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Race Day

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#1 Afton Grant

Afton Grant

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 10:19 PM

Eric Fletcher posted a while back about his upcoming race series (where'd that post go, anyway?). So when he and his team, Horton Motorsports, made their stop at Lime Rock Park here in CT on Memorial Day, I got out the bike and rode on up to the track.

I've always been a great admirer of automobiles, but the world of racing takes things far beyond my layman's comprehension of horsepower and torque. Nevertheless, Eric took a good chunk of time to show me all the workings of the team, explaining as much as he could. It's quite fascinating the thousands of little details that go into taking what is otherwise a typical street car and squeezing every last drop of performance out of it to gain a thousandth of a second here and there. Once the cars hit the track, you don't need to know what a spring rate or toe in is to enjoy a bunch of cars whizzing by at over 100mph.

The race itself was an unfortunate one for the team. More like a "wrong place at the wrong time" situation. The race began with a standing start, which as Eric explained, is notoriously dangerous since all the cars are bunched up and jockeying for position throughout the first lap. On the first turn of the first lap, the car in front of Patrick's (the team's driver) spun out, kicking up a cloud of dust and ending up sideways, directly in the path of Patrick. Long story short, there was a significant collision which led to several trips to the pits to repair pieces of the vehicle that were damaged and falling off. The team finished the race, however, and it was still a blast to just watch. I'm sure Eric has a more detailed and emotional recap of the event.

I wanted to thank Eric and his team for being as gracious as they were with me. I'll admit, before I met him, I assumed the driver for the team would be sort of like "the talent" in the film business - all pampered and too preoccupied to give you the time of day. Couldn't be further from the truth. Everyone was incredibly friendly and I had a great time. If the team makes a stop near you, I'd encourage anyone to stop by and check it out. It's lots of fun.

Pictures from the day can be seen here.
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#2 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 10:57 PM

Great post Afton! It was great having you out.

I think you pretty well summed it up. All that I'll add is that Patrick did one helluva job running the full race distance and and bringing the car home.

We would have been in half decent shape if we didn't have the tire issue late in the race requiring the fourth pit stop we could have placed a bit better.

The car actually weathered the hit pretty good, data logging had the impact at 1.5G's for 1.2 seconds with a peak of 15G's for .15 seconds. The car is already fixed and on it's way to Watkins Glen Racetrack in Watkins Glen New York for it's next race June 8th. At that event we will be running both the Mazda 6 in touring car and the Viper Comp Coupe in GT

here is the rest of our schedule, if we are near you let me know, I'd love to have more "Knights of the Green Screen" come on out.

Both Cars

  • June 5 - 8 Watkins Glen International
  • July 17 - 20 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
  • Aug 8 - 10 Road America
  • Aug. 21 - 24 Mosport International Raceway
  • Oct. 1 - 3 Road Atlanta

SCCA SPEED GT, only the Viper, please contact me for these dates we are not sure if we will be running these

  • Aug 29 - 31 Detroit
  • Sept. 26 - 28 New Jersey Motorsports Park*

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