It’s time for the last Kryderacing newsletter of the millennium (or the 1900’s for our readers interested in accuracy). We hope everyone is enjoying the Holidays and has a positive outlook towards next year. Kryderacing sure does.
ROLEX 24 AT DAYTONA
Kryderacing will not be entering a vehicle in the 2000 race. This was not an easy decision to make. The old Nissan was not competitive and a new car could not be completed successfully in time for the race. Reed still wants to drive. The crew still wants to crew. And we have a lot of equipment to go along with their extensive experience. We just don’t have a car for the year 2000.
While our trusty old Nissan 240SX was still legal (and once again designated as a GTU) the rules have changed so much that it is even less competitive than last year. When the car was built the top factory cars in the class were pushing 340 HP while we were getting 310-320 out of our engines. Reed was the top placed (5th) non-factory driver during the 1991 season with this car. As the years passed the car improved slightly but the class evolved into a 450-500 HP category. And these new, higher HP cars are in the hands of privateer teams. We may run the Nissan at a couple of races next year, but not at Daytona. It will probably end up at vintage races the following year.
We knew a new car was needed several years ago. At our 1996 Daytona pre-race team dinner Reed announced that race would be the last for the reliable tube-frame. It went on to record its fourth consecutive finish in the 24-hour classic. But it didn’t retire. It returned three more times. Each year we looked for a suitable replacement, but the continuous flux in organizing bodies and rules made planning ahead impossible for us.
All during the 1999 Summer months we were planning to run a tube-frame American style V8 in the 2000 Rolex race. We knew of a great car which could be obtained for a fair price. Our only concern was eligibility. When GARRA was formed and rules were published there was only one major problem. The body needed updated from an Oldsmobile to a Camaro. Once we looked into the costs (time and money) involved we knew we could not go forward with the program until we had solid commitments from co-drivers and/or sponsors. What transpired during October and November was a continuous roller-coaster ride of optimism and dejection. In mid-December we found ourselves on the borderline of commitment. We had most of the monetary commitments from co-drivers, but not enough to feel comfortable we could properly prepare the car and compete. Gambling on additional income looked like a sure-thing, but that income was not guaranteed. In addition, all discussions seemed to keep coming back to one other factor; the car would probably have only a single year of eligibility. Thus, the ability to recover some of our investment at a later date was also questionable. In the end, we dropped the idea.
We have no complaints against
anyone and hope our co-drivers find other rides. The GARRA rules which
required the Camaro body style were disappointing to Kryderacing personally,
but logical in their objectives. We wish GARRA success and plan to return
to Daytona next year.
FINAL 1999 KRYDERACING REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES POINTS STANDINGS
Dennis Kszos Gregory Geis C Pat Kane
Al Gaudino Tab McBlane Bill Moore
Greg Schnell GT2 FF
Harry Belizaire Mike Moore ITA
GT3 FV F Reed Andrews
John Petrone Don Taylor George Kirk
Robert Brooks Terry Bowman
Samuel Johnston ITB
GT5 Csaba Bujdoso
Mike Saddleton F500 Greg Limber
Mike Walters Robert Hopper Jr
EP Patty Geis
Cliff McCandless ITC
SSB Burt Young
GP Bill Schauer Bill Shearer
Cathy Sloan Meg Meyer
Jim Sloan SSC
Amy Ruman AS
Greg Grucella Herman Melotti
S2000 Bob MacDonald
The 17th edition of the Kryderacing Regional Championship Series at Nelson Ledges Road Course was one of the best. The nine race events were put on by four SCCA Regions and covered five weekends (same as 1998). The number of entries increased by over 10% and every event (except the one it snowed on Saturday) had an increase in entries over 1998 (which was better than 1997).
The annual banquet was held at Colonial Catering on November 20th and the turnout also set a record for recent years. Several "firsts" were announced at the banquet. Female race drivers are increasing their numbers and improving their results. In 1999 we had four lady awards winners for the first time. One of them, Amy Ruman, won every race she entered in the tough Spec Racer Ford class. Another first was a father and daughter sharing the victory podium. Cathy Sloan took the G-Production Championship and her dad finished second. Also new this year was the Mechanix Wear Magic Touch Award. Nominations for this "outstanding mechanic award" were accepted throughout the season and the winner was kept a secret until the Banquet. The 1999 recipient was Maurice LaFond. He was one of several deserving nominees, but Maurice has a reputation not only prepping two race cars for his wife and daughter, but he also helps whoever is in need at the track. This award was one of the highlights of the evening and we plan for its return next year. Mechanix Wear is one of several companies who help with the series. Help from Performance Friction Brake Pads and Liberty Tire is also greatly appreciated.
The banquet also featured a "track report" (improvements are continuing), a group report from representatives of the four participating SCCA Regions, a photo display from the past season, SCCA Run-Offs videos, and a computer game featuring the Kryderacing #57 Nissan.
Plans are already underway for next years series. We already know of one major addition. Finger Lakes Region is moving their "Fun One" Regional Weekend from Watkins Glen to Nelson Ledges. This will be a great addition and will only strengthen the program.
