03 June 2012

2012 Trans-Am Invitational: Smiles and Speed

Phatt Man rides!

After replacing the defective clutch pressure plate after practice on Friday, we hit the track early Saturday morning with Ralf and the Phatt Man both ready for a practice run, qualifying and then the race.

Ralf ran really well on the practice laps and Todd bumped him up a chip.  Our goal and the reason we are racing the Trans-Am is to adjust the Phatt Man to Ralf's preferences and get him some seat time before Pikes Peak practice next weekend, but Todd likes his cars to go fast and he likes his clients to have fun and our engine builder said the additional risk to the engine was minimal.  We calculated Ralf was running about 129 mph in the straightaway and it was a blast to see him hang with some other pretty fast cars.

In the Qualifying results for Group 4 Big Bore, Ralf ran 3rd in class (Exhibition) and 8th overall.

Ralf's Qualifying time.
Really, Ralf is the opposite of a Big Bore.

In between our races we came up to the track when we heard on the loudspeaker that there was a car fire.  It turned out to be a pretty bad crash and luckily both drivers were okay, though the driver in the black Fiat was supposedly unconscious after hitting the wall.  We heard different stories from spectators; the closest we could gather was that the white Volvo overshot the corner and then over-corrected and the black Fiat came ripping around the corner, was unable to avoid him, hit him and then plowed head-on into the wall.

Black Fiat driven by T. Sporney hit the wall.

Getting the driver out of the black Fiat.

During our group's race on Saturday afternoon a vintage Camaro that had gone off in the dirt had been lapped and Ralf came up on him. Near the grandstand the Camaro and Ralf were being flagged off the track. From the grandstands we were puzzled and ran down near where he pulled off but he quickly took off again.

The dCamaro that went off in the dirt, and Ralf pulled over for the flag.

After the race Ralf said they weren't flagging him, just the Camaro so we were all a bit bummed as Ralf was running some pretty fast laps and would have come in 4th or 5th overall.  But still he placed 10th overall and still 3rd in class.  His fasted lap for the 2.2 mile loop was 12 seconds behind the winner, a guy in a wicked fast Porsche that was lapping just about everyone and super fun to watch.

Also racing was 84 year old Walt Hane from Evergreen, CO, a legend.  Walt was the 1966 SCCA B Production National Champion. 

Walt Hane

Walt Hane's stable of Mustangs.

From Walt's website:

He is still racing and winning. In 2007, he and son, Chip Hane, co-drove Walt’s original 1965 K Mustang to an overall victory against space-age and sports-racer cars at the RMVR Enduro in Pueblo Colorado, below right. Walt was only 79 years old then!

Walt started racing & winning in 1961. In late 1965, he got the use of Shelby GT350 R103. In November 1966; he drove it to the Sports Car Club of America National Championship at Riverside, California over such heavy weights as Mark Donohue.

Walt Hane, SCCA Champion at Riverside, 1966.

Race Director and crazy man, Keith Davidson, stops by to say hello.

This big guy's name was Landon so his mom loved that we are Landon Speed Racing.

Wicked sky, wicked Mustang.

A Ford-powered Lola with an interesting history.

The man said, "Gonzo is my co-pilot."

An impressive lineup.

An even more impressive lineup up front.

My husband's hands - he makes butter with those farmer hands.

Sweet racing Pantera.

Old lady racing logo on Walt Hine's Mustang.

Having fun at the BBQ and bash on Saturday night.

Walt stops to say good luck.

Our new friend, Woody from Berthoud, CO.


Pikes Peak - where we are headed next weekend.


carson said...

Great update ... and luv the photos
mucho luck on PP

carson said...

Great report + luv the photos
mucho luck on PP
giddy up , Carson