Perry Boykin to make his dream of a hillclimb run! THIS is the sportsmanship and fun we see all see and enjoy! You can expect Perry and his wife, Jamie will be joining us at Dragon 8 in their own car! Another driver and long time hillclimber, Ray Cockerel from Black Mountain, NC began a build of his F500 well over a year ago. He completed the car and with support from his wife Sheila was able to debut his car at the Dragon! We look forward to having Sheila back running with us next year. Another driver, Roy Erickson, bought a Miata 2 years ago with the dream of building it up specifically for time trial and hillclimb. His car known as Breester was finished a week before the event and he fulfilled his goal of competing. Two other drivers Nate Wimbrow and Bill Hightower were co-driving Nate’s  Spec Miata and had the differential pop on their first run on Saturday. This was disappointing as Nate brought family down from New Hampshire just to run this event. A few phone calls later, Henry and Joe Bryan Payne with HP Motors in Pelzer, SC  offered their ITA Miata  on loan to Nate. Nate spent all day Saturday taking his car back to Greenville, picking up the ITA so he could run Sunday! All went well with their Sunday runs and the weekend was not lost. Thanks to Joe Bryan and Henry for their help!

At the close of the event, we brought our drivers, crews, event staff and many spectators that stayed for the trophy presentation. Tabitha arranged for Miss Black Knight to assist our Dragon (Julius Binninger) with awarding the trophies and money! There were too many outstanding drives : First timer Ned Neuhaus did amazingly well in his Brunton Stalker. Matt Brandenburg and Sebastian Kokoszka in their first run at the Dragon were fearless in their rally cars! Gage Gregory is always fast on the edge in his car… another great run! Another first time, Allen Skillcorn in the LeGrand DSR was 3rd overall in his first event! Cameron Lane with a 4th place was hoping for a better finish but 4th overall is excellent. With some new findings after the event, Cameron may have found a little some extra to show up with at the Dragon 8!  George Bowland, Robert Martai and Robert McManus finished in 5th, 6th and 7th with awesome runs especially considering the weather. In the end, no ladies were close to Vicki Lanning Eckerich as she captured ANOTHER Dragonslayer sword for Queen of the Hill. For King of the Hill, it was Heikki Rinta-Koski  in his Locost 7 and Cory Friedman in his Porsche GT3 RSR. Both turned in incredibly fast runs on the damp course… with Heikki turning in a 117.510 (just a second slower than his best time ever) and Cory running a 116.487. Cory took the King of the Hill honors for the second time and now is the owner of TWO Dragonslayer swords. Heikki owns six swords and will be back in the Spring, ready to do battle with the Dragon again!

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We owe many thanks to our sponsors, TOYO Tires, Appalachian Tire, Greg and The Hub, Brent and Shelly Hyperformance, Grassroots Motorsports, Darryl and Lori of Killboy.com, HeadHeldHigh.com, Tabitha, Steven, Meghan, Jessica and Nikita  from Graham County Travel & Tourism. Also thanks to our event staff, Don Drennon and his F&C workers, Rich and his Timing and Scoring Staff (Eric, Nancy, Lea, Julius). Thanks to Mark Wall who sweated away all weekend to be our on course Sasquatch! Rick Mitchell, Lance, Barbara, Robert, our grid/starters and stewards did an awesome job! A Special thanks to Mark Eversoll … excellent job on communications and control. Steve Eckerich in the CCR Board members who all stepped up to help! AND a thanks to all the first time workers like Jaime and Amanda Honeycutt. We appreciate greatly the sponsors and support from Graham County : Tabitha with Travel & Tourism, Terinda and Charlie with US Forest Services, NC. DOT, Juanita at GC Transit, Matt and Amanda at  Huddle House and Lary and the Graham County EMS and Rescue Squad. Thank you ALL for your help and support! We will see you again in the Spring when we wake the Dragon for Dragon 8!      FULL RESULTS :   chasing the dragon 7_fin_ chasing the dragon 7_raw_

CCR Memorial Monster PDX and Time Trial – Hot, Fun and FAST!

