Rendez-vous March 2000 – Daytona 24Hrs – Passed by a Caddy

RSR Rendez-vous March 2000


Daytona 24Hrs – Passed by a Caddy:

In this,  the dullest part of the automotive season, the Rolex 24 hours of Daytona is normally one of the bright spots. Not this year. It wasn’t fun watching Porsche get creamed by upstarts.  Maybe the rules are unfair to Porsche, maybe management prefers to invest dollars elsewhere. I am concerned that Porsche has forgotten what established the reputation of the marque in the first place.

Oh, there will be the usual announcements about having won some class or other but Porsche didn’t run with the big dogs. Walked maybe but certainly not run.  I remember when Porsche was the biggest of the big dogs.

It was strange to see a GT3 exit the race because of a coolant leak.  Real excitement was provided by the Vipers the Fords and the Vettes. Sheesh those Dodges are fast.  The downside was watching just-how-fast they blew by the 911’s on the straight.

The Porsches looked to be about 50 MPH slower than the Vipers. Arrgh! Yeah, I know that the Vipers were in a different class but still, a 911 GT3 getting passed like it was stopped?  By a Dodge yet?  Also by Corvettes and even by a bloody Cadillac? What’s wrong with this picture?

Meantime the Porsche SUV will be coming out in two flavors, 300 HP V8 and a Turbo version rumored to be around 450 HP.  While our beloved 911’s are being passed by Caddies on the track, it’s some consolation that the Porsche teams will have the fastest tow vehicles.  Perhaps SUV buyers don’t care about racing heritage?

Le Circuit:

To stave off a buncha emails, we still have no news about the track.  This has everyone nervous. Things don’t look gloomy but it is disconcerting not to be able to confirm DE dates.  The issue seems to be just how big a repair job Lawrence Strohl will undertake, and whether he’ll do it in the spring or the fall. If the former, we may lose our June event.  As insurance, Rennsport will be running a DE at Mosport on June 17 and 18th.  If Mikes sources are right, we should know the whole story by the time you read this.

Calling All Instructors:

Our first Instructor Session of the new season will be held on March 15th at 7 p.m. The location is the Best Western Hotel in Hawkesbury.  Take the 417 to the Rockland/Hawkesbury exit and follow the road. It takes about 50 minutes from the Decarie Circle if the weather is good.  Less if you’re following Michel Galarneau.

We’ll have a guest speaker, Pierre Mandeville, accomplished racer and for the past ten years or so, a professional advanced driving instructor.  Pierre will be giving us teaching tips in a lively interactive discussion. 

The March meeting will be the start of our off-season sessions. Our plan is to get all the theoretical stuff out of the way so that track days can be 100 percent track. 

Rob Martin is working on a revised Instructor manual.  This will be our bible.  I’m looking for a volunteer to translate this document into Francais.  Rob is our senior instructor and responsible for our teaching methods.  Our vision is a uniform teaching program using the Canadian Ski Instructor Alliance as a model. Peter, Rob and I will outline the 2000 program at the March meeting.  I think you’ll like it.

E-Mail Please:

We have a fairly good list of Instructors and Candidates on email. Those of you with email will be receiving an invite electronically before this is published. I would appreciate every instructor sending me an email so I can update our electronic mailing list.  Soon I hope we’ll be able to use the snazzy new Rennsport web-site for this purpose.  Simply send me a note to « bob@dataradio.com » and I’ll revise the database.

DE Insurance:

Every year as we approach the  DE season, I remind us all to check with our insurors to ensure that we have coverage at the track in the unlikely event that something untoward does happen.

I’ve  received some requests asking how I obtained coverage?  I sent out copies of the pamphlet we publish which describes our DE events and the Club philosophy. I’m please to say that several have written back to tell me that they have been granted coverage.  I don’t have a list of the companies who have accepted or denied but I got coverage from Chubb and several confirm getting written coverage from Allstate. 

I’m pleased that underwriters (some at least) see the benefit in our DE program. I remain convinced that the claims records of DE participants are significantly better than the average which speaks to the success of our program.  If you haven’t tried DE do so this season. It’s the most fun you can have with your clothes on in a Porsche.

Rocky Roads:

Last week I had to replace the windshield on my Audi.  That’s the third windshield I’ve replaced in the past three years, two on Porsches and now the daily driver.  Previous to that, I never had to replace one in 30 years.

Am I the only one who is fed up with what our roads department calls « abrasives »?  Who exactly is the genius who decided that since sand doesn’t stay around enough, rocks would be a better substitute?  Does he or she own a car I wonder?

I drive on Highway 20 to and from work.  Getting caught behind a pair of 70 foot tractor-trailers trying to outdrag each other at 90 KPH is painful.  I think tank crews must feel like this when taking small arms fire. The difference is, my car isn’t a tank and I swear I can see the paint and glass chips flying off!  Is it a conspiracy?  Consider, now that cars are wonderfully rustproofed, we substitute rocks for salt.  I wonder who sponsored the studies showing the benefits of abrasives? Automobile and truck companies?  Paint manufacturers. Its pretty obvious who benefits from this strategy but it isn’t us.

Did you know that German made cars use softer glass than American cars?  German standards call for a different composition. I don’t understand this because bashing my head on a Porsche windshield holds no more appeal than doing the same trick in a Chevie. Still, it is softer and less resistant to being sandblasted or, fractured by flying rocks.  The guys at LeBeau tell me that they replace a lot more glass on German cars than domestics, often because they are too pitted to be usable. 

I was able to check out the way they can repair small cracks (less than eight inches) and « stars » caused by rocks.  If you get a small crack or a star on the windshield get yourself to a glass repair outfit quickly.  The repair is quick and effective and much cheaper than replacing the glass. If you wait, the stress on the glass will elongate the crack/star and you’ll have to replace the entire unit.

At this time of year, driving west in the late afternoon the sun really illuminates all those little pits in the glass.  I wonder if there isn’t a way to polish the glass, maybe jeweler’s rouge and a buffer?  With Audi windshields running $600 bucks and Porsche glass closer to $1000, I wonder if the cost savings attributed to abrasives have been properly considered. Maybe the roads department saves  money but how much do we get to spend on new glass and paint repairs?

Bob 

.. Porsche -we call them bullet-proof but we meant reliability not real bullets!

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