"HELPING PEOPLE ACHIEVE THEIR RACING OBJECTIVES"
JOHN BUTTERMORE FINISHES ON PODIUM AT SCCA RUN-OFFS
For the second year in a row John Buttermore raced his T-1 class Corvette to a second place finish at the SCCA National Championships. But getting there was very different if you compare the two years. Last year John ran a lonely second behind the winner. He couldn’t match the winners speed and the rest of the field couldn’t keep up with John. This year there was a close battle between the top three cars. John was running third, just waiting for the last few laps. With several laps to go he moved to second when the leader became involved in a slower car’s accident. He was ready to make his move for the win but the accident also resulted in a full-course caution which continued to the end of the race.
This was the second time a Kryderacing assisted vehicle has come out on the wrong end of a race-ending full course caution. Two years ago Bill Pintaric would have been on the podium if the race had not ended under caution. They say these things even out over time. Let’s hope so.
John’s season getting
to the Run-Offs was extremely successful with five wins in five races.
Wins included the Road America June Sprints and some of the victories included
lap records. But the week at Heartland Park for the Run-Offs was
not an easy one. Oil drippings from a leaking power steering pump
were discovered when the car was unloaded on Saturday. Following
a flat tire early in the day, testing on Sunday ended when the newly installed
race engine blew up. The Monday track session was missed as another
engine, this one had been used all season, was put back into the car. There
was no session for the T-1 class on Tuesday. Wednesday’s session
started with an ABS problem and a spin. It ended with the fourth
qualifying spot. In Thursday‘s session John advanced to third on
the grid, only a fraction of a second behind the pole sitter. The
week had been filled with problems, big and small. But in the end
the car was ready to go and ran flawlessly in the race. The Buttermore’s
are taking some time off before deciding what to do next.
Try to “bed” brake
pads and rotors before they are actually needed. Then store them
until needed. This is easy tip to suggest, but it never seems to
happen. Many times we have seen someone develop a brake issue (warped
rotor for example) just prior to a qualifying session or the race itself.
Trying to bed in new pieces during these sessions is not the best way of
doing things. Our advice is to use earlier sessions (such as when
you are learning a track) to bed in rotors or pads. Remember not
to do both rotors and pads at the same time. Then remove these pieces
and save until needed. Remember to plan ahead and repeat the bedding
procedure with new parts when the earlier bedded pieces are actually installed
on the car. Or you could use the procedure we saw an IRL team use
a couple of years ago. We were at Homestead and two team cars were
testing. One car was doing suspension work while the other bedded
brake rotors and pads. The second car bedded rotors and pads ALL
DAY. They were prepping their “bedded inventory” for the entire season
for both cars. They would not have time when they arrived for race
By now everyone knows
of the passing of Paul Newman. Most of the tributes we read in the
first few days following his death included his love of racing. Reed
and Sandi were also racing in the amateur ranks in Paul’s early racing
days (when his car simply had a “PLN” painted on the roof for driver identification).
Paul kept a low visibility with his racing activities in those days, but
he enjoyed socializing with fellow racers. This was back when people
stayed at the track late into the evening on Saturdays to enjoy cookouts,
beer, and telling stories. Paul was a participant in many of these
activities. We could tell many stories, but the one we chose to tell
relates not to a party, but to when Reed realized the depth of Paul’s driving
The Goodyear Tire Engineering group used to schedule a single sports car test each year to look at tires used by amateur sports car racers. Typically three or four sizes were targeted and arrangements were made with the best teams and drivers they could obtain. Back in those days Bob Sharp Racing was a leading team and had professional driver Sam Posey on the staff. They were going to be testing a size which fit Bob’s B-Sedan (think GT3 in today’s class structure) Datsun. Arrangements were made to have Bob’s team, car, and driver Sam Posey at Nelson Ledges Road Course on the appointed date. Everyone was surprised when arriving at the track and finding out Bob Sharp had substituted Paul for Sam at the last minute. Paul was still new to racing and, while we knew he had won a couple of races, we were concerned with his ability to provide good test information. Paul was also concerned since this type of testing was new to him. A good test driver needs to be fast, consistent, and able to provide usable information to the tire engineers. Truth be told, most racing drivers, even winning ones, are deficient in at least one of these categories. Canceling the test was discussed, but since everyone was at the track it went ahead.