 

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Great thanks to SCCA Central Carolinas Region for a GREAT SEDIV TT event Memorial Day, May 26th at Carolina Motorsports Park! 

The Time Trial event ran smoothly aside from a 15 pound turtle that decided to use a turn for a crosswalk. Fortunately, it made it’s way across between cars.

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PDX event was well attended and participants received quality instruction as well as plenty of seat time on the East Course. It was great to have several new drivers with us – Ryan Rose, Robbie Sellers, William Wallace, Kawin Laukaikul and others! We appreciate the instructors who volunteered their time to help!

 

 

 

Also  – GREAT to see Stan Vann back running Time Trials in his  Caldwell D9. He took FTD with a lap at 56.369. Congrats!

Thanks to attendees who drove and event staff that worked hard to make this event happen. MOST of them worked Friday night, Saturday and Sunday for the Memorial Monster Road race event. Great job! Special thanks to Event Chair – Brian Gause, Safety Steward – Tony Wentworth and Chief Driving Instructor – Robert McManus.

Official times will be posted soon but here is an early copy. Top Five  OVERALL were :  Stan Vann, Robert McManus, Lars Lattstron, Eric Cline and Scott Sipler.

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Registration OPEN for Road Atlanta Time Trial / PDX!

 

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MAY 17 & 18 – SEDIV Time Trial Championship Event 

This is a GREAT time to help someone else get started in Time Trials! INVITE A FRIEND!

Remember :

1. We DO accept licenses from other racing organizations.

2. We DO allow drivers to run on Novice Licenses for most Level 3 events (See Supps for each individual event).

3. We DO have 12 complete sets of Nomex gear from the SECOND GEAR PROGRAM you can borrow at no charge for SCCA events. Everything you need but a helmet (balaclava, socks, 3 layer suit or single layer with nomex underwear, gloves, arm restraints, some shoes).

Sign up and help someone else get started at THIS event! See you at Road Atlanta!

 REGISTER HERE!    http://www.motorsportreg.com/events/2014-may-secs-ecr-tt-pdx-road-atlanta-scca-club-racing-847063?fb_action_ids=757057364338991&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_ref=.U1-6d_4bzRQ.like&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582#.U1-614FdVLV

RoadAtlanta

NEW TIME TRIAL RULES for 2014

 2014  PDX / CT Driver Rules        

2014 TT/ HC Driver Rules

2014 Time Trial Organizational Rules

FASTRACK has published the SCCA Board of Directors approved 2014 Time Trial Rules with an immediate effectivity.  Although published on the SCCA website as a 2013 revised edition, they will be good for 2014 as well.

The new 2014 Time Trial Rules were developed by the TTAC under a tasking from the SCCA BOD to not only revise the current PDX rule set but to go well beyond that.  The current set of convoluted rice bowls were to be broken by first determining what was essential for safety and then making the new rules simple, easy to understand, and easy to execute.  That SCCA is in competition with numerous other “for profit” organizations who also run HPDEs is a fact.  The TTAC took the opportunity to retool all of the 2013 TTR be itPDX,CT, TT or HC.  Make it simple, keep it safe, make it fun.  Remove the current Barriers to Entry.

What you will see is a radical shift from what was before.  Previously, DX/CT/TT/HC drivers had to wade thru the individual PDX/CT/TT/HC TTR in order to find what might pertain to them.  But could the driver actually find and understand everything he needed to know?  Our experience was it was difficult at best.  Many perspective and current TT drivers got confused and asked for help.  The TTAC questioned every current TTR statement and/or requirement as to its basis and necessity.  In this critical review, the TTAC found many “requirements” in the TTR that were said to have been required by Insurance or some other SCCA dictum.  When researched and questioned, the TTAC found that most of these “myths” had been handed down for generations in the various SOLO I, TTR, and/or GCR versions but that there was no current basis of fact for the assumption that they were the “gospel”.  TTAC worked with the SCCA insurance people and the Underwriter as well as the BOD to determine the true insurance requirements.

