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Seven's Gathering at Barber Motorsports Park???


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At John V's suggestion, I'll start the thread. Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham Alabama, is a very special place. Not only is it a great track, but the Museum, and other amenities are World Class. I don't know what it would take to get us there, but a Seven's gathering with on track time would be tremendous.

 

So, with that as an intro, I'd say that two days on track minimum would be required to make the drive worthwhile for me. Three would be a bonus.

 

Tours of the Shop and Museum would certainly be high on the list as would lunch. Dinner options could be discussed.

 

For John's edification, the NJMP gathering this year had 18-20 cars on track. I think Barber could handle significantly more with no issue.

 

We would like to have our own run group if possible as that worked well at NJMP as no matter the HP, all our cars handle well and turns aren't choke points like with other marques on track with us.

 

I suspect we would need far more than 20 cars to make it any way reasonable cost wise. So we'd need John to give us some parameters on cost.

 

So without much to go on as to dates, costs etc. Let's see a show of hands as to who might be up for a Seven's gathering at Barber Motorsports Park.

 

Tom

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All

 

Shane & I have previously discussed the notion of Barber MSP on our list for 2015 CY venues. To the extent that other Seven's are interested in a Barber gathering similar to last July at NJMP that would be great!

 

We just returned from a cold & wet Chin event at COTA in Austin. Choosing a date that should have good weather (not too hot) would be preferrred. It was my first event running with Chin vs other HPDE options. I thought that they ran a well organized event.

 

Mario

Stalker #142

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Depending on whether the date ends up on a time already scheduled for vacations, weddings etc., I'd be interested. It is a shorter and much easier drive from Cincy than to NJMP, for instance.

 

I doubt 2 track days is feasible. It is an expensive track to rent. Happy to do 2 tho, if it happens.

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I am glad to see such response. Doing a DE/track day is a slight undertaking, expense logistics, and driver experience are big factors. I would think piggy backing on another HPDE event is the way to go. FYI the main track rents for mid-teens per day so it really takes 100-150 cars to make it affordable. However we just completed a new smaller track with a slight banked corner and is multi configurable so your Sunday course could be changed from the Saturday and many other options. This track rents for $4500 a day so a group of 30 would be in the $3-400 weekend range. I can find out which HPDE groups have rented the track next year and get contact info if you want to look into a piggy back scenario, I can also get you contact info for the proving grounds if that might interest you. After the track portion is decided we can then find out what tours/drives/events can be arranged. I am sure it will again be a fun weekend for all, even if a track day isn't your thing.

 

Disclaimer-I can help out and be a point of contact but for all kinds of reasons I personally cannot put the event together.(especially any of the track activities)

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. . . . . I would think piggy backing on another HPDE event is the way to go. . . . . I can find out which HPDE groups have rented the track next year and get contact info if you want to look into a piggy back scenario . . . . . Disclaimer-I can help out and be a point of contact but for all kinds of reasons I personally cannot put the event together.(especially any of the track activities)

 

I spoke with Mark Hicks this morning (general manager for Chin Motorsports). He said, in short, that we could piggy back with Chin at Barber, but becasue of cost and driver experience levels, he couldn't put together a 'cost-effective' Seven-only run group. Although we would be in different run groups, we could do the event together. Again, Chin dates for 2015 at Barber are:

 

Apr 18-19, 2015 Barber MSP

Jul 11-12, 2015 Barber MSP

Sep 19-20, 2015 Barber MSP

 

http://www.chinmotorsports.com/default.aspx?v=1

 

My vote would be for September. :cheers:

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I'm interested although my schedule is already tight for 2015. If it becomes a track rat gathering I'm not interested. Suggestions for events are: blind driver, skid pad (they have a great facility for that), auto-X, poker run, hotdog/tennis ball grab..., gimmick rally, technical sessions on sheet metal, fiberglass, electrical, history of the 7, car show, meals at interesting places.

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September at Barber is not exactly a cool weather event. Labor Day in the South can be brutal, not like September in NJ or NY. It doesn't bother me but I would hate to see you Northern guys get bummed out with a 90+ degree track day.

 

Chin runs a very good HPDE but until you get checked out on the track by one of their instructors, no solo run. I've done quite a few events with Chin and Mark doesn't waiver on that rule.

 

Another HPDE organizer is HOD (Hooked On Driving) but I'm not sure if he has Barber on his schedule. Henry Gilbert's solo requirements are a bit looser than Chin, and they may entertain a 7 only group....not sure however.

 

You may want to consider Road Atlanta, not as picturesque as Barber but technically challenging. Tom is right, we need at least 2 if not 3 track days to make it worthy of the travel.

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I might be in if we can get a caravan going down there. 14 hour drive from where I live.

 

Barber is a fun track - I've driven it in a Caterham and a Seven is right at home once you learn the lines. There is also a museum there that can add to experience.

 

That said, I'm not sure putting people of different skills and track experience on this track at the same time is a good idea. It is a more technical track than Thunderbolt or Lightning.

 

I'm guessing most HPDEs will require an instructor in the car for novices and first-timers and will need to sign off before allowing the driver to go solo. This was Chin's policy, which BTW is a really good idea. An instructor is the best way to learn the track.

 

Road Atlanta is an awesome track too. Very challenging with much nicer accommodations (Chateau Elan!)

Edited by JBH
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Okay I attached the flyer for the new proving grounds we just built at Barber. It might lend an alternative track to the group. The rental rate as I said above is much less than the big track and with the 5 acre asphalt pad and multi configurable track you run run a different track morning and afternoon or even day to day. The track while not wide enough for passing is perfectly suited for Seven sized cars. By renting the proving grounds you can decide on run groups times etc...This is just another option for using Barber at a more affordable rate.

 

And as Dean said above if you made it a gathering we can set up some really great mountain drives and events for non-racers, spouses, or kids. Grabbing the track the day after our HMSA event in May could make for a great gathering. The featured make will be Lotus at that event.

Proving grounds_0002.jpg

Proving grounds_0001.jpg

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I'm considering driving my V8 Miata to The Mitty in April as there is a gathering of V8 Miatas planned at the event. If the Gathering at Barber Motorsports would happen to fall on the weekend before or after that it would make it more enticing for me to make the trip.

 

Would I be allowed to participate on the track with the Miata? I promise to wave by all the hot shoes in their Caterhams.

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IMHO, May is the best month for Barber.

1. May is usually a dry month in the South

2. May is cooler than the other two track dates

3. May is still a school month so fewer people out on the road for those who travel great distances.

 

I don't suppose any of you consider Sebring, Daytona or PBIR? These are tracks that are within 100 miles of me.....my selfish side is reaching out (LOL)

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