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> Big Bend Open Road Race 2006 Report, Horrible
SuperCricket
post Apr 23 2006, 01:24 AM
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After 9 months of preparation my navigator and I were finally ready to drive to West Texas this week for BBORR 2006. It was to be my first open road race and I was really excited. Two good friends wanted to come along to help, so we turned my 1977 Grumman Stepvan into a makeshift RV for the week. We put a mini-fridge, television, Xbox, home sound system, etc. into the van, along with every tool from my shop and tons of spares for the racecar and van itself.

http://teejaded.com/v-web/gallery/BBORR2006/STA70001

We all loaded up Wednesday and drove to the truckstop for fuel. We drove the rig up onto the scales and paid the $8.50 to find out how much everything in that picture above weighed. 13,200 pounds with the 4 of us in the van, HOLY CRAP.

As soon as we got onto the highway a cold front came through, and we fought storms through the night. I soon found out the top speed for the rig was around 65 mph and we were averaging 8 miles per gallon in the semi-flat land around Fort Worth and West of it. After our first fueling I noticed the oil pressure dropping, and pulled off the road for a checkup. The oil wasn't touching the dipstick, and it took 3 quarts to get it back to normal. We had only gone 90 of the 500 miles...

The sun was rising and we were way behind due to pit stops and the horrible storms. We had to pull off the road for over an hour for hail and bad rain earlier in the night. We finally made it onto highway 285, the road BBORR is held on. The van wasn't liking 3000 ft altitude and the huge hills, and I under estimated our gas needs. We ran out of fuel 6.6 miles from Sanderson and had 30 minutes to make it for our rookie school. We tried to flag down racers and random people for 30 minutes to no avail. We stood on the side of the road with a big red fuel jug next to us, and wathed handfulls of Vette drivers and other racers just wave as they went past.

I unloaded the racecar, I knew it only had a gallon it in to get it onto the trailer, but it was enough for me to light-foot it into Sanderson. We filled up the fuel jug and booked ass back to the van. Allthough the racecar isn't insured, there was no other option. We arrived at the courhouse and saw the rookies coming out, the class had just ended 5 minutes prior...

We went to the registration desk, and the lady Kenda that runs the race said even though we missed the school she had two guys who could get us caught up on what we needed to know. So it was off to tech the car in.

I drove the car off the trailer and into the tech line. The tech guy was just about done going through the car, everything was perfect until he said, "you don't have any windows?" Oh Lord I thought. "No I don't have windows, the rules say nothing about it, is this a problem?"

The tech guy called the race director who said he was afraid the back window on the Camaro might blow out due to air pressure since I had no windows. I proposed a number of options, including removal of the entire hatch, using tow straps to hold the back window in, and even smashing the entire glass out right in the parking lot. The tech guy said removing the hatch should work, and I was fine with that; he walked off for a minute.

He came back saying the race director said even if we remove the glass, we would now need window nets. I asked why the Shelby Cobra replica with no roof or windows was allowed to run, or the handfull of other convertibles, and he had no response. He called the race director again and said "without window nets, you can't run, no exceptions." I asked why there was no mention of this in the rulebook and the tech guy said "it's just assumed all of these cars have windows, most are street cars." Oh my God. After 2 hours of bickering with the director we had run out of time, loaded up the racecar, and headed out of Sanderson.

We started back through the hills on 285, and found our miles per gallon to be 4.4 for those 60 miles. It took a little over $500 in fuel to get us from Fort Worth and back, and 28 quarts of oil. Yes I said 28.

We saw some dragstrip in Odessa at around 6pm Friday, and decided we needed to do something with the racecar. The owner greeted us at the gate, we told him our story, and he invited us in. We had fun taking turns trying to launch the racecar on 315 Kumho Victoracers (which don't hook worth a flip at the track), and enjoyed the laid back atmosphere.

It's really odd I felt more at home in the middle of the desert with a bunch of redneck drag racers than in Big Bend. We sat on the roof of the step van and drank the last of our beer, and headed back to Fort Worth.

So I spent a couple thousand dollars and dipped into my savings to run an 1/8th mile dragstrip in West Texas. I just wish the BBORR guys would elaborate their short rulebook a litte more to include things like this.

So uh watch those back windows folks. And if you are going above 120 mph make sure you don't roll your windows down...

This post has been edited by SuperCricket: Apr 23 2006, 01:47 AM
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CJ-TA
post Apr 23 2006, 03:18 AM
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I would be livid!

