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2018 Sevens HPDE at NJMP - July 4-6, 2018


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Exciting arrival day at NJMP. Old friend S1 steve N. showed up to say hello. Kitcat, Xcarguy and croc all were practicing their ice dancing spin moves out on the track. Quite the exciting day. Shane's beast looks and sounds awesome. Croc's stable of vintage race cars is amazing.

 

And Kitcat is just plain awesome. :jester: Karting was called off due to the heat. The manager said she was losing some of her employees to heat exhaustion. So we hit the bar and the pool early. Good turnout for dinner, I think the count was twenty two or so. And we stepped out side after dinner to watch the fireworks display that was on track at TBolt tonight. What a great way to celebrate the 4th of July. :flag:

 

Breakfast at 8:30 tomorrow morning then drivers meeting and on track around 10 ish. Should be a hoot. Good night. Tom

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Some photos for those who cannot make it (Seb - picked out the new kitchen countertops yet?)

 

Yesterday was a test day for me to break some things. It was hot...really hot. I guzzled 10 waters and 2 Arnold Palmers between 8.30 and 4pm and I was still dehydrated. IT did not help that old cars are heat engines especially the Mustang. The track was extremely greasy and so lots of sliding was involved. A certain Stalker exited stage right at one point in my rear vision mirror - I have video. However, payback will come as Shane caught me rotating the Mustang in the bowl in front of him and Kitcat.

 

Bimmer was running quick until I broke 3 of the 5 locating studs on the centerlock hubs on one rear wheel. Not surprising as it was starting to match the pace of my Caterham with Steve driving to assuage his disappointment with no Caterham. The Cossie broke a rear bearing and it dislodged from the hub stranding Shane and I out on the track. It was limited to 4000rpm in the low boost mode to learn its handling, braking and other vices. No damage and I got lots of feedback on what is needed on its development program. It is a really fun little car to drive with monumental power once we allow it over 4000rpm. Dare I say it but it may actually handle better than a Caterham.

 

 

 

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As Tom mentioned, karting was cancelled and at least 12 ended up at an impromptu cocktail party at my garage before migrating to the Clubhouse for drinks around the pool and dinner. Some photos from dinner.

 

 

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Edited by Croc
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This is what the seven collection looked like last night after dinner. Not as many to store as last year but we will all get into the garage today at Thunderbolt. Group photo is at Lightning on Friday.

 

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Nut & bolt the car, new brake fluid, swapped tires, aeroscreen on. Ready to go-until..... Enterprise called me this AM to tell me the truck they were supposed to be renting me was still out. Don't own a tow vehicle at the moment. They looked to come up with another one but called me late in the day to say they'd have one for me tomorrow. I could pick it up at 7:30 AM. Hmmmm... pick up at 7:30, drive home, hook up trailer and I'm up at NJMP by 10:30-11 at earliest. Thanks but no thanks. So- sorry I'll miss the festivities tomorrow, though looks a bit on the wet side.

 

Thanks for setting it all up Mike and Tom. Have to try next year or later in the season. Everybody keep it on the black stuff tomorrow!

 

Jim A

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Gee those Sevens really stick to the road!!!! Glen - as always it was great to have you around. Really looking forward to seeing your video. I am slooooowly downloading video from the camera now - will take some time to process.

 

 

 

So where do I start?

 

Breakfast was a great start followed by tech inspection. The fail score was two sets of out of date belts and two out of date helmets. TJ and his team of mechanics was kept running all day to install new belts, fix various mechanical issues and a couple of unusual requests.

 

 

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So then we get Drivers Briefing. Big class.

 

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Session 1 at the Thunderbolt circuit was going quite well until I happened to notice a certain orange Caterham parked by the flag station at the Entrance to the Devil seemingly broken down but no wait, look at that flag station worker - very very attractive, curves in all the right spots, etc., with the driver happily chatting her up. The rest of the flag station workers were old craggy men. I was suspicious. All was confirmed when Tom got back to the pits "I offered her a ride in my Caterham" Roll eyes. Still he did have a broken throttle cable.

 

They continued to let us run but then a certain Stalker broke down on track

 

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That ended up as a loose wire on the alternator.

 

Todd came by to check us out. His Caterham has oil pump issue and could not run. SO he gave us all a tutorial in the classroom on how to drive the track.

 

 

So then it was session 2. We had an incident on lap 1. Driver is fine. Car is not. No need to mention names. Car is definitely repairable - chassis looked straight, some cosmetic aero, needed. Two new wheels. A nose cone. Front suspension on one side. Some mounting points. It will live again. Driver is very bummed out and will be sore this morning but will bounce back.

 

 

Some unrelated engine photos.

 

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Then we get to session 3. So all is well but then in true USA7s style, Fred breaks down in his bike-engined Locost. Magically he also stopped near this very attractive flag station lady. No idea how that happened?

 

So that was another alternator wire.

 

Both electrical issues were diagnosed by Roman who stopped by to say hello as his car remains under repair.

 

 

 

Session 4 went nicely. Full length time despite a certain Stalker observed limping home to the pits. Took us long enough!!!

 

 

Dinner was held at the Charlesworth Restaurant in Fortescue NJ, on Delaware Bay. Great seafood place. Drinks on the deck overlooking the water. Then dinner inside.

