Hitting Apexes……. April 2014

But wait, I heard that NJMP is opening their track on March 15 and PCA Schattenbaum is having a DE on March 22. Full Disclosure here: I have attended their March DE for the past 3 years to kick off my personal DE Season. Three years ago it was 72F, then 62F two years ago and 49F last year. I am praying it will not be 35F this year!! Forecast does say it will be 55F and I am sticking with that thought.
January and February have actually been pretty busy for the NNJR DE Program. We held our Intro to High Performance driving in January and our Instructor/Driver seminar in February which featured Bryan Sellers. These seminars are not to be missed so if you could not make the 2014 seminars, do plan to attend our 2015 seminars. Nonetheless, here are a few driving tips that Bryan shared with us that are easy to remember and very helpful:
1. Vision: If you feel things are happening too quickly on the track and you feel that you are behind, look up (stop looking at the hood of your car) and ahead. This will help “slow things down” as everything is not coming at you so quickly and allows you to be one step ahead of the brake zone and the turn-in point.
2. Learn how to adapt to different situations by going to AutoX events (yes, he did say this!!) and Car Control Clinics. This builds a skill base and confidence. He also said, drive in the rain. You will need to slow everything down and you will have plenty of opportunity to learn about smoooooothness and the line.
3. Warm up and Cool Down laps are the best time for learning. You can take your time to see the flag stations, the braking zones and to pick out turn-in points. You get to drive a perfect line without any pressure and worries about passing.
Before I cover our upcoming events, when you are at your next event, please take notice of a couple of things for 2014.
#1: Powertech has graciously agreed to be a sponsor of our driver colored wrist bands for 2014. Be sure to say hello to the Powertech gang the next time you see them as they are at every event either driving, instructing or helping someone out.
#2: Precision Motorsports has graciously agreed to be the sponsor of our new New Driver – Event Information Welcome Tent and free cold water. Please stop by and welcome our new drivers and help yourself to a cold bottle of water.
By the time you read this, we will just be heading out to our first DE of the season which is April 9-10 at Lime Rock and then comes our Advanced/Instructor DE at Lightning/Thunderbolt on April 28-29. May features a fantastic DE at the famous Mid Ohio racetrack which is clearly a favorite of many including yours truly. Last month I wrote about the history of Lime Rock so I saw it fitting to tell you about Mid Ohio.
Often called the most competitive road course in the United States, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is a permanent road circuit set in the rolling hills of Lexington, Ohio. Located nearly equidistant from Cleveland and Columbus, near Mansfield, the grounds have been said to look like a country club than a racetrack in deference to its lush green grass, beautiful trees and exceptional amenities. With two challenging track configurations – 2.25-mile, 13 turns and 2.4-mile, 15 turns – the circuit has earned its reputation over fifty years of great racing among many of motorsport’s legendary competitors.
Built in 1962 by Les Griebling as a location for weekend sports car racing, the track was purchased in 1981 by the late Jim Trueman, founder of Red Roof Inns. Under his direction, the track underwent major renovations, including the addition of grandstand seats and amphitheater-style seating, garages, several buildings such as the iconic Goodyear Tower and a redesigned paddock area.
Trueman’s wife Barbara and daughter Michelle undertook management of the facility in 1986, continuing track improvements throughout the decade with the resurfacing and widening of the entire course, as well as the addition of safety enhancements such as tire, guardrail, sand and cement barriers, spectator and debris fencing and gravel runoff areas. Further improvements implemented included the expansion of the Honda Communications Building and construction of the Goodyear Bridge.
In 1989, Michelle Trueman Gajoch was named president of the facility and oversaw all day-to-day operations of the circuit until 2011. It was then, when Kim Green and Kevin Savoree, principals of Green Savoree Racing Promotions, purchased Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and the Mid-Ohio School. The pair has worked together since 1993 as team owners in CART and the IZOD IndyCar Series, winning four championships and three Indianapolis 500s. They also own and promote two street races on the IZOD IndyCar Series Schedule, the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg and the Honda Indy Toronto.
In keeping with its reputation as ‘the most competitive road course in the United States’, the track underwent extensive capital improvements during the 2006 off-season. The track and pit lane were completely resurfaced and connectors were added in the track’s famed Keyhole section to allow for three separate road course configurations.
So, is it worth the trip? Absolutely! Is it family friendly? Absolutely. Actually, most people have misconceptions about Ohio. The track is actually in a very pretty part of the state with lush fields, rolling hills, plenty of hotels (most of them very reasonable) and restaurants and super nice people. So sign up and get yourself to Mid-Ohio.
All the best and hope to see you out there.
Tom Iervolino
862-206-9610 (cell)