Friday, October 28, 2005

Fuel Cell Maintenance

Fuel cells – not the hydrogen-oxygen electricity generating things that the EPA is excited about, but the impact-absorbing fuel tanks in racecars – are an important safety item. Unfortunately, they’re expensive and have a finite life span. Foam baffling inside keeps the fuel from sloshing and reduces the possibility of explosion in case the cell is ruptured, but the foam deteriorates after a few years and turns into a fuel pump-clogging sludge that causes racecars to choke to a stop. The bladder that actually holds the fuel typically lasts about ten years before it begins to crack and fall apart. Owners of older cars with older fuel cells dread the day when they find a puddle of fuel under the car.

The cheap and easy part of fuel cell maintenance is the replacement of the foam baffling. The foam only costs between $50 and $200 (depending on the fuel cell size). Having old foam break up can cost fuel filters, fuel pumps, and lost races. In the last two seasons, two of my friends lost a combined 6 races due to fuel cell foam clogging.

I found some interesting information from Eagle Fuel Cells (Eagle River, Wisconsin) about extending the life of fuel cells. Storing the cell empty is bad (oops), because that allows the rubber in the bladder to dry out. Regular pump gasoline is also bad, because it is not as stable as aviation gas, and the formulation is particularly harsh on the rubber ("gasohol" is even worse). I don’t know if race gas counts as pump gas, but AvGas is cheap enough that five gallons for winter storage will be worth the investment if it delays the replacement of the cell for another year.

Someone (sorry, I don’t remember who) recently pointed out that the rubber in the cell bladder doesn’t get along with water either. Cars where the cell sits on the floorpan often trap rainwater between the floor and the cell if there is no provision for drainage. Tiga were clever enough to sit the cell on top of some frame tubes, which minimizes contact with water. That’s what we call “good news.” The bad news is that resting the weight of the cell (and the fuel inside) on such a small area causes a major strain on the bladder. Fixing this should also be inexpensive and easy. A “floor” of heavy wire mesh between the cell and the tubes will at least spread the load a bit without trapping any water against the bladder. A basic frame around the mesh should make it rigid enough that the load will be much more evenly distributed.

All three projects should total about $150 and maybe a weekend. That’s a bargain if it keeps the cell alive through another season.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

What a Mess!


The minute you bolt a car together, dirt seems to fly in from all over the world to make a new home in the crevices juuuust out of your reach. Equally amazing is the phenomenon whereby oil apparently flows uphill to join the dirt, drawn as if by magnetism. The resulting sludge will stay in place forever, or until the car is taken apart again.

Add to the mix a season of very hard running and three minor off-course excursions (two of them at the last two events), and you've got the recipe for one heck of a mess. This car can scoop up a lot of dirt, grass, and other debris because it sits so low to the ground. The configuration of the bellhousing (the front is open at the bottom) means that a LOT of debris can be stuffed in around the flywheel and starter, and it isn't inclined to come out on its own.

Until you pull the engine from the car, of course. You have to tilt the engine to clear the frame rails, so the dirt falls right out. Most of it lands smack in the middle of the oil that dripped out of the engine when you rocked it the other way. That weird magnetism again.

I could literally start a small garden with all the dirt that's caught up in this engine. That's not such a bad idea, cosmically. Maybe potting a couple of plants with this dirt could go some way towards balancing the bad karma from spilling so much oil...

Ah yes, the oil. How can something so slippery be so sticky? A fine layer of oil acts like flypaper, attracting and holding every available speck of dirt for miles around. For some reason, I keep thinking about putting "lifetime supply of paper towels" on my wishlist. (Before you run out and buy some for me, let me tell you a secret: I've gone through a roll and a half in two evenings so far, and the engine isn't even clean enough to go in the back of the pickup truck yet.)

The rear suspension teardown revealed a couple of surprises. One outer CV joint bolt on the right side had broken (usually they just loosen). The inner rod end on the lower right rear wishbone failed in a perplexing way: the race (the part holding the inner ball in place) actually "walked" out of the housing! I've never seen anything like it, and the confusing thing is that there was (theoretically) no load in the direction that the race travelled. The left rear hub also loosened up again -- time for some stronger hubs! And two of the ball bearings from the transmission layshaft rear bearing were found wedged in between two ribs in the bearing carrier.

Tonight is my night off, but I'll get back to the cleanup work on Thursday. Still planning to begin engine teardown this weekend!