I think you should have that oil consumption issue looked at (IMG:http://www.frrax.com/rrforum/style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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trackbird
post Apr 23 2006, 04:57 AM
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QUOTE (SuperCricket @ Apr 22 2006, 09:24 PM) *
The tech guy called the race director who said he was afraid the back window on the Camaro might blow out due to air pressure since I had no windows.


I can tell you from personal experience that the back window will stay in with the t-tops out and the windows down at 153 mph. Don't ask me how I figured this out, just be advised that it has been tested and the window was just fine.
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Jon A
post Apr 23 2006, 08:24 AM
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Sorry to hear about that. I've always wondered where the tech comes from for some of these rules with some sanctioning bodies.... SCCA and nearly every group you run laps with around a track makes you have the windows down. 150 MPH on the front straight? No problem! Go to the drag strip and they make you roll your windows up or the back glass will blow off! Even if your car can't trap 100 MPH. Both can't be right. (IMG:http://www.frrax.com/rrforum/style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif)
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firehawkclone
post Apr 23 2006, 01:26 PM
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QUOTE (Jon A @ Apr 23 2006, 03:24 AM) *
Sorry to hear about that. I've always wondered where the tech comes from for some of these rules with some sanctioning bodies.... SCCA and nearly every group you run laps with around a track makes you have the windows down. 150 MPH on the front straight? No problem! Go to the drag strip and they make you roll your windows up or the back glass will blow off! Even if your car can't trap 100 MPH. Both can't be right. (IMG:http://www.frrax.com/rrforum/style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif)


Bummer on the weekend, but the next one will be better!

I think it could Jon, If they make you run with the window's up, than they know the back glass will stay in. Becuase you never know what some guy's or factory do to the car!

What would be the effect's on the car if the rear glass came out at 160mph? Would it spin out (IMG:http://www.frrax.com/rrforum/style_emoticons/default/blink.gif)


BUT I have never seen rear glass come out on a roadcourse either! They could just allow safety strap's on the rear glass if you want to run with the window's down!

This post has been edited by firehawkclone: Apr 23 2006, 01:29 PM
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trackbird
post Apr 23 2006, 01:31 PM
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At last years "12 Hours at the Point" a Spec Miata hit a deer and shattered the windsheld. They kicked out the windshield and went back out. About 3 laps later, the rear window did blow out of the hardtop. I was there in person, I spoke to the drivers and I saw the beat up Miata and the front windsheld was folded up in the trash can (and the back glass was gone). However, that is considerably more air coming through (with no windshield) than we are dealing with. So, in a worst case, it seems possible......but rare.
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98_1LE
post Apr 23 2006, 02:52 PM
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Wow, that sucks Kyle! Sorry to hear that.

FWIW, I have been >150mph with the t-tops out and windows down, and the back window survived. At 125 or 130, the air starts going over the car and it gets quiet inside.
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SS2win
post Apr 23 2006, 04:05 PM
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Damn man, I would be pissed. I wanted to be there but work is keeping me too busy too busy for words. I'll be sure to keep the windows in for when I do get out there.
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Blainefab
post Apr 23 2006, 05:57 PM
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Bummer - I would have thought they would be more flexible - ie wrist straps and helmet visors, and some straps across the back glass, or just bumping you down to Touring class, which would still be a good ride on that road. I don't think running without hatch would be good - a friend once ran a 3rd gen at CA speedway without back glass and the car was extremely loose - not what you want at high speed.

I had a variety of issues at tech for the Silver State races, but nothing that couldn't be solved with a trip to NAPA or a hardware store, or in one case dropping from Unl to 170.
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Mike B
post Apr 24 2006, 12:38 AM
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Dear SuperCricket,

First, let me introduce myself. I am Mike Borders, and in addition to being an F-Body owner, I am the General Manager of MKM Racing Promotions. We promote three Open Road Races in Nevada similar to the BBORR. I have raced in the BBORR five times, and last year, we (my wife and I) won the BBORR in the Unlimited Division and set a new course average speed record of 166.979 mph, which still stands after last weekend. I have been doing this since 1997, and promoting races since 2002. The ONLY reason I do this (with my parther, another die-hard racer) is because of a deep love for the sport and a desire to expose as many people as possible to the wonders of ORR. I have met Alan Blaine when he was ORR'ing a few years ago, and probably know many others on this forum.

