Ford Fiesta: Permission Granted Feb 6, 2013
We just drove in from Roebling Road Raceway, and boy, are our wheels tired. Not tired enough to avoid awful puns, mind you.
We attended the Hyler Craft Memorial Double Driver School with the Buccaneer Region SCCA, which is a four-day weekend worth of instruction and track time—mostly the latter. In fact, this is the most cost-effective way to get a lot of wheel-to-wheel track time this side of a LeMons race. Over the course of the school, we got more than 6 hours of track time. The instructors also happen to all be either national or regional champions.
Our associate editor, Alan Cesar, arrived with a novice permit ready to be filled in. Normally, getting signed off to compete in a regional race requires attending two schools on two separate weekends, with all the transportation and hotel costs associated with that. The Buc Region’s double school makes that a bit easier by offering a one-weekend solution early in the year, so you’re ready to go for the coming season.
One potential pitfall of this much track time is keeping your car on track. Show up with something that is certain to make it through the weekend without having major, time-sucking problems. Our Ford Fiesta was absolutely perfect in this regard. Nothing broke, got loose, or otherwise was problematic. We only needed to do a few things to the car throughout the weekend: Fill it with gas and rotate the BFGoodrich g-Force R1 slicks. The last bit is important because Roebling Road has a lot of fast, sweeping right-handers. On our front-wheel-drive car, it put a lot of strain on that left-front tire. Thanks to the BFGs and our Cobalt Friction XR2 brake pads, we could brake very, very deep for Turn One; faster cornering speeds allowed for several outside passes on Turn Three.
There was one thing we didn’t bring with us: a transponder. Thankfully, Trackside Tim’s supplies trailer was there. Anyone who’s needed cage padding, a new helmet or anything else after arriving at a track knows about Trackside Tim’s. We were able to rent a transponder from them for the weekend, and they were kind enough to charge it each night, too.
Our many hours at LeMons races taught us a thing or two about driving fast, safely, in close proximity with many other cars. We were quickly up to speed and dicing it up with our fellow students. We even set the track record for B-Spec class at Roebling Road.
Now that we’re fully ready, we just need two regional races marked on our novice permit in order to get a national license. This year, we’re planning to run enough SARRC events in the Southeast Division in order to be eligible for the SARRC Invitational Challenge near the end of the year, then cap off the season with a run at the ARRC.
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