Monday April 16th. Wow, time flies, day 7 already, and I realised that I had missed seeing the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix over the weekend, and believe me I NEVER miss a Grand Prix, but with no Speed Tv at the Hotel it just slipped by almost unnoticed.
Looking out the window of the hotel the weather was terrible, cold and there actually was some snow out there. Later in the day it turned into rain, and suddenly parts of Philadelphia were flooded and the city was plunged into chaos. For us in the hotel we really knew nothing. With no windows in the ballroom C where we were racing unless we came outside for something we didn’t see anything, and thanks to a local pizza joint that had a pretty extensive menu, and deliveree, we really never needed to leave the hotel. It was pretty funny walking around the hotel, many of us were wearing shorts, while outside it was no hotter than 40 degrees (F not C), so we got some pretty funny looks form people who had just come into the hotel form the freezing weather outside.
Inside the ballroom it was GT12 day. I was looking forward to this race as I felt I had a really good car. The BSP chassis really suited the track, with our only problem being negotiating the D shaped donut. You needed to hit it right every time, as if you went too slow you would pop up, and if you went too fast you would risk tipping out. Brian and I worked on this problem, and after some body re-mounting found a reasonable compromise, and we were both fast.
The semi final draw was one of the most amazing I have ever seen. it was random, but you could never stack a heat better if you tried. if you look at the semi results you’ll see what I mean:
1. Jason Burnside 298
2. William Burnside 295
3. Greg Gilbert 295
4. Brian Saunders 294
5. Chris Radisich 288
6. Fred Hood 283
7. Gugu 279
8. Jerry Herbert 254
1. Jonathan Forsyth 283
2. Zac Grinstead 275
3. Herman James 274
4. Jay Kisling 265
5. Jim Stinnett 258
6. Dave Demott 257
7. James Grinstead 151
In my semi I drove as hard as I could, and I was more than competitive, but it was one of those races where I just could not stay out of trouble, losing a few laps that I just could not get back. The whole semi/mains system can be brutal at times, and this was one of the worst I have ever seen. You’ll see in the results that I finished with 5 laps more than the winner of the A semi, and even Gugu, 7th in Semi B would have been 2nd in Semi A, with 4 laps to spare.
So after the low of LMP, the high of 4" Stockcar and the high high of GTP, here I was again at a low, marshalling another main. I did keep myself busy helping out Zac Grinstead through the main.
After the Amateur GT 12 race was finished it was time to clean the track for the 1/32 F1 and 1/32 Eurosport races next day. I spent the rest of the day testing my 32nd Euro car, and ran my F1 car for the first time. With time running out before the nats I was unable to get a new F1 chassis, so I pulled my old early 90’s Dave Harvey 101 car (form England) out of mothballs. I knew it would not be anywhere near as fast as the new cars, but I knew it would be consistent and just run around and around.
With this being the first F1 race at the USRA Nats, and being on such a short track, the search was on Monday night for everyone to find enough chokes to tame their F1 cars. 40 to 60 feet quickly became the norm as everyone struggled to get horsepower out of their cars. With my car running an old .459 45T 28G I was in reasonable condition, only needing 20 feet, plus the 12 feet on the controller I was using. For it’s age my car circulated smoothly, not fast, but smooth.