Showing posts from 2021

Eight post to NASA Speed News; finally, time to attack the track!

  Look closely at the photo above. That’s right; that’s me in the passenger seat right alongside Brian Kenny. The Kennys and the Holen-Buckle family spent many years together on road courses up and down the Pacific coast and on occasion a little further inland. If you don’t recognize the track or even the corner then no worries; if you haven’t experienced it first-hand it might be totally meaningless to you. However, this is the famous Corkscrew at Laguna Seca and Brian was gracious enough to first take me around this circuit to get a good look at its 11-turn layout before giving a similar ride to Margo. There are many ways to gain experience of a track and there’s nothing like circulating in a car that is being driven competently and with confidence. Back when this photo was taken, Brian was many levels of ability past that of mine (and no, I never did catch up to him) so there clearly was a fun factor involved for me! However, even without any experience on Laguna Seca per se bot

When it all goes wrong; but safe to say, we can say we are safe!

  Shattered windscreen; airbags deployed and still visible; not one panel left straight! It was just five weeks ago today, Sunday, when we said farewell to our beloved “L’il Pumpkin.” Yes, our orange Range Rover, two door Evoque convertible, was taken away. We watched it dragged up and onto a tow truck little realizing that we wouldn’t ever see the car again. Being hit in the rear while stationary on a highway, at 65 mph (who knows the g’s that were generated) and pushed into the SUV ahead of us, it wasn’t pretty. Throw in how all four airbags inflated (did you also know that four airbags come up at a replacement cost of approx. $15,000) and the subsequent frame and structural damage, it became a discussion about sorting out who pays what. That part of Interstate 25 (I25) just south of Windsor / Loveland has become essentially a concrete-lined tunnel of destruction. So many accidents over such a short period of time! The state of Colorado is into its fourth year of expansion projects

Seventh post to NASA Speed News: Watching others is educational.

There have been numerous occasions where I have been able to watch famous race car drivers in action. My very first taste of actual real world club racing occurred when a friend of mine and I trekked out to Sydney’s then only real racing circuit at Warwick Farm. Over the years it had been the site of the Australian Grand Prix as well as numerous rounds of the Tasman Series. What made this course an attraction for many was how many F1 drivers came down under during the European off-season to try their hand, competing with the locals. If Warwick Farm was my first taste, my interest grew considerably when I owned a track-worthy Torana SLR5000 and finagled my way onto Mt. Panorama the Sunday morning of the big race. The 1974 Hardie-Ferodo 1000 endurance race for off-the-showroom-floor “touring cars!” And yes, very quickly and out of sight of officials, my parade lap become a lot more than a Sunday drive through the mountains. Having the chance to sit by the fences throughout the race it

Crash! Boom! Bang! Yes, it happens to us all.

Absolutely a dominating performance to take the pole in Nashville How can we start out with anything less than reminiscing over what could have been at the inaugural Indy Car event through the streets of Nashville. Around the carpark of the NFL Titan’s football stadium, across the bridge, around a tight Nashville city triangle and back over the bridge! Margo and I have been following the Indy racing this year and haven’t missed one weekend watching practices, qualification as well as the races themselves. When you have almost-family members as full time Indy racer it brings with it just that added spice of excitement. Following a brief summer hiatus which we think had a lot to do with the Olympics being televised by the same network that covers Indy races, there were back-to-back races in Nashville and Indianapolis. A twisting and unforgiving street course in Nashville followed by a proper road course in Indianapolis. Before we cover the race at Indy, it’s worth revisiting the wee

Sixth post to NASA Speed News; seeing is believing!

  When I began developing short post for HPDE drivers that would appear in issues of the National Auto Sports Association (NASA) magazine, Speed News, I was under no illusion about my own skills. As someone entering the sport much later in life than most other participants, there was no easy way for me to play catch up. The focus had to remain on the basics as over time so many bad habits made themselves apparent each time I entered the track. Not to worry, I always said, I will figure it out. However, before any confidence could develop the most basic question had to be addressed. Could you see out of your car so that you knew exactly where you were headed? Physics play a big role in getting any car to perform on track. To this end nothing maters quite as much as getting the center of gravity as low as possible; being top heavy is no way to approach any corner. On the other hand, sitting so low that you cannot see the front corners of your car isn’t going to add to your weekend’s en

Breaking life’s gifts down to fit a well-known expression.

What I look at day-in, day-out; memory from driving tail of the dragon It is time to pause for a moment and step back from my daily routine. For more than a decade I have been writing posts, articles and commentaries for some really good clients. As I prepare to write I am always looking out for something to anchor a story line as it is important to grab a reader’s attention quickly. This time, the impetus for this story line came from an unexpected source and it was a reminder of just how readily life’s little adventures can be broken down to fit into a finite set of categories. Call it the unfair advantage if you like as having an ear for something different and perhaps a little off-track has been a part of my daily routine for all of this past decade. Watching a popular television series, it was in preparation for a wedding where once again we were reminded of the old adage – something old, something new; something borrowed something blue. While it is about the inclusion of item