(Leslie, that link is just for you.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Photos from The Loooong Race

In this morning's email were several great photos from Brian Lindstrand -- D Sports Racer driver, nephew of Bruce Lindstrand, and general all-around great guy.

Ahh, the good memories. Getting ready to get in the car for the first practice session. My father seems to be trying to tell me something terribly important, but in fact he's probably asking me if the tire pressures are set, or if there's fuel in the car. Yes to both questions... and yes, I have forgotten both before.

Aaaand... the not-so-good. This is us in our mad dash to try to repair the gearbox before the race. We cleaned the parts and then bathed them in oil and tired to flush the maincase with fresh oil to try to make the parts happy again. It was a very unhappy gearbox.

Here's Brian next to his racecar. Sitting in the car is Nicole Temple, Lindstrand Motorsports' transmission specialist. (Did I mention that Nicole also helped with the paint on my car?) They co-drove this race, and won their class. Bravo!

The car was originally a Formula Ford built by Titan, but it was converted to a sports racer with a Fiat engine some years ago -- before I started my own driving career. Brian was finally convinced to replace the Fiat with something a little more reliable a couple of years ago, so a Yamaha R1 engine now powers the car to some very impressive speeds.

Back in my garage, the transmission is off, as is the rear suspension and most of the engine "extras." The engine should be out of the car tonight. We may be able to start tearing it down this weekend.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Photos from October 8

I just got a CD of photos from Brad Ellingson, who attended the Fall Sprints with his digital camera instead of his racecar. Brad, I'm now torn between hoping you get your car back out next year and hoping you keep snapping away with the camera. Thanks!

The shot of the weekend. As I entered corner 3, the corner station was waving the yellow flag, which usually means a car spun on track. As I came around the corner, I saw the blue FV stalled sideways on the track and I thought he was closer to the inside of the track. I committed to a path going around the front of his car and then discovered that there was no track there. Brad caught the moment in all of its lawnmowing glory. Alex Murray (#45) can be seen learning from my mistake.

It took some minutes of head-scratching for me to realize that this shot was taken a fraction of a second before the photo above. My hand was in the air as a signal to the drivers behind me that I was slowing down, there was real danger ahead, and they should look for a way through it.

Look at where the car is on the track and the direction it's pointed. Now look back at the other photo and compare where the car went. The difference is called drifting. As the car goes through the corner, it's pointed farther around the corner than its actual path of travel. If I had been travelling in the same direction the car was pointing (instead of drifting to the outside of the corner), I'd have speared the FV in the side.

I like the contrast in this one. Car #55 is a Formula 500 (once known as F440). These cars have snowmobile engines and the original snowmobile primary drive belt system. They use tiny little tires, but they weigh less than a Formula Ford and put out close to the same power through a CVT (Constantly Variable Transmission) -- sort of a cross between a go-kart clutch and an automatic transmission. They don't have to shift gears, and their engines are always in the peak power band, so they accellerate quickly and have a very high top speed. They're fast, but I just can't consider them real race cars because they don't have a gearbox.

I hate to end on an insult to another class of racecar, so I'll mention that I will be pulling the engine this week, and I have a line on a gearbox for sale down south. I'll keep you posted on both as things progress.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Now that the season is over, I want to take some space here to thank some people who made it possible. The short list is "everyone who has ever talked with me about racing," but that's short-changing the people who really made this season happen. In random order:

Bruce Lindstrand, Cindy Lindstrand, Nicole Temple, and the rest of the Lindstrand Motorsports crew. It's rare to find people so willing to take you under their wing. I can't even begin to list the things they have done to help me. Just one example: At the bitter cold National race in May, I was walking back to my paddock space from the concession stand, and just as it began to drizzle a bit, I saw the LMI crew pushing my car from my spot to a spot under their already crowded tent to keep it dry. I truly cannot thank you enough.

Mom & Dad. I'm proud to say that my parents are my two biggest fans. Without my father's help, the car never would have hit the track this year. Without his expertise in engine building and his meticulous attention to detail, it never would have gone as fast or as far as it did. And without my mother's support and encouragement, the season would have been a lot shorter and much less enjoyable. I'll always have crew passes for you two.

Pete Wood. Speedy Petey is a multiple-time champion in Club Formula Ford -- once in my car! To paraphrase Fernando Alonso, this championship means everything because I had to beat him to win it. It was never easy, and you pushed me to drive like I never knew I could. And let's not forget that he sold me the car in the first place, and he helped me to restore it before I even paid it off!

