Road America, Quick Summary, Two 4th Place Finishes!

Short Summary…

Fly in Thursday Morning

~ Set up pits in pouring rain and lighting hitting around the track, waiving metal canopy poles around with Ian and Dennis, giggling like an idiot the whole time. Go back to hotel
~ Run into liquor store when tornado sirens go off
~ Run back to hotel with beer and drink (lots)

Friday (the 13th)

~ No practice all day as there was TORNADO AND STORM damage to the race track that had to be repaired.
~ Lots of poo-talking and bench racing between all the teams all day. Got to know all the East-Coasters.
~ Crazy old farmer who’s been racing cars for years gives us laps around the track for fun and points out the ‘fast line’ using one of the Road America trucks. This was fun.


~ Two short practice sessions where we find out they spray the surface of RA with Pam before each race… slippery is an understatement. Sarah is, “Fast and Furious Wisconsin Drift”. Very first time out out going into turn two she’s in early and hot, and now we’re out on the rumble strips sliding around, and I’m on the back laughing my ass off trying to keep it down for her. We get back out on the straight and I reach up and pat her back, letting her know I’m still with us.

~ Oliver blows a motor in practice… with 30 more minutes he would have had his spare bolted in and read to go for the race… toe to toe with Frank

~ Race goes off without a hitch, RA is a fast track, Fourth place F1 finish.

~ Frank takes the win and laps us right at the very end. We catch the checkers behind him hard on the power… confusing AHRMA who award us 2nd place (sweet). They even hand us the trophies at the awards ceremony, which we then make a little announcement about the easiest way to catch 2nd is to let the leader lap you just out of sight before the checkers and come in right behind him… We then hand the wood to the true 2nd place F1 winners.

~ Frank then flys out of Chicago that evening since he gets the page that his wife has gone into labor. We then get up to the minute SMS updates from Frank from that point out.


~ AHRMA gives us one practice session before racing, things feel much better.

~ We find out the violent tankslappers we’ve been experiencing coming down hard on the brakes into 5 are not geometry or suspension issues but the goofball on the back setting up and hanging out for the left way too early causing a pendulum effect upsetting the entire chassis. Sadly this means no more exciting rodeo action for the race fans in turn 5 as BCR comes in fishtailing chair in the air off onto the rumbles and nearly the grass every lap.

~ With some coaching from Dennis, goofball sits center chair behind the driver for all hard braking lefts till the last possible second before turn in before getting out, and suddenly like magic everything is butter and all traces of headshake vanish. Go figure. Sarah gets her Fogarty stare back.

~ Race goes off without a hitch. Oliver’s new motor is in, he looked good in practice, and again… just hammers it. Ian waves from the tuck as they go by, Oliver swoops over tight on us as he passes on the front straight to make it look good for the crowd. =D

~ We were keeping up on the tail of the wily Brits on 007 the first two laps during the race since we knew in practice we could catch and out pace them in the morning practice. But it wasn’t meant to be, we shot our proverbial load pacing them to watch their lines and them making the pass and pulling away, burning up our reserves for the race. Rather than risk throwing it away Sarah ran her pace and we just enjoyed being out on the track, getting it loose in the corners, stretching the CSR’s legs with top speed runs, getting the chair up in the air over lefts, and enjoying the blur of the Wisconsin countryside at triple digits while trailing 007. Our last time out on the track, might as well have some fun =D

~ We get in another 4th place F1 finish, and bring the gear home intact ready for Reno/Fernley Superside/AMA in two months.

~ Frank gets a 5.5 pound girl sidecar racer, Congrats Frank… A baby on Fathers Day!

There’s lots more about Sarah’s trips onto the rumble strips, getting sideways, or hitting speeds so fast down the straights that the vacuum created behind the intake scoop with my helmet tucked behind it made it hard to suck in breath. But that’s for another time.

Needless to say, the trip to RA was a great learning experience for the both of us, and we’re happy with two 4ths in F1. I’ll never be afraid of Sarah breaking the rig loose or getting in hot or sideways, or running right out to the ragged edge of the track. This girl had my butt in the grass clipping apexes like a pro by Sunday. I’m proud of her. Thanks to the East Coast SRA for being a cool bunch of folk, and see you next year!

Road America is a Beast.

Sarah & Mike

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