However, this post isn't about me, it's about you. I was deeply dismayed to read your post and earnestly want you to experience the friendship, fun, and close-knit family feeling that exists in the ORR community. I want to invite you to come out to our next event, the Bonneville 100 in Wendover, NV, on July 13-16, 2006, FREE! Of course, I can't cover your travel expenses, but your car looks great in the photo and I'd be proud to have you race it in my event. It would be a shame to lose someone so dedicated they would configure a Step Van to tow their car out, and if you're willing to sacrifice that much to get to an ORR, the least I can do is cover your entry fees!

As for your windows, here's what OUR rule book says:

"Arm Restraints: Arm Restraints are mandatory in all Divisions GS Upper (145 mph) and above, and are highly recommended for all other classes. Arm Restraints are also mandatory for all vehicles without glass/Lexan side windows or window netting.

Window Nets: Highly recommended in all Divisions."


This, and a complete copy of our rules, is available on our website, www.openroadracing.com. Our Chief of Tech, John Tiemann, was at the BBORR this year as a participant, and he and I are always available to answer questions of any nature about ORR, Tech or otherwise. If you come, I and the rest of the MKM staff will do everything we can to make your FIRST ORR a memorable experience!

(Maybe you can coax Alan out of retirement and firehawkclone out west, and make up an F-body team!)

I wish you the best, and if anyone else on this forum wants to know more, please contact me through the website or on our office phone, 702-614-6108.

Mike B
General Manager
MKM Racing Promotions

Home of the Pony Express 130, Bonneville 100, and Gambler's Run Twin 50 Open Road Races
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bsim
post Apr 24 2006, 02:17 AM
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Wow - Nice Mike! (IMG:http://www.frrax.com/rrforum/style_emoticons/default/beerchug.gif)
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Rob Hood
post Apr 24 2006, 03:26 AM
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QUOTE
I want to invite you to come out to our next event, the Bonneville 100 in Wendover, NV, on July 13-16, 2006, FREE! Of course, I can't cover your travel expenses, but your car looks great in the photo and I'd be proud to have you race it in my event. It would be a shame to lose someone so dedicated they would configure a Step Van to tow their car out, and if you're willing to sacrifice that much to get to an ORR, the least I can do is cover your entry fees!


Now that's impressive! (IMG:http://www.frrax.com/rrforum/style_emoticons/default/2thumbs.gif)
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trackbird
post Apr 24 2006, 03:58 AM
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Welcome Mike. That's an outstanding gesture. We have a few ORR guys here and I'd be glad to have you stop by from time to time. It's great to see organizers who are available and approachable. We'll gladly add your events to the calendar if you post a schedule in the "events" forum (if I don't get time to do it before then).
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firehawkclone
post Apr 24 2006, 05:01 AM
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B)-->
QUOTE(Mike B @ Apr 23 2006, 07:38 PM) *

Dear SuperCricket,

First, let me introduce myself. I am Mike Borders, and in addition to being an F-Body owner, I am the General Manager of MKM Racing Promotions. We promote three Open Road Races in Nevada similar to the BBORR. I have raced in the BBORR five times, and last year, we (my wife and I) won the BBORR in the Unlimited Division and set a new course average speed record of 166.979 mph, which still stands after last weekend. I have been doing this since 1997, and promoting races since 2002. The ONLY reason I do this (with my parther, another die-hard racer) is because of a deep love for the sport and a desire to expose as many people as possible to the wonders of ORR. I have met Alan Blaine when he was ORR'ing a few years ago, and probably know many others on this forum.

However, this post isn't about me, it's about you. I was deeply dismayed to read your post and earnestly want you to experience the friendship, fun, and close-knit family feeling that exists in the ORR community. I want to invite you to come out to our next event, the Bonneville 100 in Wendover, NV, on July 13-16, 2006, FREE! Of course, I can't cover your travel expenses, but your car looks great in the photo and I'd be proud to have you race it in my event. It would be a shame to lose someone so dedicated they would configure a Step Van to tow their car out, and if you're willing to sacrifice that much to get to an ORR, the least I can do is cover your entry fees!

As for your windows, here's what OUR rule book says:

"Arm Restraints: Arm Restraints are mandatory in all Divisions GS Upper (145 mph) and above, and are highly recommended for all other classes. Arm Restraints are also mandatory for all vehicles without glass/Lexan side windows or window netting.

Window Nets: Highly recommended in all Divisions."


This, and a complete copy of our rules, is available on our website, www.openroadracing.com. Our Chief of Tech, John Tiemann, was at the BBORR this year as a participant, and he and I are always available to answer questions of any nature about ORR, Tech or otherwise. If you come, I and the rest of the MKM staff will do everything we can to make your FIRST ORR a memorable experience!

