Saturday, July 11, 2009

Yakima Car Vigilantes

Stephan, our intrepid man on the east coast, filed this report after his latest Alpha exploits.


Please to contribute/share my racing experience for those who like to “keep the rubber side down” (Dylan’s quote) I am a racing enthusiast but the kind using four wheels … and an engine.

I am a racing instructor for COMSCC here in New England. This club is the oldest racing club in the east coast.

Here’s my curriculum with them:

Driver: Stephan de PĂ©nasse

Club Racing Instructor: since 2004 (Classroom Instructor since 2008)

Car: 1973 Red Alfa Romeo GTV-2000

Class: SSB (Showroom Stock B until 2006), SSC (from 2007 on)

Records with COMSCC since 2000:

2007 = Instructor of the Year Award

2004, 2007, 2008 = Class Champion

2000, 2003, 2006 = Vice Champion

2002, 2005 = 4th place

2001 = forgetaboutit J

My racing pedigree is somewhat broken down into three major portions:

VW Beetle Division 1 in Brazil

WKA - World Karting Association New England

What is COMSCC?

What is a Time Trial event: unlike HPDE (High Performance Driving Experience) COMSCC runs track sessions grouped by cars in the same class. The classes are determined by displacement, a formula that combines weight is the car, Horsepower, etc to determine the appropriate class. The one I am in now with my 1973 Alfa Romeo GTV-2000 is SSC: Showroom Stock Class C . It mean my car needs to be in “showroom” condition with original bumpers, etc. as be street worthy. I am allowed changing a few things such as shock absorbers (as long as it fits the original strut) and I can change seats and a roll cage is encouraged.

During practice sessions, the club uses “point-by” passing rules. This means there are designated areas in a race track where you can pass another car provided you were given a point-by to pass.

The time trail event itself consists of running 3 fast laps on the track (other cars are spaced in timed intervals so that you will not approach them) and they will record your fastest lap against the rest of others in the same class to determine the winner. Trophies are presented at the end of the 2-day event.

The club goes to some very legendary tracks like Watkins Glen (New York), Mont Tremblant (Quebec, Canada). Mosport (Ontario, Canada), Lime Rock (CT) and the “home” track is the New Hampshire Motor Speedway were we use the full road course (not oval).

Links to some pictures:

Stephan VW Beetle racing days:

Stephan Karting Days:

Stephan’s Alfa Romeo GTV-2000:

The Time Trial Event this past July 8 at NHMS :

TIME TRIAL EVENT JULY 8th: The weather was constantly changing: sun, heavy rain, dry again and more rain. It’s been going on like this all thru day 1 and word was “much of the same on day 2. I made a definite decision (rather than spending time holding a jack and a lug wrench all day) to put a set of rain tires and stay that way regardless. When it was time for me to stage the weather was dry. There were 4 cars in my class, 3 of them Mazda Miata. One of them edged me by less than .3 seconds, the rest where about 4-5 seconds behind me. The difference was simply in the tire selection. Second place was good enough for me!

Next event: August 1-2 at NHMS.

Speed safely!

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