From a tire engineer’s viewpoint the tire temperatures are a good indicator of how hard a driver is pushing the car. Lap times, while useful for determining which tires are fastest, must be consistent for the data to be useful. Providing useful information requires an ability to communicate handling differences to the engineers. Remember, this was in an era when the data acquisition pieces of equipment consisted of only a tire pyrometer and the driver’s brain.
During Paul’s initial runs the concerns over how hard he was pushing the car and his consistency were both answered in his favor. But could he differentiate between tire designs and compounds, and then communicate those differences to Reed (the design engineer on this particular project)? Paul confirmed his newness to this procedure by initially being tentative and unsure of some of his thoughts. But he did have opinions regarding the handling characteristics of each tire set and as the test continued everyone, including Paul, started to feel more comfortable with him as the test driver. The test runs which confirmed Paul’s abilities as a good tester where those with the control tires. During the course of a test the drivers are usually told very little about what is different between sets of tires. Every once in a while the “control” set of tires is run again to re-establish baselines and determine if track or vehicle conditions may be changing. The driver is not informed when the control set is put back on the car. Each time the control set was run Paul would end his evaluation by saying it felt very much like a set he had previously run. The only time he ever made a comment equating sets was after a run on control tires. The amazing thing was when asked to pick the earlier test set he felt these tires felt like he never failed to correctly identify it. That rarely happens among the best testers.
Later in his racing
career Paul would advance to greater and more visible racing accomplishments.
We would occasionally hear someone comment that it was simply his ability
to buy the best cars which led to his successes. Over time he usually
convinced most of these nay sayers that he also had the talent. But
from Reed’s viewpoint, there will always be that day at Nelson Ledges Road
Course when a driver substitution convinced Reed and a small group of test
engineers that Paul Newman was an exceptional race car driver.
FINAL REGIONALS OF 2008
The second and third weekends of October saw quite a few Kryderacing clients getting in their last racing laps of the 2008 season. At Mid-Ohio over the October 11-12 weekend Matt Miller (ITS class Mazda RX7), Mike Olivier (ITA class Honda Civic), and Chris Dercole (ITR class Ford Mustang) raced with good results. Mike had reason to celebrate more than Matt and Chris. Not because he did better on track, but because he finished the weekend without any damage to his car. Followers of Kryderacing activities know Mike has been involved in two big wrecks this year at Mid-Ohio. In both cases he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and became involved in someone else’s accident. In each case the body damage was extensive and expensive. Following this particular weekend we are pleased to say the only immediate work required on Mike’s car is storing it for the winter and making a “todo” list of changes for next year.
The following weekend many of us could be found at Nelson Ledges Road Course for Mahoning Valley’s Golden Harvest Double Regional. Sandi Kryder was Race Chairman and once again did her outstanding job of putting together a great weekend. Matt Carson had his ITS Datsun 240Z going very fast on both days. He finished second on Saturday but ran a faster lap time than the winner. Sunday was also a great race, until Matt had a small transmission problem and pitted rather than continue with the potential of major problems. Chris Dercole was back with his ITR Mustang and fought tough battles both days. He lead most of Sunday’s race but ended up repeating his second place finish of Saturday. Jonathan Keiller had the ex-Kryderacing Nissan NX2000 running the best we have seen it in many years. Jonathan bought the car last year and attended SCCA schools in the spring. He has gotten faster with each event and ended the season by becoming only the third person to run a sub-1:20 lap in the car. A lot of drivers spent time in this car during its time as a Kryderacing rental vehicle and the company of 1:19 lap time drivers Jonathan joins includes Jon Marhefka, who has gone on to countless wins in his own car, and David Pintaric, who won a NASA Championship this year to go with several SCCA T-1 National wins. Jonathan joins some impressive company. He also managed to get through Sunday’s activities without going off in the first turn. This turn had been a problem for him all year and he managed to spin there again on Saturday, but as he said to Reed that evening: “This time I didn’t hit anything.“
Bill Pintaric was
also running his GTL class Nissan for the last time in 2008. He won
on Saturday, but we were chasing a transmission and/or clutch problem all
day. The adjustments made did not make it through Sunday’s qualifying
session. It became obvious something was continuing to deteriorate
and parking the car before more damage was done was the smart decision.
