Rounds 3 and 4 – Lac
La Biche March 2008:
Varied on the Championship Weekend:
Lac La Biche, Alberta – After a rough start to the
2008 season which included races post-poned and
cancelled due to (i) insufficient ice, (ii) blizzard
conditions, (iii) water geyser / track flooding, the Western Canadian
Championship weekend finally saw a full schedule of racing. The weather did however, throw a scare into the weekend schedule as Sunday
morning started off at around -22 C. Many Chevettes
required a boost to fire up.
Saturday was a racing success as the races were
run according to schedule and the Charity race drivers completed the first of 2
events. Sunday also followed the organizers plan and we had 3 full races for
all classes, the final race being a “double points” event.
The track was very wide in places, single file in
others and offered over-taking creativity during the early races of the day. However,
the track became polished and narrower as the day rolled on, meaning that
drivers had to keep closely to the racing line left by the studded cars. My attempts
to try the “outside” line or the late apex pass were stymied during the later
stages of the day in Chevette (15 cars) or the
Non-stud class (30 cars).
The Lac La Biche weekend
is always associated with vivid racing memories for the weekend. For me, this
leaving Edmonton, the realization that my trailer had
somehow become ‘re-wired’ such that a right
signal light would fully apply the brakes (yes, full braking intermittently
with the turn signal…)
to start DEAD LAST on the grid since I had no points to date for the
season… (just like the previous driver of Car 79 –
some guy from Ottawa that used to come to LLB annually).
how much fun it is starting last and passing 2/3 of the field, then
spinning out and losing 3 places, then re-passing them again.
a race for a number of laps and anticipating that pleasant sign that reads
a race and, instead of seeing that “LAST LAP” sign, seeing that dreaded “black
flag” with my number on it…….GASP!
pleasantries with the officials
about why the lead car would be subjected to a black flag when there was
no apparent, obvious, justifiable, reasonable or rational reason (my
straight to the “Crown Royal” motor home after such a “black flag” event,
so as to drown a few sorrows. Thanks to Car 26 for their kind, thoughtful
and timely liquid sponsors!
the very LAST room in the Lac La Biche hotels
a pass on Car 55 that saw a closing rate of about 95 km/h (my exaggeration
here) at the entry to the “sweeper”.
off that dastardly Car 26, in spite of the repeated taps to my rear bumper
on the last lap, to remind me he was there (Race 4).
several pocketfuls of home bakes chocolate chip cookies, complements of
the Team Boss, Car 54. (I had a stash of them in my racing suit pocket
my OLD car (Car 77, the old Car 78) re-tuned and running very f-a-s-t
again. Nice driving Kevin!
the driver of Car 55, a Chevette from the
original field of 1995 (yes, the same car after 14 seasons), drive the
wheels off and win races, defying the laws of physics as far as grip and
car control are concerned. The driver, now “55” like his car, deserves
credit for keeping that car tastefully groomed and running strong.
ALPAC race, Saturday, with a field of 12 cars, was well-driven by the
rookies (and no crashes).
Charity Race event, Sunday, also with 12 cars (Chevettes)
injected money to the local charity for the 10th year running.
night - a car trailer with repaired brake wiring that actually could
signal and stop normally again. Thanks Car 26 Team mechanic.
There is some talk about a series sponsor for
2009. That is, a sponsor for the Chevette car class. If
this is to happen, it is important that we, as a class, put some extra efforts
into the appearance of our cars. Have a look at Car 26 as a class leader in
appearance and maintenance. Stay tuned for news regarding a series sponsor for
next season. And buy some bondo!
Thanks again to the event organizers, workers,
fans and sponsors for making this the BIG event of the year and providing tow
money, finish money (top half in each class) as well as fine food and vivid racing
memories. / Car 79.