Black Sunday: Parking Practice or Does Sears sell arks?
And the rains did fall... and fall and fall and fall. There have been years, 1998 comes to mind, when practically every event resulted in rain, but the 2008 Solo season has been a relatively dry one, at least until Sunday, September 28. It wasn’t exactly a repeat of the Corning event in late summer of 2006 that ended early when the rains fell so hard and for so long that the timing equipment actually quit working. Hardy stock, solo drivers, either that or of questionable sanity, but on September 28, 39 drivers braved the wet and the challenges of Arnot Mall to challenge the cones and one another to find what little adhesion was to be found. Only the very last run group managed to scare away the rain long enough to make the other run groups seem pitifully slow by comparison.
Most of you have experienced or read about the small lot at the southeast corner of the Arnot Mall in Big Flats. During the years I’ve autocrossed at Arnot Mall, course designers have stuck to some variation of a figure-8 or hourglass design for this lot, the one exception being a course consisting of the conical equivalent of several “Jersey Barriers” laid out in parallel fashion. That particular layout reminded me of the childhood game “Streets and Alleys,” a game and layout not appreciated by many excepting yours truly, but that’s a whole ‘nother story as they say. This time Casey and crew tried a very different approach. Starting at the farthest, northwestern corner of the lot, an area we’ve rarely used for any event, the course started out slowly with two, very short, 90-degree right hand turns that emptied onto the main course, itself. The main course was ovoid and like the other users of ovals, NASCAR, the direction of flow was counterclockwise. Oh, there were gates here and there, laid out in quasi-slalom fashion, but essentially drivers were confronted with three laps around a mini-Bristol layout designed as what appeared to be an especially challenging field sobriety test. There wasn’t even a single “Pearly Gate,” making me wonder what force had distracted Casey from his signature element. A Glen Region course without a “Pearly Gate,” after all, is like an Alfred Hitchcock movie without ol’ Alfred, himself, hidden amongst the rabble. It didn’t make sense, but then neither did the rain.
As if the absence of a “Pearly Gate” wasn’t
confusing enough, the largest class of the event was the infamous F125 Shifter
Kart class with seven entries. They also had the most mechanical failures and
created a carbon footprint so large that Al Gore gave us a phone call (That’s
Allan Gore, who owns a small house in Fisherville). In addition to F125, two
classes, H-Stock and Street Modified, had five entrants, G-Stock had four
drivers, and three groups, A-Stock, Street Touring X, and Street Modified 2,
had three apiece. F125, though, was clearly where the action was and
Adam Sadlik (2001 Impreza) of the Central New York
Region had his best Glen Region showing of the season in G-Stock by triumphing
over the Bourdettes, Brett and Ron, in their Nissan 240SX. Meanwhile in A-Stock
in a clear display of elder abuse, Ben Heater (2004 Subaru WRX Sti) and
Speaking of close, Street Touring X saw
Street Modified 2 continued the father-son battle between Dave and Colin Raymond (1992 Mazda Miata), but once again Dave took first and stretched the seasonal trophy lead to about six points in the process. Make him get his own car, Colin! Maybe Nathan Walczyk (2001 Chevrolet Silverado) needs a co-driver...
Although only two entrants competed in E-Stock, this class has given us some of the most competitive driving of the 2008 season. Tom Deneka (Toyota MR2), despite running on “R-compound” tires in the rain, managed good times, times sufficient enough to take first place from Nile Heermans (Toyota MR2) in the event as well as in the seasonal standings. E-Stock has been a cliffhanger all season with the lead changing hands practically following each event. Only 2.5 points now separates the two drivers, so the next event decides it all. That’s one event you’ll want to watch. “Got Wake,” indeed.
There were other classes at the event and they’re worth checking out. See their results along with all of the official results online at http://www.glen-scca.org/solo/schedule.asp. If you’re especially curious, you may want to check out the seasonal points and PAX standings while you’re at it.
Thanks to all of you who made the Arnot Mall event possible, especially the folks of Arnot Mall. Brett Bourdette did an excellent job as event chair, as did those of you who worked registration, as safety stewards, and tech inspection. As always, thanks to the course design and setup crew for an interesting design. Whoever was responsible for the weather should be fired, but no one stepped forward to accept responsibility, so you’re safe for now. The next AND LAST event of the 2008 Glen Region Solo program is scheduled for Sunday, October 19 at the Seneca Army Depot. More information is available on our website at http://www.glen-scca.org/solo/. There’s one thing certain, we'll keep the timing lights on for you.