REED ELECTED REGIONAL EXECUTIVE
The Mahoning Valley
Region of the SCCA elected Reed their Regional Executive for next year.
He succeeds Bill Pintaric, who spent two years doing an excellent job.
This is Reed’s third term as RE, but the previous times were in 1978 and
1981. Since then travel requirements related to his racing activities
have kept him from running for an office. Several months ago Bill
asked Reed to consider succeeding him. After some thought, he agreed.
He will join Sandi (MVR’s Treasurer of many years) on the board starting
Z DAY ACTIVITIES AT MID-OHIO
In 1971 Reed and
Sandi took their honeymoon in their brand new Datsun 240Z. Later
that year they discover autocrossing and in 1975 started racing the very
same car in the SCCA CP class. For many years they raced Z cars;
first the 240Z, then a 280ZX, and finally a 300ZX in IMSA GTU professional
level races. They also ran a 300ZX Turbo in SCCA amateur events for
several years. And while they had many ties with the Nissan Competition
Department and fellow Nissan enthusiasts, they never found time to become
involved with any Z-Club activities. But a few weeks ago Reed spent
some time at Mid-Ohio helping instruct at the Z-Club National Convention
track day. There were a lot of very interesting cars, both old and
new. He also picked up an application to join the club. Now
if we could just get our hands on our original 240Z.
* The eighth annual
edition of Willow Springs track program is scheduled for Wednesday, November
5th. We are on the Streets of Willow this year and it should be a
fun time for everyone. Contact us if you wish to participate.
There is always room for a few more, whether you are a participant or instructor.
* As soon as they arrive home from Willow Springs, Reed and Sandi will be traveling to Albany for the SCCA NeDiv Mini-Con. Historically Reed just drove Sandi to these events and spent his time socializing at the bar while she attended meetings. But as the new MVR RE, Reed may have to actually work this time.
* The Kryderacing Regional Championship Series Awards Banquet is scheduled for Saturday, November 15th. Tickets are $30 each and include drinks, appetizers, and dinner. These banquets are a lot of fun with class award winners given time to thank people who helped them. They also tell a few good stories about their season. Participating Regions, and other parties inform those gathered of their plans for the upcoming year. So far it looks as if the turnout for 2008 will be a good one. Check your calendar and give us a call if you can attend the party.
* The season is over for the Kryderacing Series and Sandi has tabulated all the points. Everything can be found on the Kryderacing website and will be included in our next newsletter.
* We will not be able to attend the SEMA Show in Las Vegas this year due to other commitments, but In December we will be in Orlando at the Performance Racing Industry Show. Amongst other activities at the show we usually spend some time researching product information requested by our clients. Let us know if you have a request.
* The next few months
are historically slow times for Kryderacing shop business. Everyone
is done with the current season and is taking a break before planning for
the next. And this year many people are watching their expenditures
closely due to current economic uncertainties. We do believe
the economy will pick up, but if everyone waits until the last minute to
prepare for the 2009 season we may not be able to meet all their deadlines.
If you are positive you need some work done, now is the time to schedule
* It is also the time of year to think about Christmas gifts. All drivers need safety equipment and Kryderacing is a good source for HANS devices, Simpson Safety Equipment, and other products.
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