For immediate release
April 2, 2000
(Press release complements of Toad Hall Racing)
A podium finish, with a good car and significant additional competition. A good result…although a bit unexpected. The guys from Moorespeed have done an awesome job getting the car ready and as close to competitive as we could. In short, we survived.
Down significantly on horsepower to the Vipers and Corvettes, we qualified 6th and finished 3d. We never really had a chance to win. And we finished third due to attrition not to really passing anyone. Our first ever standing start was interesting…and successful. The Porsche GT3 is an excellent car for standing starts, with a lot of the weight over the rear wheels. Run the motor to 6000 RPM, drop the clutch and go. And voilà, it grabs quickly. We passed two cars in front of us and got a 4th placed start, and then in turn three, we got pushed off the track (by Reese Cox) …and back into 8th place. We got back to 6th quite quickly and then to 5th when Archer went out early in his Viper. We got to fourth with Heinricy’s retirement in the Corvette and stayed there most of the race. A spin about 2/3 of the way into the race dropped me to 6th again. (Ran out of talent in turn 3) but quickly got back ahead of the 4th and 5th place cars. We expected to finish 4th until Dave Schardt, (running 2d at the time in another Porsche GT3) got hit not once, but twice by Reese Cox (2d place finisher) and put out of the race on the 2nd to the last lap. Too bad for Schardt, he qualified well and drove a great race, but after the second hit from Cox he got T-boned by a Ferrari and had a lot of damage to his car. Some of the new faces expected to be competitive never were. Derek Bell had a couple of good laps in the new factory 4WD Audi but managed only a 9th place finish (although his fast lap was a full second faster than ours). Elliott Forbes Robinson and Butch Leitzinger (in their Lotus’) were not a factor, probably due to not very well prepared cars. EFR was 10th and Butch had a DNF. Boris Said did not start in the Steeda Mustang and Jorge Trejos blew a motor in qualifying in his Saleen Mustang and also did not start. Michael Galati’s spectacular crash in his Audi during qualifying ended his efforts. Next race will be a lot tougher.
The Chassis Dyno.. After the race they did something very interesting. They took the top 5 cars to a Chassis Dyno which was at the track on a truck. And guess what, we were the lowest horsepower car in the group. We were told our numbers and heard reliable “rumors” about the other cars. It seems that we are 30% lower in horsepower than the Corvettes and 75% lower in torque (about 220 ft lbs for us vs 390 for them)!!! Thus, when calculating HP to weight ratios, the Corvettes have a 12% advantage over us in HP to weight and a 34% advantage in Torque to weight. Wow!! Well, like the guy said that told us…”you really don’t want to know how far down you are in horsepower.”
Can we be competitive? Not without some rules changes. The Viper was not tested since it blew up during the race. And I am not sure if they did the Audi. But, the Corvette needs both weight and a restrictor or it will run away with things. Even at 3300 lbs (they are now 3000) the Corvette would enjoy a 3% HP to weight advantage and a 28% Torque to weight advantage..Still a bunch. And we need a better rear wing. Our cars just can’t get through the turns without a lot of power oversteer. We will see what happens.
Toad Hall Motor Racing: www.toadhallracing.com
SCCA World Challenge and immediate results: www.sccapro.com
The Keewaydin group: www.keewaydin.com