The new TTR consists of two basic groups:  Driver Information (i.e., Driver’s Manuals) and Operational Information.  The Driver’s Manuals are meant to provide what the driver needs to know to prepare themselves and their cars for a TT event.  They are solely focused on achieving that and making it simple for the driver.  The TTAC found that PDX (Level 1) and Club Trials (Level 2) were very similar as were Track Trials (Level 3) and Hill Climbs (Level 4) in what they required of the driver.  Thus there is a combined PDX/CT Driver’s Manual and a combined TT/HC Driver’s Manual.  Drivers do not necessarily need to know nor do they want to how a Time Trials event is organized and run.  The Operational Information is one document that covers all TT Levels and is meant to provide the Region organizers with the information they need to know to run a safe TT event.  Driver requirements are not repeated in the Operational Information since the three TTR documents are meant to be complementary.

In the new rules, leeway is designed in such that Regions can insert specific requirements into their Supps as needed.  Similarly, Regions will have more responsibility for determining what is needed for the safe conduct of their event.  Certainly, safety must be everyone’s main concern but it is recognized that individual Regions across the country may have different perspectives.  For instance, some tracks have unique requirements and these can be reflected in the Supps.  Other than sharing common elements (i.e., point-bys), one set of passing rules can not be applicable to every venue.  Thus, passing rules unique to each venue should be put in the Supps.  There are some requirements that are mandatory (the usual “shall” or “must”).  There is also a lot of guidance (the usual “should” or “may”).  The old standard of “If it is not specifically authorized, you cannot do it” has changed.

We hope that as drivers and Regions read the new TTR they will see that the rules are safe, simple, and easier to understand.  The TTAC expects that most drivers/organizers will embrace them while some may not feel comfortable with the new rules.  Some things may need more explanation or new guidance added.  As usual, we solicit constructive criticism and comment.  Every TTAC Representative is available to answer questions as needed.

 

Craig Farr

SEDIV TTAC Representative

SEDIV TT Committee

farrout@knology.net

 

TGPR No Frills Time Trial – Great to be back on that Track!

Thanks to Craig Farr, Mark Rothermel, Spike , Brett, Steve, Paul and many TVR and Alabama Region members who worked to make this event happen!

Congratulations to our PDX particpants  and drivers! Also, a big thanks to all the workers who made the event possible! GREAT JOB BY ALL!

Great weekend of racing and the end to the 2013 SCCA SEDIV Time Trial Championship Series!

Results here :    SATURDAY    SUNDAY

 

 

 

TGPR – No Frills Time Trial Cold but WORTH IT!

TVR and Alabama Regions held the second “No Frills” fall TT/PDX at Talladega Grand Prix Raceway in Munford Alabama on October 27-28.  TGPR is a 1.4 mile motorcycle track that is fast and flowing.  It is  a fantastic facility for TT and PDX.

 Brett Whisenant served as Chief Instructor and ran a widely acclaimed PDX instruction.  Ted Theodore ran the TT Novice School for the TT Novices who were looking to qualify for their full TT License (and all did).  At the close of each day, the drivers manned the corner stations so that the workers could get track time.

 Although we were threatened by Sandy, the weekend was dry if a bit blustery with temps in the mid 50’s.  Thirty drivers posted TT times and 18 ran the PDX.  Despite the cool temperatures and overcast conditions, several new track records were set.  Several  drivers beat their previous best time as well.

 New TGPR Track Records

Craig Farr – DSR – 1:00.771

Bruce Funderberg – SRF – 1:09.056

Michael Garoust – SSP – 1:09.107

Leon Drake – SU – 1:09.354

Ken Owens – EP – 1:11.738

Thomas Dyer – SM – 1:12.827

John Barnett – FSP – 1:16.388

 One of the features was the “Runoffs Roulette”.  Drivers paid a small entry fee to run 4 hot laps after lunch on Sunday.  The closest to their previous best time recorded was declared the winner.  Andy Tow walked away with the pot this year.

 Pictures below from www.thesoutherndriver.com

Article from www.thesoutherndriver.com

 

Chasing the Dragon III date change for August event

SCCA CCR has advised us they will run the June 23-24 hillclimb event as planned  and registration opens this week. The August 4-5 date had to be changed due to scheduling problems at the site.

