2011 Racing Season – Arrive & Drive Option

Posted: December 2, 2010 in Racing

2011 I plan on racing an entire season for the first time.  Unfortunately with racing half the time it winds up as a race of trailers to get to the track.  The last 2 seasons I raced with two groups (PCA in the SP1 class and NASA’s 944-Spec Midwest region).  There is a major trade-off in racing as it is not cheap and it takes a lot of time at the track or at home.

Racing starts long before you ever get to the track or in the car.  It starts with time and money working on / storing your car that is no longer practical to drive on the street.  You have a trade off in trailering your car (some guys drive their track cars to the track with their tires mounted on top of a tire rack on their car) with an open trailer which gives you decent gas mileage but leaves the car and all your stuff out in the elements, or moving up to the enclosed trailer which gives you terrible gas mileage (think mid to high single digits!).  I’ve tried both and until I can find a way to tow an enclosed trailer economically I will stay with an open trailer.  With the open trailer you need to pack the truck / car before the race weekend and again unpack when you get home and get the car out of the elements (leaving a racecar out in the heat of the summer / rain / cold of the winter is not a good idea).

Further Living in Kansas makes it difficult to race as there are not a lot of track close by.  A tactic many fellow racers employ to caravan together to the various events.  It is much safer and actually quite comforting knowing that you have a friend with you in case something goes wrong (like a loose tow strap or a blowout – both have happened to me).  Still the need to tow for a minimum of 6 hours (with one exception when the PCA races at my local track in HPT) wears one down so when you would actually arrive at the track you are typically worn out (enough at times to say “that’s good now let’s just go back home”.  Then there’s the inevitable task of having to unload the car and  gear (including before even leaving having to pack everything up).  That is until I started racing with 944-Spec Midwest region.

Racing: 944-Spec Way

The great thing I’ve found with racing 944-Spec is the comradeship.  We typically get a person to get to the track early to block off a large compound area (often next to the GTS guys).  Our sponsor Bennington Motorsports and fellow racers with large 3 car trailers book end us to create our own unique  pit area where we often do not get a lot of through traffic.  We then set up the various canopies together to create a large sheltered area.  944-Spec has a kitty fund for each race / Enduro where we put in a certain amount of money and it includes all drinks, food, snacks and the experienced hands of Bennington Motorsports to work on the cars and do any refueling during the Enduro races.  Another great thing is having the proper guidance from experience mechanics and racers who are very willing to share their information.  As I’m still getting up to a pace where I can compete for wins – most racers are more than willing to help out us stragglers.

However, next year I’m going one step up from here.  I recently dropped off “Lisa” at Bennington Motorsports to be stored for the winter and worked on / maintained.  In addition, I will be doing the “Arrive & Drive” option.  The purpose of the program is that I no longer need to tow my car to/from the races as Bennington Motorsports will do it for me as my car is stored at their shop.  This opens up my ability to travel and not need to tow or bring anything other than my safety gear.  I can grab some cheap Southwest flights and rent a car or even better hitch a ride with fellow racers doing the same thing as me.  This of course all comes at a cost – but in adding up the fact I no longer need a truck / trailer I can drive something fuel efficient or simply fly to get to the races (I do give time some value of money in my decisions b/c 2-4 extra hours of relaxation goes a long way).  I will again be updating my race weekends next year with this new program.

Dropping Lisa Off at BENMS - With 15 other 944s in the shop she won't be lonely.

BENMS's first 944-Spec car - never been raced and now a showcase of new ideas.

Rear Main Hoop Cage and door bars going forward.

How about a Lexan sunroof so you can see inside easily. Someone tell Nick that Porsche is German and not English.

;;

Front Dash area with Right Side Net

Some of the nicest welds I've ever seen. My welding is laughable compared to this.

Rear of Shocktower Weld for Cage.

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