After visiting New York for a few days over Easter weekend, I caught the Amtrak train from New York to Philadelphia. This was the first "long distance" trin I have been on in this country, and the experience was great. The train was comfortable and spacious, and even arrived on time and took no longer than the 1 1/2 hours advertised on the schedule.
I had planned to take another train from the 30th street station in Philadelphia where the Amtrak train stopped, to the airport, then catch the Ramada Inn shuttle to the hotel, however catching a late train out of New York meant I arrived after the last train for the night had left, which left me with a long taxi ride from the train station to the hotel. Arriving at the hotel at almost 1am Tuesday morning, I only had time to check in and get settled into the room I was sharing for the whole event with Fred Hood. Fred had arrived earlier in the day from Fresno.
Most of the day Tuesday was spent testing and working on car setups for the first few classes, and catching up with everyone. Fred and I shared a pit table for the week, and pitted right next to us was Brian Saunders of BSP from England, which was great as I would be running Brians chassis in GT12, 32nd Eurosport and 24th Eurosport, plus helping him out with whatever he needed for the flexi car classes.
My first impressions of the tracks were that they both were impressive. It was great to have a "banked" track that was a. not a King, and b. had some more interesting corners and features than most other banked tracks we have raced on in the last few years at the nats. The track looked fast and smooth, with a recent re-surface carried out by Gary Gerding. The flat track also looked awesome. It was quite short, but looked very fast, smooth and quite flowing.
Monty Ohren form Best O The West was driving across county form Los Angeles, so I had him bring most of my slotcar gear with him, so all I had was a small box with a few cars, motors, and bodies for the first few races to test. I set about assembling my LMP and GTP cars, putting my Parma Flexi 5 cars together. I then spent most of the day just turning laps on the road course (banked track) with the LMP car and with the GTP car on the flat track, getting down to some pretty competitive times.
Once the raceway closed at midnight it was off to the bar with Fred and Brian for a quick beer, then off to speer for a few hours, waking in time to be back in the raceway by 7am. Pretty much the story of the week.