Jack Bowling. JB Machine has made several vital parts on the car, and they've all been beautifully crafted, quickly done, and exactly what I needed. Add to that the fact that Jack has some great stories about racing back when people raced just to have fun.

Corky Jahn. Another person without whom I would not be the proud owner of a Tiga, much less a Tiga with four wheels on the ground. Corky helped finance the initial purchase by letting me sell him many of the spares -- and then letting me borrow them back when I needed them!

Chris & Carla Heitman and Pegasus Auto Racing Supplies. Chris is still a racer, even if he hasn't put on a helmet in a while. He and Carla understand what it takes to run a Formula Ford, and they have been an invaluable source of support, information, and helping hands. And they have yet to deny me a day off to go racing... Congratulations again on 25 years of Pegasus. I mean it when I say that this is the company I plan to retire from someday.

Lynn Serra, who told me about the Tiga when Pete wanted to sell it, and who never lets me think of quitting. Even if she has to smack me in the back of the head to get her point across. I still have a few more championships to win before I can break your record. Just watch me.

The Girl Who Wants to Remain Anonymous. You kept me sane (relatively), you made me laugh every day, you carried me to the med shack when I was ready to pass out. Despite having no interest in racing, you put up with me almost all summer. You really deserve a trophy for that.

There are hundreds more who have loaned me tools, parts, food, places to sleep, advice, and encouragement. Thank you all!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

That Loooong Race

As I mentioned last time, the final race of the season in this area is "That Loooong Race" at Blackhawk, put on (this year for the 35th time!) by the Chicagoland Sports Car Club. I had invited Bruce Lindstrand to co-drive the 100 mile race with me waaay back when I didn't know what kind of season I'd have and what condition the car would be in by now. I was eager to see him drive the car again, and he was excited to drive his old car again.

The car seemed to need little preparation after the Regional the week before, so I loaded it up and headed to the track. Our group was scheduled to run only on Sunday (20 minute practice, 25 minute qualifying, and 100 lap race), which was a VERY tough schedule. There was very little time between sessions to deal with the inevitable things that crop up on a race day. When you're running a race more than twice as long as you're used to, small problems become big problems.

I ran the practice session because Bruce ran that session in the other car he was co-driving: Allen Wheatcroft's 1998 Van Diemen FF. Bruce was going to have a very busy day. We determined that he would start the race in Allen's car and I would start in my car. Bruce would pull into the pits around lap 25, Allen would get in his car, I would come in on lap 30, and Bruce would take over in my car. The practice session went well, and I turned a few 1:22 laps.

The qualifying session was a little surreal. Seeing my own car being driven by someone else gave me an odd feeling of pride mixed with jealousy -- the car looked and sounded great, but someone else was driving my car! Bruce was kind to me and to the car. He immediately cranked out a string of 1:23.7 laps. He was so consistent that we thought there was something wrong with our timing equipment, because the numbers never changed. Then the worry set in. The second-last lap, as he was passing the pit lane, the car popped out of gear. That was very strange, because that had never happened to me with that car. The next lap, he pulled in and explained that the car wouldn't stay in 4th gear and was getting generally hard to shift. Smoke was coming off the gearbox -- never a good sign.

We let the gearbox cool a bit, to the point where our gloves wouldn't burst into flames as soon as we touched it. We took the rear cover off, expecting some gear lube to come out. All that came out was a little smoke. Bad sign.

We took the bearing carrier off and pulled the gear stacks out. Again, no oil -- only smoke. Very bad sign. There should have been at least a quart of gear lube inside. All of the internal parts were a disgusting shade of brown, evidence that the residual oil had been baked onto them. A couple of parts (the 4th gear set) had turned blue from the abuse.

We cleaned and re-oiled everything and replaced the 4th gear set with a new set. When I went to reassemble the gear stacks, something clearly didn't line up. Nicole Temple, Lindstrand Motorsports' gearbox specialist, spotted the problem immediately. The extreme heat had allowed a bearing to back out of the bearing carrier, changing all of the clearances. Fortunately, it was a thirty-seconds-with-a-mallet job for Bruce, and we went back to reassembling -- and refilling -- the gearbox. But where had the gear lube gone? That was a question that we should have asked and answered before the race, but we were pretty much fried from thrashing to get it back together. We had no idea how long it would last or if it would even work to begin with.

