Thursday, May 24, 2012

Motorsports Park Hastings, Hastings, Nebraska

We had a good drive over from Colorado to Nebraska. We had come to Motorsports Park Hastings a couple weeks before the One Lap to give Eric a chance to learn the track. When we came that day the owner, George, was a great guy. Very nice and personable. Since Eric had his number we called him while driving there now and asked if we could possibly get in to pitch our tent near the paddock. He was so nice he texted us the lock codes to get in the gates and we had a nice quiet camping space in the paddock all to ourselves. Perfect camping weather too. The day went just okay. His first run session he went off and gathered up a bunch of the fresh cut alfalfa which completely blocked off his air intake for the radiator. He limped across the line a lap later and promptly overheated and blew steam all over. I saw what I thought was smoke as they had him pulled off the track after turn 1. I raced over on my bike and figured it would be all over now. We wouldn't be able to repair it from a engine fire. The safety crew pulled the car into the paddock and Eric said it had overheated and blew the antifreeze out. Aaahhhh. Much better than a fire. He asked the safety guys if they could pull him to a water source. Wow, pretty good thinking for a dopey kid. They pulled it over to a hose at the way far end of the paddock. I started filling up the overflow tank with water and spraying down the radiator. It took us quite awhile to get water to move through the system but it slowly started to cool down and circulate. He took it out on the road for a little shake down run and said it seems to be okay. Dang, John built a strong motor. The results showed he got 8th for that session. Not bad since he had the off roading. Afternoon session he did much better staying on and got 4th. "NO LAWN MOWING" was my stern order before that run. Then they had a parking lot autocross set up by the local SCCA club. My lands, what a disaster that was. One of the first runs was by a hopped up Mustang. The guy lost control and hit a guardrail and ripped the driver's door off. So they had to shut everything down and nullify all the results up to that point. They laid out a new coarse, not much better. Eric's car is not very good for a tight autocross coarse. While they were running the autocross I was packing up the tent and found a Porsche key fob on the grass. I hit the panic button and the horn and lights started going on the Cayenne Turbo over by the autocross. I watched the guy go try to shut it off. Then I waited 'till he walked away and hit it again. I had a few people watching so we were having fun. I got him a third time before walking over to reveal myself. We all had a good laugh. I told him I figured he must have been napping in my tent when he lost his fob.

We left Motorsports Park Hastings as quick as possible after he ran the autocross. Great. Since this was going to be one of the longest transitions of the week. A bit shy of 600 miles and 11 hours. Did I mention there is no air conditioner in this car? And, it gets very hot inside so we always had to drive with the windows open. Except when it got later at night and cooled down enough outside. I had a set of big ear muffs which worked great for me. Excited to be heading to Brainerd, Eric knows this track pretty well, hahaahahah.

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