Sunday, November 29, 2009

What’s in a name?

We already explained what ELBRacing stands for in our introductory post. But, where did it come from? Well, throw in one kid growing up in the 70’s / 80’s with a passion for motorsports, a few bucks, and what do you get? Well, you get a mix of Duke’s of Hazzard and low buck remote control racing!

ELB crew member Kermit Burroughs came up with the name along with his child hood friends who all dreamed of big time racing. Having little money, they settled for remote control cars and the dream of ‘ELB’ was born… Kermit is all grown up now, but the need for speed hasn’t escaped him. This is his relatively low buck super car, a Detomaso Pantera. This may not sound like a ‘low buck’ ride, but compared to other Italian Super Cars (think Ferrari and Lambo), this is about as low buck as it gets.

Speaking of Extremely Low Budget, check out the ELB Racing rig.

This 1992 Ford F-150 sports the baseline XL package with a 5.0 liter engine and AOD automatic transmission. 3.55 gears and a towing package make it a capable towing vehicle for the light (under 2000 lb) Pinto and even lighter (1050lb) trailer. At only 12’, this is about the smallest trailer you could possibly get a Pinto onto. Hey, we aren’t kidding when we say low budget around here!

So what has the ELB crew been up to since the last track day? The race car has been stored near Summit Point Raceway at crew chief Ralph Pagington’s house. Bruce Shelton of Automotive Enterprises (who is a very serious SCCA GTP Pinto racer with 14 championships to his name) modified the Pinto’s racing net to be SCCA legal (in preparation for spring competition school). Bruce also sold the ELB crew a set of used (yes, low budget) Diamond Racing Wheels to mount our wet weather tires on.

All that is left to be done is tighten down every nut and bolt on the race car and mount & balance the new wet and dry weather tires, in preparation for the spring competition school. For one more example of Extremely Low Budget, we’ll take these wheels & tires to our good friends at Kingstowne Lawn & Landscaping who are generous enough to let us borrow their shop equipment for the mounting & balancing. See previous post to view Kingstowne’s own Krisjan Berzins on track in his BMW race car.

To pass the time and further learn the line on Summit Point main, ELB Pinto Driver Jim Karamanis has signed up and has begun practicing laps on Anyone who is looking for an Extremely Low Budget way to get into racing, look no further!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Summit Point Friday @ The Track!

On November 6th at Summit Point Raceway, ELB Racing successfully shook down the 1972 Pinto Vintage Racer. This was not only ELB's first outing in the Pinto, it was also driver Jim Karamanis' first day running in an advanced group.

Photo of ELB Racing's Ralph Pagington checking & adjusting tire pressures.

In typical beginner / medium groups, passing is only allowed by point by on straightaways. In the advanced group, passing can take place anywhere, but only by point by. The experience of riding side-by-side through the carousel and other tight corners at Summit Point raceway, with 26 other cars on track, was invaluable. Right now the car is still much more capable than the driver. But, it was a very productive and safe showing for the vintage Pinto and the driver received high marks and showed great improvement throughout the day.

The ELB crew also shook down this 1987 BMW 325is for the first time. Driver Krisjan Berzins was clearly one of the smoothest drivers in the beginners group and received exceptional marks from his instructor throughout the day. Both driver and car performed at a high-level. Expect to see much more of this pair in the future. This is one fast BMW!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Welcome to ELB Racing

Welcome to ELB Racing. This site will chronicle our adventures of campaigning a vintage race car, as well as auto-crossing and open tracking historic street cars. ELB is short for 'Extremely Low Budget'. As this implies, we are doing this out of enthusiasm, with no sponsorship or typical race team like funding. This is just regular folks, saving their pennies, and heading to the track for thrills, excitement, fun and camaraderie.

This began, as most money pit hobbies do, with a dream.

Team Cougar, 1967, run by Bud Moore and captained by Dan Gurney. The Cougar team, with their funding pulled by big blue mid-season, came runner-up in the 1967 Trans-Am Championship, loosing by just one single point. This fairy tale season, and a few hobbyists enthusiasm for the classic Mercury Cougar, is where ELB Racing stems from.

With lots of excitement in mind and very little cash, it was time to figure out a way to get on a race course. When you can't afford a race car, and already have a hobby car, it sort of becomes a no-brainer. To that end, the folks at ELB began autocrossing and open tracking classic Mercury Cougars.

After a few years of excitement open tracking these Cougars (and after many broken & replaced stock type parts), it became obvious that it was time to take the next step and move towards a bit more serious & dedicated race car. When you have a small budget, love vintage Fords / Mercs, what do you do? Well, you buy a PINTO of course!

This 1972 Ford Pinto has been a race car since the 1970s. The SCCA log book catalogs dozens upon dozens of events in Texas, Colorado and West Virginia. The more recent (since 1998) vintage race log book catalogs dozens of vintage race events up and down the east coast. Equipped with a period correct 2.0 liter engine and 4 speed transmission, the car is prepared as a vintage B-Sedan racer from back in the day, and is welcome with various vintage race clubs, including the RS Re-union series for IMSA cars raced 'in-period'.

Our first event with the Pinto takes place next Week at a Friday At The Track @ Summit Point Raceway, WV. Following that initial shakedown day, the car will return to Summit Point in the spring of 2010 as part of the SCCA competition school. After that, the team plans to take the car to a spring vintage racing school, in order to obtain a provisional vintage race license and begin the campaign.

We will do our best to chronicle these upcoming events on this site, as well as touch on events that we participate in with the classic Mercury Cougar street cars as well.