I started the race behind Paul Schindlbeck, the CFF polesitter. I managed to outbrake him going into corner 3 and set about building up a lead. Meanwhile, Pete Wood started from the pit lane. His strategy was to conserve fuel and try to run without stopping for fuel. I hoped he had miscalculated, but the season was basically over, so I wasn't hoping too hard. It was a gutsy strategy. It would be fun to see it work.

Somewhere around lap 20, I got the bad news. Coming down the front straight, the transmission popped out of 4th gear. I was completely unprepared for it, and immediately jammed it in 3rd gear, doing the engine no good at all. As soon as I recovered my wits, I realized that I would just have to hold the shift lever when the car was in 4th gear and drive with one hand. Sounds a lot easier than it is. The next lap, it popped out of 3rd. Yikes. Those are two important gears around Blackhawk, and 3rd gear is used in two sweeping turns. It's pretty tough to hold your line while sliding with only one hand on the wheel! A lap or two later, it popped out of 1st. Very very bad. At no time during the next few laps could I take my hand off the shift lever. I managed to pass Pete, but as I stumbled past, he could clearly smell blood, and he stuck behind me for the rest of that lap.

My left shoulder was getting really sore when I finally saw the relief: the pit board reading "L30 -- In"! I pulled in the pit lane just after Pete passed me. I coasted to a stop, hopped out, and yelled to Bruce, "It's bad! Popping out of all four now!" I turned my attention to refueling the car as my right leg began to cramp from the exertion of stomping on the throttle. The dull soreness in my shoulder began to focus into sharp pain, and my left calf began to cramp in protest. I threw the empty fuel jug down and turned to Bruce to make sure he had gotten the message about the gearbox.

"It's popping out of all four gears -- you have to hold the lever in gear all the time. The motor sounds pretty bad, too. I must have over-revved it at least a half a dozen times from it popping out!" Bruce nodded, looked at the lap counter, and said, "Okay, I think I know what I need to do to finish." He strapped into the car and headed out.

Because the pit stop took a fairly long time, we lost three laps to Pete. Bruce had re-entered the track just in front of Pete, and Pete knew we were having trouble. He knew that all he had to do was keep the car in sight and he'd have us. He was right. Bruce managed to keep a pretty consistent pace in the 1:24 range, but Pete was on his tail the whole time. Bruce couldn't hope to get the three laps back. I watched the lap counter anxiously: 10 laps to go... 5... 3... then it happened.

Pete came down the front straight alone. As he disappeared into corner 1, we became aware of a blue Tiga proceeding slowly down the front straight, hunting for a gear, any gear. The transmission had given out completely, and Bruce was just coasting towards corner 1. Two laps to go.

Pete took the checkered flag and a victory lap as we watched smoke pour out of the back of my car. Talk about a conflict of emotions. Pete was the underdog, he gambled on a longshot strategy and came from behind to win. He beat me for the first time this year. That was great to see, even from my shoes. But my car sat, mortally wounded and unable to continue. I had let Bruce down -- not just in the immediate sense of not being able to win the race, but in the broader sense of not putting into practice all that he had taught me about car preparation.

In hindsight, it all makes sense. The car was popping out of gear because of the extreme heat. The gearbox is held in gear by spring-loaded plungers that fit into detents in the shift rails. (Stick with me here, it's not really that technical.) Springs do not spring anymore if they get too hot. They just give up and relax. I have a theory about where the oil went. When I replaced the input shaft in August, I had to remove the left side cover to do it. Reinstallation required a certain sealant (which I used) to prevent leaks. But I haven't used that type of sealant before, and I didn't know that the nuts that hold the sideplate on need to be retightened after every session until the sealant is fully cured. That was the critical step. The sealant continues to shrink a bit for weeks. I knew the sideplate leaked a bit -- they all do! -- but I didn't realize it was steadily getting worse. Before October, I was changing gears almost every weekend, so checking the oil level in the gearbox was unneccessary. I just refilled it after each gear change. After Labor Day, I ran Blackhawk three times without opening up the gearbox. There was probably some oil in the gearbox, but when the level got too low, the heat increased and simply burned the remaining oil away.