The CHASING THE DRAGON III hillclimb will be run on September 29 and 30th! With cool temperatures and leaves changing, it should be a great event! See you at the Dragon!

SCCA TGPR Time Trial – Great Racing in Alabama

Article By:  Craig Farr, Event Chairman

 Tennessee Valley and Alabama Regions combined to put on their Annual Time Trials Track Trials event and School at Talladega Grand Prix Raceway in Munford, AL on April 14-15, 2012.  Simply put, WHAT A FANTASTIC WEEKEND!

First, we had 59 TT drivers which is the best ever at TGPR and the highest TT driver count of any SEDIV championship event in the last 6 years (or at least as far back as I have records).  There were a few others who were there but could not get their cars out on track or the number would have been higher.

Second, we had 15 TT Students which is another high water mark for the TT School.  There were even a few more potential TT Students who could not finish their car preparations in time.

Third, we had a full group of PDX drivers each day which is another significant increase.  One of the inducements was for a driver to work a day and get a PDX day for the low fee of $100.

Fourth, Racer Parts Wholesale was our sponsor and provided tire gauges, shirts, decals, gift certificates and other goodies to the workers and participants.  The RPW support was definitely appreciated.

I could mention the weather which featured lows in the 50’s, highs in the 80’s and enough cloud cover to make everyone feel just great.  I could also mention the 11 new TGPR TT Track records that were set by Clint McMahan (F600), Steve Conrad (FF), Dave Cutchins (FS), Mike Chandler (FV), Robby Boyett (GTA), Butch Kummer (GT1), Joe Armstrong (ITO), Bobby Bitterman (ITR), Joe Clayburn (Spec Miata), Michael Garoust (SSP), and Leon Drake (SU).  Everyone had the opportunity for over 2 hours of on track time.  Even the workers had 30 minute lap sessions at the end of each day with the drivers manning the corner stations.

A new feature and a highlight of the weekend was the Run-off Roulette that we ran on Sunday.  The drivers were grouped by car type/speed and each got a warm-up lap and 4 hot laps to record a time.  This was a bracket competition where the First, Second and Third Place winners were those who recorded a time that was closest (+/-) to their previous best time on track.  Each of the 23 drivers entered by throwing $10 into the Prize Pot and the event sweetened that pot some more.  The winner was John Waight at a scant margin of 0.012 seconds off his best time.  That is no more than a sneeze.  Bryon Webb (0.199) and Richard Pannell (0.420) were close behind him to capture their share of the pot.

There were many people who put in a lot of time to make this event a success.  Without the weekend workers and the people who did the pre-event work, we would not have had a success.  Without trying to name everyone (and apologies to those I forget), I have to thank Eden Powell, Steve Conrad, Rich Crowell, Mark Rothermel, Ricky Ragan, John Waight, Sara and Chaistit Tongsuvone, Mark Kilgore, George Bugg, Jim & Diane Eckert, Chuck and Suzette Schultz, Clyde Bales, Spike Pannell and many others.  Ted Theodore could not get his Special running in time so he brings his CSP Miata and IT7 cars so 3 drivers could compete.  Ted also provided special gifts for the workers.  Jim Eckert did sound on both sides of the track so the drivers could see how they would fare against the stricter Atlanta Motorsports Park sound restrictions.  Then there are the many drivers who made the trek to middle Alabama for the event.  Without both the drivers and the workers, there could not be an event.  THANX DRIVERS AND WORKERS

What a way to start the 2012 SEDIV Time Trials Championship season!

 

SCCA Time Trial Licensing – Here’s How!

How does a person obtain a license to compete in SEDIV Track Trials (Level 3) and Hill Climbs (Level 4)?  The easy way out would be to tell you to go to www.scca.com and figure it out.  It is all there but sometimes it is easier to understand if someone distills it down to simple steps.  Everything I say herein is related to Track Trials (Level 3) and Hill Climbs (Level 4) and not necessarily to Level 1 (PDX) and Level 2 (Club Trials) which do not require a SCCA TT permit.

