A Cup Car in Sprint Cup Land

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The tale of how a NNJR PCA guy and die-hard road racing fan found himself surrounded by thousands of NASCAR fans, and lived to tell about it.

             This adventure started with a message from fellow NNJR instructor Scott Lynn: “Let’s have lunch.” Great idea. I knew that Scott had been working on starting his new charity for the benefit of amateurs who are injured in motorsports activities, and I am interested in hearing how that is going. Turns out that Scott had been invited on short notice to set up a trailer at the June Pocono 400 event to introduce the Motorsport Rehabilitation Foundation to NASCAR fans. Really cool. Let me know if you need any help…

            As a draw for fans, Scott and co-founder Michele Randall had the idea to display a vintage stock car racer associated with the old Flemington track. Great idea!

            A day later – Thursday – my phone rang. “We need to be at Pocono tomorrow afternoon and the race car deal fell through. We need something else to draw fans to our tent. Any chance you could bring your Cup Car?” “Sure, but it’s a Porsche, it has nothing to do with NASCAR.” A check with Pocono confirmed that this was indeed a “Chevrolet Event,” no other cars welcome. But “Oh wait, it’s a race car? No problem.” What had I just gotten myself into? 

Rolex 50th Anniversary 24 Hours at Daytona OR… 12 Hours of Sebring 60th Anniversary which event to attend?

 

As a prelude to the scheduled June 13, 2012 NNJR Feature Program, President Craig suggested the preparation of this P4US article, which offers a glimpse of the upcoming PowerPoint presentation with photos taken at Daytona and later Sebring, and will include:

a bit of Daytona Rolex 24 Hour & Sebring 12 Hour history

plus Daytona & Sebring track facts

race coverage itself including special Speed Insider Ticket credentials, along with PCA hospitality areas

photos highlighting the special Daytona Champions Display of 29 past winning 24-Hour cars, as well as coverage of the Sebring Museum which also featured past winning 12-Hour cars along with historic drivers on site for autographs

pictures of garage and pit areas

Having never been to either event, the trip was conceptualized by reading one of cult writer BS Levy’s novels – Montezuma’s Ferrari, which included colorful coverage of the 1953 12 Hours at Sebring. If you are not familiar with BS Levy – or his first novel – The Last Open Road, but have an interest in the birth of “sportycar” racing in the USA, do yourself a favor and pickup a copy. Fact is fellow NNJR member Mike Scott provided the referral, which has grown to a 5 novel series by this Jersey-centric writer.

Inspired by the read, Sebring and its 60th Anniversary of the 12 Hours was penciled into my March calendar. Well, NNJR – as you may have observed, has a lot of resources amongst its membership, and while attending the local C&C display in Chatham, I ran my Sebring plan by DE-enthusiasts Ken Ernsting and George Calfo who tactfully suggested that considering I had not been to either Sebring nor Daytona – and this January marked the 50th Anniversary of the 24 Hour Daytona, it may be an advantage to instead begin at Daytona, which had all the promise to be another big-time event.

 

Getting Racy – Club Racing May 2012

 

The 2012 Club Race season is underway and a number of our members have had some good and bad luck so far. We had several NNJR members go down to Sebring and do quite well. This past weekend was Road Atlanta and we had our same crew as last year make the trek – Craig Mahon, Greg Mills, Ken Ernsting and myself. The weather was a big worry for us as last year we were welcomed by torrential down pours. This year the weather forecast for Friday was 60% chance of thunderstorms, but I guess we caught a break and the day was fantastic, sunny with temperatures in the mid 70’s. Friday was the practice day. Craig came down a day earlier for the Test and Tune and was feeling pretty good about the track. It is kind of tough getting quickly up to speed on a track that you drive only once a year, but after a few runs you get that warm feeling when all the corners fall into place.

Racing at Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV – Mazda Raceway – Laguna Seca

Dave Roberts is a member of PCA and has been a DE Instructor and Club Racing enthusiast for many years. As the Chairman and President/CEO of Carlisle Companies, a global diversified company that owns, among other companies, Hawk Performance and Cragar Wheels, Dave has the perfect job for a real car guy. His Porsche stable includes a 997 GT3 RS, Boxster S and a 944 Turbo Club Sport which he campaigns in vintage and Porsche Club Racing.  A car guy with eclectic tastes, he has a replica of the Penske/Donohue ’69 Trans-Am Championship – winning car (featured in the November 2011 issue of Chevy High Performance) that he also races. He owns the Hawk World Challenge Corvette, as well as a low-mileage 1990 ZR1 Corvette.
Ken Ernsting

PCA Club Race at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Raff Keeps His Cool

This event was held as a support race to the Grand-Am American Red Cross 250. For the second year in a row, record high temperatures at New Jersey Motorsports Park could not keep the best Club Racers from the northeast regions of the Porsche Club of America away from the tarmac. This group of 43 fervid PCA drivers came to compete on the same road course with professional and gentlemen drivers in the Grand-Am Rolex Race Series, each gathered with the goal of conquering the narrow 2.25 mile undulating course which is super slick in extreme temperatures. With ambient air temperatures in excess of 98 degrees Fahrenheit, track temps can reach 130 F and in-car temperatures have been recorded at over 150 F. Having the ability to keep the car on track in severe heat conditions would be minor in comparison to the body’s ability to withstand extreme heat as well. Thankfully, the Club Racers would only have to endure six 30 minute on-track sessions spread over three days.