A post-mortem of the gearbox shows pretty much total damage. The rear bearing that supports the layshaft fell apart, allowing the shaft (and its gears) to fall about 1/2" -- enough so that the gears no longer meshed. The shaft flailed around a bit at first, causing an as-yet undetermined amount of damage to the gears and bearing carrier. At this point, replacement of the entire transmission looks like the most economical solution.

But it looks like I may get off cheap compared to Allen. He said he heard a pop coming through corner 5 about 10 laps into his stint (some 15 laps from the end of the race). Everything seemed fine, so he continued. Nothing changed, and he won the Formula Ford race! When he pulled in, the Lindstrand crew noticed a hole in the engine cover. Something had exited the car through the bodywork. They took off the engine cover and saw that part of the transmission bellhousing had been broken out, and the lower frame rails and floorpan had been sheared in two! Apparently the ring gear had broken off the flywheel and done all that damage. But Allen was still able to turn his fastest race laps to date. Well done!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Fall Sprints

With the championship locked and the engine oil pressure too low for comfort, I was prepared to skip the rest of the season and begin the winter overhaul on the race car. But I needed to run one more SCCA-sanctioned race to renew my SCCA license, and the car was ready, so I was persuaded to run the next Blackhawk race, this one run by the Chicago Region of SCCA.

This was a Regional race taking place over the course of two days (Saturday and Sunday). My group would qualify early on Saturday and race before lunch on Sunday. This was quite a contrast to most of the events I've run so far. All but a few have been either one-day races with three sessions crammed into one day, or double race weekends with two or three sessions each on Saturday and Sunday. I'm not used to having a lot of time on my hands during a race weekend.

The track was cold and slippery for the first qualifying session early Saturday morning, so I didn't accomplish much except to avoid a Formula Vee that had spun across track in corner 3. I had to take to the grass on the outside of the corner, and I learned that the track did in fact have a bit more traction than the damp grass.* No harm done, I got back on the track and finished the session.

The second qualifying session started off pretty poorly. I couldn't get settled down, I couldn't get a rhythm, and I was all over the track. After posting about a half a dozen laps in the high 1:25 range, I decided to quit pushing so hard and to try to follow a Formula Vee. Many people will tell you how much a season in an FV can teach you about driving fast. I don't think they realize how much a single session behind an FV can teach you about driving fast! Those cars have half the horsepower of a Formula Ford, half the tire, drum brakes, and suspension that just shouldn't work at all, but they can out-corner any Formula Ford. The drivers learn to conserve momentum rather than relying on horsepower for fast lap times, so their cornering speed is not much lower than their straightline speed. Following that car got me settled down and really focused my concentration on the task at hand. I passed him after a few good laps and immediately turned a 1:20.38.

That was good enough for the CFF pole position... but there were no CFFs behind me. I had been told that this event would be crowded, that "everybody" comes out to have the one last bash before the winter. But I was the only CFF entrant. All I had to do was finish the race to get a win.

Sunday morning was a little warmer than Saturday morning, but still colder than Saturday afternoon. We left everything as it was for Saturday and headed to the grid. I was directly behind Todd Rhoades in a Swift DB-1 Formula Ford, between some F500s, and in front of all of the FVs. The start went well, and I even managed to keep Todd in sight for the first several laps despite the Swift's more advanced suspension, more aerodynamic body, and stickier tires. Once his tires warmed up, he pulled away and I didn't push the issue. I finished the race, which was enough for a win. I took a victory lap with another huge checkered flag slapping against my helmet.

The real drama of this race was at the front of the pack in the Formula Ford race. Bruce Lindstrand ran his '92 Van Diemen (his first time in that car this year) against Mark Kolell's very fast '85 Van Diemen. Bruce started in front of Mark and held him off for 24 laps. Well, almost 24 laps. Mark passed him coming out of the last turn and crossed the finish line just 0.077 seconds in front of Bruce! As someone said later to Bruce, "You held him off for 47 miles... and you couldn't find one more foot?"

I found out the next day that this win put me in the lead in the "TRO Manufacturing Area 5 Central Division CFF Championship" -- but because I did not run the minimum 6 races in the Area 5 series, I was ineligible for the championship! Thrilling, because I had no idea I was even a contender for the title. And yet a little heartbreaking.

The car was still running strong at the end of the race, so I decided to go for broke and run "The Looong Race" the next weekend at Blackhawk. This year-end race is 100 miles, more than twice the typical race distance. Because so many championships are decided before then, people often invite friends to co-drive the event with them. I invited Bruce Lindstrand to drive his old car again.

