BSR Instructor Clinic for Summit Point FATT Instructors - February 11, 2017

Have you ever wondered about the instructor riding in the right seat with you on track and how prepared they are to help in an uncomfortable situation? Well, if they have passed the BSR Instructor Clinic in the past several years, you are probably in some pretty good hands. BSR puts on the best instructor clinic of all of the groups that I have instructed with. In addition to the couple of hours spent in the classroom we spend many hours on track in the BSR Ford Crown Vics with 2 other instructor candidates and a senior instructor. Our driving skills are tested on a timed course that we have a time limit that we have to be under. We practice instructing each other around the track and also review common problems that students have and how to deal with the problems. Instructor candidates are tested on recovering a car that has gone off track at speed and the instructor candidate has to regain control of the car from the right seat. Additionally, we have to steer the car from the right seat around the track at speed. At the end of the day, you are exhausted but confident that you have what it takes to safely instruct the next Juan Fangio wanting to learn about this great hobby.

Chris White, Summit Point Motorsports Park Director, filled us in on the latest changes to the program.
Greg Haas, Chief Instructor, in one of the BSR training cars that was used for this Instructor Clinic.

8th Annual Karting Event - February 26, 2017

The Karting event is meant to kick off the tracking season, and that it will as we will be at Virginia International Raceway with Chin Motorsports the following weekend followed shortly thereafter with a trip to the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park the beginning of April and Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama a week later. There are a couple of other events in March and April that will be firmed up soon.

The Autobahn staff did a great job of making our event a success. They helped us make this event a fund raiser for Hospice Caring and they will be sending a nice check soon. I would especially like to thank Gail Bolden, Stephen Ortega and David Smith for a great job setting up our event. As usual, we worked David hard figuring out how to make our plan work.

All of the comments I heard were that everyone had a great time and will be back next year. Seeing all of the smiling faces made me feel good about this year's event.

Here is a group picture of most of this year's participants after the event.
Here are the fast 9 getting ready for the final race. Doug Wade, Jean’s son, shown here at the left of the picture had the fastest time of the day with a 21.871 second lap.

We had 5 of Autobahn's top 10 drivers of the week and this was the last day of the week. Not bad for a group that only does this once a year. First place went to Tyler Catlin, Second place was Zack Catlin, and Third place was Andrej Balanc from Northern Virginia Corvette Club. Yes, the two Catlins are sons of our own CCA Competition Director, Steve Catlin, who came in Fourth.

We had a good turn out for lunch after our race as we all enjoyed our meal and a little liquid refreshment at Don Ramones, which is close to Sport Chevrolet. Don Ramones has become our go to place after shop night and other special occasions such as this.

First place went to Tyler Catlin, second place was Zack Catlin, and third place was Andrej Balanc from Northern Virginia Corvette Club.
We had a good turnout of Corvettes and sporty cars to give Autobahn Indoor Speedway a cool look for the day.

CHIN at VIR - March 4-5, 2017

The weather was not bad for this time of year but I was really missing the 70 degree weather from last week. I helped with Tech In at VIR and it was cold, especially Saturday morning when it was 27 degrees. The sun came out later and it wasn't bad while on track. I traveled down with Bob C. as my car still needs some work finalizing the transmission cooler.

We were on the North Course Saturday and the main course on Sunday. I was assigned to checkout rides for solo and group advancement as well as coaching duty. This was fun and allowed me to coach in a Porsche Cayman GTS and an Audi A3 as well as a couple of Corvettes. We also did a track walk on the North Course which was a first for me. It is a very interesting course that leaves out the uphill esses through the back straight.

It is great to see Jack Piho back as a chief instructor and classroom instructor. Jack was out for a few years after an accident on the road. It is difficult to see someone that has survived as an accomplished race car driver for many years only to be injured on the highway by a negligent driver. This is a scenario I have seen way too many times with our track buddies.

Here we have Jim Brazzi and Jack Piho leading a track walk of the North Course.
On the left is Tom M. with Mike C. and Joe B. to his right. That is Mike's blue C7 they are standing beside, and it was the first C7 that I rode in when they first came out.
Bob C. is passing a BMW on the front straight on his way to a new personal best at VIR full course.
There is a big smile on Bob's face here as he is trying to tell me about his new personal best of 2:00.3.

I had the pleasure of working with a couple of my buddies on track. Mike can really put that C7 through its paces. Joe built the engine in his silver C5 and it is a beast with 791hp at the wheels. Tom and I had a ball as he fine tuned his late braking skills. Bob C.'s goal this year is to break the 2 minute lap. I would have to say that it is almost a given he will break it this year. This great lap time came after he got a ride in a Viper ACRS that did a 1:56 lap with Bob riding along. There were 4 new Viper ACRS’s at this event including Ralph Giles, Fiat Chrysler VP. Chin is where the big boys hang out.

Ford-Multimatic Factory Driver and IMSA and Pirelli World Challenge winner Jade Buford was available for private coaching sessions on Sunday. Jade has a winning track record with over a decade of experience in sports car racing and coaching in IMSA, Pirelli World Challenge, PCA, and SCCA racing. I had a chance to talk with Jade and he is in the final qualifications to be one of the next American Ninja Warriors. Let's all cheer for Jade to make it and be on TV as our next American Ninja Warrior.

I would have to consider this Chin event as a huge success just based on the smile that was still on Bob C.’s face 20 hours after he set his new personal best of 2:00.3. I have some family events coming up but should be back on track by March 24th for the FATT event.

Please remember to keep it to the speed limit and stay alert on the street as, in my opinion, it is much more dangerous at the speed limit on the street than on the track at speed. If you would like to hear more about the tracking experience, please feel free to ask myself, or any one of our tracking group about how easy it is to give it a shot.

Tracking Schedule:

  • March 11 & 12 - SCCA PDX and Club Trials at Summit Point Circuit
  • March 25 & 26 - Audi Club Drivers School at Summit Point Circuit
  • March 25 & 26 - Hooked on Driving at NJMP Thunderbolt Circuit
  • April 1 & 2 - Chin Motorsports at NCM MSP
  • April 8 & 9 - Chin Motorsports at Barber Motorsports Park

Pat Roney
HPDE Instructor

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