Leinninger.com

June 7th, 2007:
Friends at work. SCCA race against Corvettes.

When you’re a geek, you travel in geek circles. My closest friends are the most intelligent and innovative people I’ve ever met. To get to work with them every day would be amazing. Recently, I referred 2 friends to work. One started a few weeks ago, and he has proven to be a amazing asset to one of the teams. Now, one of my closest friends will be working on my team. We’ve had numerous philosophical discussions about coding, security, politics, and beer. I can’t wait to have him in the office. I work for a great company, and have made several friends in the office. Bringing others into this great environment makes it all the better. Woot!

On the 25th-26th of May, I participated in my first SCCA regional at Grattan Raceway, near Grand Rapids, MI. Technically, my car is a Spec Neon and is held to the limitations of the class. However, there is not a regional Spec Neon class, so I had to bump up to “Improved Touring-A (ITA)”. ITA cars have better suspension, engines, and tires. Additionally, the drivers in that class were (obviously) more experienced than I. However, the stewards of the race decided to run our group (ITA) with the TCC group. TCC stands for “Touring Challenge for Corvettes.” Which means I was on track with some of the meanest Corvettes you can imagine… not to mention the GT-1 cars (think NASCAR, but without intake limitations and turning both ways). It was awesome. I couldn’t feel my own heartbeat on the grid… I couldn’t even tell if my car was still running! All I heard/felt was the pounding of the un-corked small block V-8 engines.

On Saturday and Sunday mornings, we qualified/raced in the rain. I equipped rain tires (and on Sunday adjusted my suspension). Some of the big bore cars ran on a completely dry setup… which means I qualified in front of some MUCH faster cars. The start of the following races was an experience. I liken it to the Millennium Falcon jumping to light speed, except in reverse… and instead of stars, Corvettes were flying by. I was able to keep up with one T1 ‘Vette in the corners, but he would pull away from me a little more in each straight-away. I’m not going to pretend I was even remotely competitive with the Corvettes… heck some of the other ITAs even lapped me. But, it felt pretty good to pass a Corvette a few times. The track itself was a lot of fun and I learned a lot about car setup and learning a new track from scratch. I can’t wait until my next “new” track.

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