*Despite what TV racing commentators (and armchair commentators) will claim, hitting wet grass will NOT make the car go faster. If it did, we'd be racing on wet grass, not asphalt! Here's what really happens: Almost any time a car leaves the track, it's skidding or sliding along the asphalt, either trying to stop or trying to make a turn. Skidding and sliding against the asphalt slows the car dramatically. Sliding on grass slows the car only a little bit -- much less than sliding on asphalt. There's a lot of friction between tires and asphalt. There's not much between tires and wet grass. It's the contrast between the deceleration rates that makes it look and feel like the car sped up. In actual fact, all that happened is that the car lost a lot of deceleration. Its true speed will not be any faster after it hits the grass than it was when it left the asphalt. It will continue to slow down, but much less dramatically.
TV cameras perpetuate the myth because the camera operators pan (rotate) the camera to follow the car's motion. The operator compensates for the deceleration rate. When the deceleration rate suddenly changes, the camera operator is caught off-guard, still slowing the camera, and the car appears to "shoot" out of the picture.
And if anyone still believes that cars accelerate when they hit the grass, maybe you can answer this. It takes energy to accelerate. Where does that extra energy come from? Do the individual blades of grass band together to push the car along?

Monday, October 17, 2005


I have been scolded by my fans for not posting an update in too long. "Time just got away from me" is the absolute truth -- September 7 was the most recent post?? How did that happen? Well, time to play catch-up again. Step with me now into the WayBack machine...

September 17-18 was a Midwestern Council driver's school / race weekend at Blackhawk Farms Raceway. Since the Tiga's oil pressure was solidly in the "iffy" range, I decided against running as a chase car for the school on Saturday. The MC points chase was almost decided. All I needed was to finish in front of Pete Wood to clinch the CFF championship. Pete was looking strong, so I relied again on strategy.

I had my crew monitor Pete's qualifying times while I watched my own times on my in-car timer. Such an invention! Back in the day (last year), your crew had to use a stopwatch and put numbers on a pit board, which they showed you as you raced past them. But they couldn't show you the time for the lap you just completed -- it was always the lap before. By then, it was old news! Now I can see my lap time right on the steering wheel, as well as lap number, total time in the session, and whether that lap was faster or slower than my best. When Pete did a 1:22, I turned up the wick and did a 1:21. When Pete recorded a 1:20.8, I pulled out all the stops and scraped out a 1:20.2. As I rounded corner 1, I saw Pete's car sitting in the grass next to the corner station.

After the session, Pete explained that he downshifted for corner 1, but when he got back on the throttle, the car didn't accelerate. The engine revved happily, but it wasn't connected to the transmission. He suspected a broken input shaft, like I had at Road America in August, but it sounded to me like a stripped clutch disc. I tried to persuade him to fix it for the race, but his Crossle chassis is a different design than the Tiga. He would have to support the engine with a hoist to get the clutch out. His day was done.

At that point, I could have also packed up and I still would have clinched the championship. (If Pete could win the last two events, and if I didn't show to either one, we would have tied for points, but I had more wins.) But I didn't come out just to pack up when it got too easy. I decided to try to have a race with Scott Reif, the third place CFF qualifier.

I looked for Scott in my mirrors on the first lap, expecting to just race leisurely with him. But as we came out of corner 5, a sports racer spun in corner 6, blocking the right side of the track. Scott was trying to pass the sports racer gridded between us, but he had gone to the right side and almost had to come to a full stop to avoid the stalled car. I think Scott lost about four or five positions and at least 15 seconds because of it. I was too far ahead to catch, so I ran alone for the rest of the race. Scott finished second (in a '76 Tiga), Mike Schindlbeck finished third, Bob Fleming was fourth, and Larry Noble rounded out the CFF field in a third Tiga.

The CFF points after this race:
  1. John Haydon - 200
  2. Pete Wood - 126
  3. Michael Schindlbeck - 85
  4. Scott Reif - 53
  5. Denis Downs - 33
  6. Larry Noble - 27
  7. Bob Fleming - 21
  8. Jon Borkowski - 16
  9. Paul Schindlbeck - 16
  10. Dick Plank - 13

With only two races remaining and only 50 points up for grabs, my lead was solid. Time to pop the champagne!

Next time: SCCA Fall Sprints at BFR. I promise this one will take me less than a month to write!