Monday, March 29, 2010

Competition Driving School

The Washington D.C. Region of the SCCA held a three day Double‐School for Club Racing competition licenses March 19‐21, 2010 at Summit Point MotorSports Park in Summit Point West Virginia. ELBRacing once again teamed up with Kingstowne Lawn & Landscape for this event. Jim Karamanis drove the ELBRacing 1972 Ford Pinto B-Sedan Vintage Racer while Krisjan Berzins burned up the school in the Kingstowne 1987 BMW 325is race car. Ralph Pagington again took on the duties of ELBRacing crew chief and Bruce Shelton of Automotive Enterprises again helped out the team as crew chief on the BMW. Various members of Bruce's regular pit crew (Bruce campaigns a GT Pinto in the SCCA Mid-Atlantic Road Racing Series) pitched in for the over-all team throughout the weekend.

The first school began Thursday evening with an orientation and flag test and continued through mid-day Saturday ending with the students first race.

Video courtsey of Convenience Car Care

The second school begin mid-day Saturday ending with a race Sunday evening.
Video courtsey of Convenience Car Care

School participants received received three race weekends of track time condensed into three working days. Class time began at approximately 7:30am each day with activities continuing until around 6pm each evening with the SCCA hosting on-site dinner both Friday and Saturday. Students were either in the classroom, riding in an instructors car or driving their race cars continuously throughout the weekend. The SCCA instructors received high-praise from students. All of the instructors were MARRS series participants and instruction was clear, articulate and thorough. Some of the instructors had taught at the school for over thirty years. Instructors manned corners throughout the track during the school weekend, analyzing the line and race craft of the students. Feedback was immediate as each track session was followed by a debrief session. Students worked closely with individual instructors and were treated to laps around Summit Point Raceway in the instructors street cars where they were able to gain insight about the nuances of the track.

Overall, the SCCA put on one incredible school. Instructors, event organizers, stewards, workers and emergency personnel were extremely organized, professional and knowledgeable. The fact that an all-volunteer organization is able to put on an exceptional road race school is a testament to the SCCA and specifically the WDCR. At $550, this school is undoubtedly the best deal going for a professional racing school in the Mid-Atlantic region. Anyone considering getting into any type of club road racing should consider this school. It is absolutely a must for those who plan to campaign their car with SCCA as those who successfully graduate the double-school walk-away with an SCCA novice permit.

ELBRacing wishes to formally thank the unbelievable crew that kept the vintage Pinto on track all-weekend. There was a tremendous amount of track time and their diligence kept one of the oldest cars in the field running throughout the school, allowing both drivers to graduate from the school and receive their SCCA Novice Permits. In the early part of the school, the Pinto kept blowing the sound limit. The skilled crew was able to modify the exhaust system by adding an additional muffler and side-pipe which allowed the Pinto to drop underneath the minimum threshold for exhaust noise. ELB would also like to thank the incredible folks at WDCR for an unbelievable school. You have given us the skills needed to begin our vintage racing campaign.