• Amongst our Nelson Ledges plans for next year is the construction of a building to house the store, a shop, a classroom, and several parking stalls. We have a meeting scheduled next week to determine specifics for the structure.
• Reed will be part of a panel at the NEOhio Comp Clinic on March 18, 2000. The Clinic helps new (and old) drivers prepare for racing. It is a great opportunity for racers (especially beginners) to obtain a lot of information on a variety of subjects. If you want additional information and don’t know anyone in NEOhio try contacting Dave Smith at 440-338-5012.
• Kryderacing was present at the SCCA Run-Offs this past October. All of the drivers we were assisting did quite good and one of them took home the gold. Dan Minkler won the National Championship with his Nissan in the GT5 class. Dan made it look easy, but, like so many other championships there were a lot of things going on behind the scenes. Dan qualified for the run-offs by winning several races during the year. Unfortunately he lost his "good engine" in the last event prior to the run-offs. Like many drivers, Dan wasn’t too enthusiastic about competing with inferior equipment. He almost skipped the national championship events. His "back-up" engine qualified him seventh on the grid. Race day featured that great equalizer - rain. Driving talent can make up for a horsepower shortage in wet conditions. Dan advanced towards the front by out-driving several drivers. A couple of other front-runners encountered mechanical programs and all of a sudden Dan found himself with a comfortable lead. On the victory podium, Dan thanked Kryderacing (and Matt Miller specifically) for their help. We are all looking forward to the year 2000.
• We were also lending assistance to Gary Martz. Gary was the fastest qualifying Mazda RX-7 in EP and has always looked like a potential winner. Unfortunately, Gary’s tire choice for the rain kept him from challenging for the front. He fell back early in the race and then came forward to finish close to his starting position. In hindsight 1999 was a much better year than 1998 for Gary. In 1998 he failed to finish the first lap after being caught up in someone else’s wreck. The damage was extensive and Gary missed several races early in the 1999 season while repairs were completed. Kryderacing plans on being at the track to help Gary at several Nationals, and the Run-Offs in the year 2000.
• Kryderacing had planned to run our Nissan 240SX tube-frame car in the USRRC 6-Hour Watkins Glen race last October. Unfortunately the race was cancelled. The car was setting there with several new parts and a fresh engine. The GARRA organization did not exist yet and it was unknown when the next opportunity to run the car would occur. We felt a test run was needed, if for no reason other than making sure the new engine and several additional changes were in good working order. A test day would have been sufficient, but a Regional race offered the opportunity for a little fun. The car held the Super Production lap record for Nelson Ledges and it had been several years since it had been set. Everyone thought the Mahoning Valley Double Regional would be a good time to establish a quicker lap time. The car ran great, but snow (yes, snow), rain, and a wet track meant all we did was set on the pole and take home a victory. The new record would have to wait.
• The last couple of SCCA Regional races at Nelson Ledges Road Course were memorable for a couple of other Kryderacing friends and clients. Bill Schauer took a pair of wins at the Golden Harvest Double Regional while driving the Kryderacing SSB class Nissan 240SX. Bill Pintaric drove his ITS NX2000 to a fifth and sixth place finish. Bill demonstrated the potential of the Kryderacing prepped Nissan by qualifying third on Saturday. Another Bill (Moore) drove his 1975 Datsun 280Z to a sixth and a third place finish during the weekend. And Jerrod Martin, a part-time Kryderacing employee, drove his Citation X11 to a pair of fourth place finishes in ITA. Jerrod has been impressive in his first year of racing.
• A week later several Kryderacing vehicles returned to Nelson for the Great Pumpkin Affair. This Western New York event was the biggest Regional of the year for the track. Bill Moore qualified second in ITS with his Datsun but had trouble in the qualifying race and finished ninth. In the Sunday feature event he turned the quickest ITS lap time while roaring back to a third in class. Anna Hopwood was in the Kryderacing SSB Nissan. She missed qualifying due to other commitments, but finished third in the Sunday race. She also competed in Sunday’s enduro but was sidelined due to a bad wheel bearing.
• Early in December Reed and Sandi took a trip to Florida. Along the way we visited several friends and looked at a variety of new homes, in addition to visiting Sebring and seeing first-hand some of the changes underway at the historic facility. First stop was to drop off Lew Bakes Porsche-Cup car at his new Connecticut home. The house actually dates back to 1906, but Lew and his wife have spent the last year and a half turning this old mansion into an incredible thing of beauty. The next stop was with Rod and Mary Whelan in Melbourne, Florida. We have enjoyed their hospitality often, but this was the first time in their new condo. Their previous condo was unique and the new one follows the trend. It’s really nice to see homes which have some imagination in their layouts. Next stop was Dave and Michelle Deen’s new abode in Palm City, Florida. Once again it was a beautiful place and unique. The pool had just been installed and we plan on returning soon to try it out. The next stop was Sebring International Raceway for the TrackTime Performance Driving School. No new structures at the track - yet. The old pit stalls are gone and the result is a somewhat barren look. But groundwork has been broken for the new hotel which will overlook the hairpin and last turns. The last stop on the trip was a brief stop at Sandi’s parents condo in Naple’s. What did we do there? Rested.