Monday, June 6, 2016

A Race Weekend at the Sonoma Historic Races

Dear Family & Friends,

The latest news is I just completed a fun weekend of racing at the Sonoma Historic Races in Sonoma, CA.
I have to admit I was quite nervous about this race.. 
First I haven't done a race in almost three years so I was definitely feeling a bit rusty. Also this was the first event for my E Type race car in three years after a full bare body up rebuild.. After ten seasons it definitely needed a full rebuild
Unfortunately I was unable to arrange a good test day at a track before this event and there are ALWAYS issues after a full rebuild.....
Wednesday before the event I drove my SS100 Jag up to Oakland Ca. to visit my daughter Sarah and my grandson Abel. We went to dinner and a movie and got a nice visit in. This is ALWAYS  a treat for me!
The next day I had a leisurely drive up to the Sears Point Raceway. A testament to the quality of work at XKS Unlimited was the Jaguar made it through hours of stop and go Bay area traffic in 90+degree heat and never missed a beat.
Thursday afternoon I met the XKs Motorsport racing team (doesn't that sound good ? ;-)) at the track and set up our pit area and got the car through technical inspection. Always a nervous time because you never know what issues a tech inspector will come up with to prevent you from racing.. The car passed tech and this year they started a knew program call the GOLD MEDALLION program. A one time extremely thorough inspection for the legality and quality of the car. If you pass that the car gets certified and has a special log book that allows you to race the car and always get accepted at any SVRA event in the country. After a two day inspection my car was certified! I know have a valuable plus to my car.
This event offered lots of track time for practice, qualifying, qualifying race, and the main event race.. This weekend the car and I needed every minute we could get..
First its as VERY hot and all weekend long. I would good much faster the first 10 minutes then start slowing the rest of the time just do to heat exhaustion.. I think at age 65 it is time to invest in a cool suite.. I just can't take that kind of heat anymore. When the air temp is in the 90s, your wearing a triple layer nome fires suite, and your inside a tight HOT race car it can get pretty brutal. The plus is I am sure I lost 5 lbs this weekend!
 The first time on the track I definitely felt rusty but by the end of the weekend my confidence started coming back.
While the car ran all weekend long it was a struggle dealing with brake bias adjustments, suspension settings, and carb settings.. Every time I took it out it went faster and faster but a good day of testing before hand would have been much better. We made a lot of progress on sorting the car out but it was no where near as fast as I know it can be. Certainly another day of jetting will make the car a front runner.
Even with all the trials and tribulations it was a fun event, the car made the main event and finished mid pack and it certainly felt good to be racing again. 
This event also included lots of good food, wine, and parties so that was certainly a plus.
The real high point of the weekend for me was my family. This event was probably the greatest gathering of "Len's" in the history of motor racing! The list included my wife Bonnie, daughter Sarah, grandson Abel, cousin Mark and his wife Barbara, and their sons, wives and children. It was a treat to have them all there cheering me on. After the race we all went in to Sonoma and had dinner and my cousin Mark and I reminisced about our family. We haven't been close for years due to living far apart and just different paths in life but it was really good to reconnect with him and his wonderful family.
Now it's time to finish tuning the car and sorting it out for the next race. A special thanks to Brendan, Jack, Steve, and Mark, my friends that got the car their and worked on it tirelessly all weekend sorting out various issues.


Certainly one of the best looking pit areas at the event

See how hard we worked all weekend getting the car to run better?

Going out for the first practice, nervous, nervous, nervous...

I wasn't the fastest by a long shot but I beat a few.. The last time I ran here I finished 5th out of 40 and won the best performance of the weekend award..!! I will get there again.

There was some serious horse power on this track. There were about 30 cars and all had big V-8 motors except for me and one other.

I had a good few laps where this car and I chased each other..

Here is what happens when you don't pay attention.. A beautiful race car rolled into a wad of useless metal. Happily the driver was unhurt.

My daughter Sarah adding some real class to the weekend!

The end of a fun weekend. Not fast but reliable and much progress made. The next race will be much better!

My ride for the weekend. It garnered quite the attending in Berekely when I parked it at a local coffee shop.

The XKs Racing team enjoying a little R&R at the Rams Gate Winery. A special party for the racers.

On Saturday night the town square of Sonoma had a car party and wine tasting. This racing is hard work!

An evening tour around the Sonoma town sq. in an SS100. and

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Story of my V12 XK120 FHC,,,, start to finish~

This was by far the hardest project I have ever done from the frame up! I started with a rusty bare body. It was completely rebuilt with ext...