(Maybe you can coax Alan out of retirement and firehawkclone out west, and make up an F-body team!)

I wish you the best, and if anyone else on this forum wants to know more, please contact me through the website or on our office phone, 702-614-6108.

Mike B
General Manager
MKM Racing Promotions

Home of the Pony Express 130, Bonneville 100, and Gambler's Run Twin 50 Open Road Races
[/quote]


Thank you for the invite Mike, but my CFO(wife) just said no!
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mitchntx
post Apr 24 2006, 06:07 AM
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[quote name='SuperCricket' post='78688' date='Apr 22 2006, 08:24 PM']

the race director who said he was afraid the back window on the Camaro might blow out due to air pressure since I had no windows.

He came back saying the race director said even if we remove the glass, we would now need window nets.

the race director again and said "without window nets, you can't run, no exceptions."
[/quote]


B)-->
QUOTE(Mike B @ Apr 23 2006, 07:38 PM) *

As for your windows, here's what OUR rule book says:

"Arm Restraints: Arm Restraints are mandatory in all Divisions GS Upper (145 mph) and above, and are highly recommended for all other classes. Arm Restraints are also mandatory for all vehicles without glass/Lexan side windows or window netting.

Window Nets: Highly recommended in all Divisions."

[/quote]


So Kyle, you were told "Window nets, no exceptions" and Mr. Borders, your rules say "Arm restraints are mandatory, windows nets recommended".

I'm sorry ... I went to a Texas Hi Skool, so please explain how recommended equals mandatory?

Kyle you were screwed.

I hate pias tech inspectors that are on some power trip. I see regulars get away with BS and the new guys get nailed on trivial crap like "might blow out the rear glass at high speed". Every damn car out there, even with window nets, has that same potential. Window nets and arm restraints do nothing to reduce in car pressure.

Looks like you were singled out, Kyle. Maybe you should drive a Cobra or Vette ... (IMG:http://www.frrax.com/rrforum/style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif) This smells of "good ole boy racing" ...

Every sanctioning body I've ever dealt with has "show stoppers" that deal with safety and "log book 'fix it'" entries for things in the grey areas.

This is a huge black eye for ORR ...
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Blainefab
post Apr 24 2006, 12:07 PM
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Mitch - Mike runs a different ORR org, with a different rule book, and is making a generous offer to offset the disaster that Kyle had. The ORR community is a pretty tight bunch, and I'm sure many more are as dismayed at Kyles report as everybody here is.

Mike - Glad you jumped in here, and hope you stay! I don't know about retirement - I'm having too much fun building cars and coaching to feel retired. As far as ORR - I realized that what I enjoyed the most about ORR was spotting a car on the horizon, chasing it down and passing it - so I switched to RR, but still savor many of those moments flying thru the desert.
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mitchntx
post Apr 24 2006, 01:24 PM
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B)-->
QUOTE(Mike B @ Apr 23 2006, 07:38 PM) *

Dear SuperCricket,

First, let me introduce myself. I am Mike Borders, and in addition to being an F-Body owner, I am the General Manager of MKM Racing Promotions. We promote three Open Road Races in Nevada similar to the BBORR.
[/quote]


QUOTE (Blainefab @ Apr 24 2006, 07:07 AM) *
Mitch - Mike runs a different ORR org, with a different rule book, and is making a generous offer to offset the disaster that Kyle had. The ORR community is a pretty tight bunch, and I'm sure many more are as dismayed at Kyles report as everybody here is.


Oops ... I missed that key phrase ....

Apologies to you Mike and your crew.

It is surprising that there isn't a standard set of rules for this type racing.
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AllZWay
post Apr 24 2006, 01:40 PM
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That really sux Kyle... BTW.. I saw you at MSR, but was busy getting ready to go onto the track and didn't get a chance to say Hello.
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CMC#5
post Apr 24 2006, 02:52 PM
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That is a real shame...though it'll make for funny stories when you're hanging out bench racing for years to come.

Very nice gesture Mike...that's really cool that you would offer that.
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AndyJ
post Apr 25 2006, 04:56 AM
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Hey Kyle,

Hate to hear what happened to you all after meeting you right before lunch. The word on you the next day said nothing about failing Tech -- just that you missed Rookie School (3X).

Wish you would clear this up.

Andy (with the frrax.com sticker)
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