 

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My dining companions look possessed? Simon is anyway.

 

 

So lets see what today brings. We are forecast to get a thunderstorm at some point but I suspect it will be quick and then back to business. Dinner tonight is at Andrea's in Millville, a local favorite.

 

Mike W, our track photographer will be here today to do the traditional group photo and get some on track action.

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Really disappointed I had to pull out of the event but least I get vicarious thrills out of your excellent posts of everyone having a great time. Have a great day and if it is like CT you may just have a quick thunder shower.

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just got back to the hotel after tonight's dinner. What a day, what a event! Forecast yesterday had 100% chance of rain with Thunderstorms and rain forecasted for the whole day and evening today. Lucky for us the weather models and forecasters are wrong more than they are right. It did rain around 7am but the track was dry by 9am and our first session didn't begin until 10:30am. The sun came out and we had an awesome day again. Everyone behaved, cars all ran strongly and tonight's dinner and award were excellent. Lots of laughs and great conversation. Pictures will tell the story. Thanks to all that made the trip. Tom

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Back at the hotel after an awesome day of driving and camaraderie. Another stellar event; thanks Mike and Tom! And thanks to Croc, my son is now acquainted with what it’s like to do laps in a Caterham SV, a Holman Moody Mustang and a Cossie Escort.

 

I’ll dare not steal Mike and/or Tom’s thunder regarding the awards ceremony, but it was a laugh a minute. However, the photo below tells the story of what Croc’s Cossie looks like as it try’s to imitate a flying Storker.

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Edited by xcarguy
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Ok…officially I am exhausted. Very slow start to the morning. I did not get up until 7am – that never happens with me.

 

Yesterday was a great day. The storms avoided us. We had a ton of quality track time – more than we could handle as it turned out. The food at breakfast and lunch was really good.

 

Just a normal view in the parking lot at NJMP

 

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I took no photos yesterday so I borrowed the photos off someone else. Mike W took the on track group photo plus some action shots from Wednesday and he will get those to me when he gets back from the Poconos next week.

 

So the Awards Dinner…

 

This year it was at Andreas Trattoria, a local favorite for track users here in Millville, New Jersey. A nice dinner of family style appetizers – antipasti, fried zucchini flowers (really really good), broccoli rabe with hot sausage, and calamari. This was followed by a choice of some wonderful mains and then most of us ended up with desserts. Plenty of wine was flowing. Lots of laughter although it looks a lot more subdued in these photos.

 

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Then the Awards.

 

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The Polisher Award goes to those that primp, burnish, detail and polish their cars to perfection. This years’ worthy winner is Graham on the basis that his very fast little Locost follows the unpolished patinated ali look which he likes very much and which we, being evil minded, decided to make mischief with him! The prize was ‘Harold’, a purple chinchilla-like thing that wraps your steering wheel, handbrake and gear knob.

 

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If the photos look fuzzy, it reflects the nature of the night.

 

 

‘Honey, I Broke it Again ‘Award. This went to Norm for having to have one of “those” conversations with the better half for more funds to fix his Caterham. He could not make it to the dinner as he was probably in the dog house but Scott was more than happy to present the award in person.

 

 

The Striped Rock Award (designed after the debris flag) was for that driver that left the most debris on a track as a result of their on-track misadventures. Past exceptionally worth winners were Kitcat for leaving a 1 ton boulder on the exit of turn 1 at Lightning and Simon for moving an apex cone from its apex position to being perfectly placed to be hit by Tom as you come over the blind crest at turn 5. This year, we had no worthy winner but then Kitcat mentioned he threw his past trophy out so he became the winner again because of his latent potential and the missing place on his desk.

 

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The Golden Plunger Award for best on-track moment was a difficult one. You see most drivers broke down before they could do any damage on track. But then we remembered someone being a misguided missile on Wednesday when he was following me. Turn 4 at Lightning track is a left hander. Shane decided he liked going straight. Even better its on video to follow. The only winner for this award!

 

 

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Best Directions in a Moving Vehicle was for that driver who kept it on the pavement, played safe, and courteously pointed everyone by. Paul was a worthy winner here. Steady, clean, predictable driving – a model for us all.

 

 

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Why is Kitcat engrossed in his phone? Jealous?

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The Golden Skidmarks Award was a challenge as everyone drove extremely well and kept it on the tarmac. But then we remembered Simon took his wife out on track and Simon is the type of spectacular driver where there is a high probability of spraying into the scenery as he runs out of talent. That would be enough to wad the panties of any passenger. So Carrie was a very deserving winner.

 

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2018 Miss USA7s Drag Queen - this was a new award for the year. And there can be only one winner, a person who was 8 seconds a lap faster than anyone else, all done on the straights with V8 power. Yes it was Shane.

 

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I thought the blonde wig was a nice complement to the lovely polyester sash. Even better was Shane’s daughter plaiting his blonde wig for him! He will kill me one day…

 

The last award is the “I Think I May be Faster Than the Stig” A hand painted little trophy, this is given to the person who drove the wheels off his Westfield Miata – Dan!

 

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Clearly it was a good night out for some last night, I still have 3 sevens in my garage but I only own 1 right now! Anyone missing one?

Edited by Croc
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