My work has taken me to a temporary residence in the “upstate” area of South Carolina. I drive by the enormous BMW factory on my way home back to New Hill. Even better is that I’m now only 1 1/2 hours from the fabled Road Atlanta road course. So I signed up for the Chin Motorsports event there this last weekend.
I guess this is my 4th time at Road Atlanta. As usual, the event was run to perfection by Mark and the Chin staff. Road Atlanta is a challenging course with lots of elevation changes and a great layout. There are also hard barriers near most points of the track so it is not an ideal place for off track excursions. In my case there were no off track excursions, thank goodness. The weekend started out cool but sunny and ended cold and cloudy. But it didn’t rain so it worked out well for all the folks on slick tires. Frankly, I would have enjoyed a little practice in the wet on my new Toyo RA-1 tires, as that is what I bought them for.
So I had a good Saturday, relearning the course and picking up confidence. Sunday, I asked for a coaching session and good fortune put me together with Danny Smith, son of my friend Pete Smith. Danny owns a Factory Five Cobra roadster (currently featured on the Chin Motorsports homepage) but he told me that he cut his teeth in a low powered Alfa Romeo running Toyo RA-1 tires. We went out for a few laps and came in. Danny was blunt: he noticed I was going to full throttle at turn-in on most corners, after too much breaking. “Harvey- brake less and carry more corner speed. The tires can handle it!” So we went out and that’s what we did. And the car stuck just fine. Amazing 🙂 I’m sure I’m not at the limit yet but thanks to Danny I’m much closer to it. And it’s kinda fun catching up to much newer cars in the twisties.
Randy Pobst was in attendance. I said Hi to him and was rewarded with a pleasant conversation. He’s a very approachable guy, as many others have already noticed. He staged next to me in the new Chin 911 and was given the privilege of being first out. Gone! Never saw him again. Which means he must of have come in pretty quickly because he probably could have lapped 3 laps to my 2.
There was a Porsche Cup car staged near my humble encampment. I was chatting up the crew early Sunday morning. Turns out it was the 5th car in the Patrick Dempsey stable, being shaken down. Very cool car!
A shout out to Kurt and Ali, who I randomly set-up next too and were very fun to be around for the weekend.
I’ve already signed up for the next event. Can’t wait!