2020 Season Review- Pt. 1

Even the cars had to maintain social distancing!

It’s been quite a while since I have posted anything. I apologize for that but it has been a very strange year for all of us. Plus I had some health issues this year that have reduced my energy.

Last march we weren’t sure if we would have any racing at all this season. Though several big events were canceled or re-scheduled we were finally able to attend 8 races and a track day out at ORP. We’ll review the first 3 in this post.

Our first event was the SOVREN Spring Sprints held at Pacific Raceways in Kent, WA. I will admit Pacific Raceway is not one of my favorite tracks. It is rough, narrow, and there is no run-off room. Because of these factors I’ve just never felt very comfortable racing there.

However, I was anxious to try the new motor and transmission combo in the Koepchen 2002 as well as the new seat in the Swift so Mary and I loaded the RV and headed up I-5.

It was a different kind of weekend for several reasons. First, it was the first race under the new COVID protocols which meant social distancing, masks, and extra paperwork. Second, SOVREN and SCCA shared the track for the weekend so we had a lot of different cars and classes at the track. It did make for some down time for us.

Saturday and Sunday had pretty good weather so I got some good seat time in both cars. I found the new engine and transmission combo to work very well together in the K2002. The power and torque were improved and complimented the closer ratios in the transmission.

The new bead seat in the Swift was a huge improvement for driver comfort. I now felt like I could actually drive the car closer to its limit.

Unfortunately the weather turned to rain on Monday so we packed up and came home early. Here’s the video from the weekend:

Our second event for the season was a track day out at Oregon Raceway Park in the high dessert of eastern Oregon. Its a 2.3 mile, highly technical track with lots of blind rises and blind apexes. It’s really a lot of fun to drive, but also very taxing.

Lots of run off room out here, and no neighbors to complain about the noise.

We had a group of Racecraft friends and 8-9 cars out for the day of practice. It was a good chance to get some seat time. I was also getting some time on the new motor Terry Tinney built for the CSL. My friend, John Murray had purchased an ex-DTM MB 190 that he wanted to get familiar with.

The day began with a short track orientation with Bill Murray, the track manager. He helped us all a lot and made our day more productive and fun.

Following that we began taking our cars out for some runs. I began by taking the M3 out for a few laps. The last time I drove ORP was 5 years ago so I began slowly and built up speed as I re-familarized myself with the track.

3 German wings.

Over the lunch hour our resident hooligan, John Hill, entertained us all. You’ll have to watch the video to see what he was up too. You won’t be disappointed.

I did get some time in the CSL but it was a lot of work on this track. The car is quite heavy to steer and as busy as this track is it gave me quite a workout.

John Hill had brought his Mitjet and he let me have some laps in it. The Mitjet is a tube framed race car much like a scaled down NASCAR car. It has a solid rear axel, a 2 liter Renault engine, sequential gearbox, and ABS brakes. John has raced it a couple of times in the 25 Hour race at Thunderhill, winning his class in 2019. It was nice of him to let me try it out.

Here’s the video from the day:

In July we were back at Pacific raceway for the PNW Historics. I had the K2002 and the Swift there again. The field of cars for this event was smaller than in years’ past but the racing was just as competitive as always.

The K2002 was in Group 2 which is mid-bore production cars and sedans. I had some great racing all weekend with Bruce McKean, Paul Gladio, Eric Smith, and Josh Moriarty.

Unfortunately I got a very nasty surprise in Race 4. Watch the video to see what happened.

Ouch! What hit me?

The Swift ran in Group 6. There were only 8 cars in the group but I still had some great racing with John McCoy in his Mallock. He was much quicker tham me down the long straight but I was quicker under brakes and through the turns. It was a classic battle!

Here’s the video from the weekend:

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