 1. SCCA MEMBERSHIP: You must be a SCCA member to compete in Time Trials (TT).  You can be a regular full time member or use one of the Weekend Memberships that are available.  SCCA would like us to charge $15 for a Weekend Membership but it can defray the cost of a regular membership when you join.

2.LICENSES ACCEPTED:  If you have a SCCA Regional, National, Professional, Vintage, Novice Competition License or a Canadian ASN-FIA License, they are sufficient for racing in Time Trials.  If you have a road race license from a recognized racing organization (BMWCCA, POC, NASA, Rally America, etc), it is usually sufficient for Time Trials.  The other licenses are permitted will be specified in the event Supplemental Regulations (Supps).  SCCA membership (i.e., weekend membership) is still required.  SCCA licenses are often recognized by other racing groups.

3.NOVICE TT PERMIT:  Other than the above, step one would to obtain a Novice Time Trials permit.  The permit application form and medical forms can be found the websites below.  The cost of the permit is $35 and the only medical information required is a self certification of your medical history.  No doctor’s exam is necessary at this point unless you have some special medical condition and SCCA will let you know that when they review your application.  You can then race using the Novice TT permit.  Some events are set up such that the Chief Steward can issue TT Novice credentials at the event itself.  Contact the particular event chairman.  Finish 3 flat track events (Level 3) without incident, have the Chief Steward of each event sign off on your Novice Permit Book, and you can then apply for your full TT permit (see Step 6).

4. HAVE TRACK EXPERIENCE?:  Alternatives to the novice TT permit route do exist.  If you are a former competition (race, TT, etc.) license holder or have significant track experience, that can be used to grant you a full TT permit without going thru the Novice permit stage.  There are a few officials (TTAC representatives, Divisional Administrator, Chief Stewards, certain Regional Executives, etc.) within SEDIV who can sign off on your full TT permit application.

5. SEDIV TT SCHOOL:  Another alternative is somewhat unique to SEDIV.  SEDIV holds a TT School at the spring event held at Talladega Gran Prix Raceway each year.  At the school, you are provided with instruction on flags, safety, passing, and track awareness and observed by a TT instructor/mentor assigned to you.  You will be driving on track with fully licensed TT drivers and other students.  If at the end of the weekend, you have performed satisfactorily, a full TT permit application can be signed off for you.  The question to be answered by each instructor/mentor is this: “Do I want to be on the track at speed alongside this driver?”  I can truthfully say that not everyone passes the TT School – it is not automatic.

6. FULL TT PERMIT:  Applying for the full TT license is rather simple.  The permit application form is the same either for a Novice or Full TT permit.  If you have gone thru the Step 4 or Step 5 process, the form will be signed in the middle “Upgrades” section by an authorized individual and can be used for the full TT permit application.  For the full TT permit, you will have to go thru the complete medical forms consisting of your self evaluation and a doctor’s evaluation.  The cost of the full license application is $35.  If you have already applied for a TT Novice permit and apply for the full License within 90 days of the Novice permit application, then there is no additional charge.

7. NOTE: You do need to have a State driver’s license.  If you are under 18, then the usual Minor Waiver signed by your parents has to be provided as well.  This is true for either the Novice or full TT permit.

SPECIAL NOTE:  Anytime you send applications or forms or participation books to SCCA remember to make a copy first.  Reason #1 is in case they get misplaced/lost.  Reason #2 is that while you are waiting for SCCA to send you a new membership card, you can use the copy as proof of your license level.

TT Permit Application Form:  http://scca.cdn.racersites.com/prod/Documents/Club%20Forms/form-tt-ttnovice.pdf

Medical Forms:  http://scca.cdn.racersites.com/prod/assets/Physical.pdf

All of the above presupposes that you have a TT ready car and the necessary personal safety gear.  Have any questions?  Feel free to contact me, Craig Farr, at farrout@knology.net

Article by Craig Farr – SCCA SEDIV TT Committee Member and TTAC Representative


			
		
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