+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: My SCCA championship race broadcasts on SPEED channel this Wednesday at 9 AM Pacific

  1. #1
    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,088
    Liked
    2165 times

    Default My SCCA championship race broadcasts on SPEED channel this Wednesday at 9 AM Pacific

    Who: Rookie driver Oli Thordarson, Alvaka Networks #22 Yellow Corvette – There may be a short interview with me, too.

    What: SCCA championship race – T1 Class for Corvettes, Vipers (and GT3 Porsches and Ferrari F430s and 360s although none made it this year)

    Where: SPEED Channel

    When: 11/28, Wednesday at 9 AM Pacific time and 11/29 very early at 12 AM the following Thursday morning



    In October I ran my first Sports Car Club of America national championship race know as the Run-offs. This championship race was held at the Heartland Park Topeka race track in Kansas next to the SCCA Headquarters. I went from having my first SCCA race in January of 2007 under a provisional novice license; I then went to my national license and then qualified for the Run-offs at HPT. It was a big goal at the beginning of the year that required almost flawless execution and absolute reliability of my car. Fortunately both happened and I made it to Kansas. Below is a short description I wrote last month regarding that experience.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A rough day of racing

    I managed to stay out of the carnage that was T1 SCCA Championship race last weekend... ripped off doors, torn-off quarter panels, broken pieces laying in turns two and six and more door donuts than you can count. 12 of 20 cars made contact with each other which is a particularly high rate of contact. It was a rough race.



    I almost rear-ended Tim Hund while trying to set him up for a pass. He braked early and hard. I don't know if he was driving his mirror or if it was calculated to throw me off, but one turn later I passed him anyway when he got loose on turn 14. Later in the race Hund rear-ended Walbaum. Pettiford reportedly hit/made contact with four other cars. Lynch in the Viper did something that caused a three car collision behind him. I think he was involved and damaged, too as he DNF'd.

    Pintaric in his Viper center-punched Longtin in his Z06 in turn six and ripped off his door panel. You could see Al through his door bars sitting in his race seat! Onks was involved in a multi-car incident in turn two at the start. He lost part of his rear fender. I think I got that one on my in-car video. I need to check.



    I got better with more time on this track that is completely new to me

    I ran my fastest laps of my whole two-week visit to HPT during the race. Some adjustments to tire pressures and my line now that my car was working properly again and I made much better time. More on that issue a little later.



    I got faster as the race progressed as I got more confidence in the car. I passed several cars from my 20th spot on the grid. I was working on another pass on Sanders when I ran out of laps. I only needed one more lap to pass Sanders as I was much faster than him through turn three and going into turn 13. I was gridded to start 18th, but the Speed Channel guys were late in coming to install the in-car camera in my car and that slowed me up in my pre-race preparation. Only two cars got cameras and mine was one of those cars. About 30 minute before the race they came by again to change a cable that was creating some sort of problem with their up-link to the airplane flying overhead. I finally said I need to "get out of here" and I took off and probably drove a little too fast through the paddock. I am glad I did not get busted for that. I got to the grid and everyone was already out on track. The pit steward stopped me and I had to wait for the field to come back around for the second warm up lap and I joined the rolling grid from DFL (Dead F-ing Last). That was OK, I kinda' got used to that spot this week. :-)



    After a flawless year of no mechanical issues I finally had problems at the “Big Race”

    Monday, I had engine power problems. Tuesday I had engine power problems. Despite the best efforts of the GM team and Joe of Phoenix Performance (The race shop in Pennsylvania that built the car) they could not track down the computer code-less problem. It turned out to be a bad MAF that did not throw any engine error codes. Despite all the brains at the track, it was 20 year old Logan Hinesly who was crewing for me who fixed the problem. So Wednesday the car made good power again and I was running much faster. I was happy.



    Then my times got thrown out in random post qualifying tech inspection when the scrutineers, the guys who check the cars for rules compliance, checked my car for carpet padding. Arcane SCCA T1 rules stipulate touring cars must have carpet padding... I had none. So again I started at the back of the qualifying grid on Thursday. The best I could muster Thursday after all those problems was up only two spots to 18th. That was the last day of the four qualifying days. The funny thing is that my car was still over 50 pounds over the minimum weight so I had weight advantage from this. Plus the car was equipped exactly the way I bought it.



    I learned a lot!

    All in all it was a great day even if I did not break the top ten as I think I am capable of doing at this point. I took away two things from this adventure called the Run-offs. One is that I was happy I was able to get consistently faster as I got more comfortable with the track and worked through performance issues with the car this week. The most important thing I take away is a long-term appreciation and understanding what the competition is like at this level. These guys are really aggressive, really fast and they have amazing car control. Only when you are driving behind these guys can you appreciate what they are doing with their cars.



    I am certainly up to the task of giving these guys grief next year. I just need a little more seasoning in 2008. I am sure my fellow SCCA CalClub and Speed Ventures friends will dish that out to me next year.



    A Thank You to all my sponsors and supporters

    Thanks for all the support and encouragement from Aaron Bitterman, Drew Gross, Brian Woods, Emilio, Terry Free, Steve Abbott, JC and too many others to list or whom I am sadly not remembering at this late hour back east. I must thank all of the folks at my local SCCA region known as CalClub. Those folks really supported me, taught me the racing ropes and helped me get faster. From the helpful and friendly on track taunting of Fast John Norris, to the guidance on the grid from Renee Angel and Tammy Bowen to my helpful buddies in the paddock like Davis Koffron and Bill Haggerty. Ed Charnock and Logan Hinesly have been here with me two straight weeks through the test & tune/practice week and qualifying Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week, plus the race today! Thanks to Sean and the crew at Orange County Corvette for all the pre and post race prep on my car. Hey Sean! I blew out another steering rack today during the race. I don't know what it is about steering racks and national races for me...? One Viper and two other Corvettes blew out steering racks during practice and qualifying. Maybe it is the notched curbing at HPT...? American Race Day, Mechanix Wear Gloves and Discovery Science Center have been huge supporters as well. No thank you would be complete without thanking my wonderful and lovely wife Teresa who puts up with my track antic (aka addiction) and my 13 year-old son Kristjan who is my radio man/spotter when I am on-track racing as well as my crew chief and primary mechanical helper when I race. My daughter Silaine and my youngest Didrik are always encouraging and supportive. And then of course there is my amazing crew of folks at Alvaka Networks who held down the fort while I focused on this huge endeavor in Kansas.
    Last edited by Olitho; 11-28-2007 at 09:53 AM.

  2. #2
    Motorsports Photographer imager993's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    West Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    1,551
    Liked
    1 times

    Default

    Oli, that kicks ass!!! I am definitely looking forward to seeing you on TV, and congrats on your continued success in the SCCA world. I hope to see more and maybe even race against you one of these years... okay okay, be passed by you.

    Will you be at the CalSpeedway Roval, Dec 1&2? or are you done for the season?
    Aaron Kupferman | 2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe | Visual Effects Electric Reality | Motorsports Photography Motorsport Lens | Other Photography AaronKupferman.com

  3. #3
    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,088
    Liked
    2165 times

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by imager993 View Post
    Oli, that kicks ass!!! I am definitely looking forward to seeing you on TV, and congrats on your continued success in the SCCA world. I hope to see more and maybe even race against you one of these years... okay okay, be passed by you.

    Will you be at the CalSpeedway Roval, Dec 1&2? or are you done for the season?
    My races are done this year.

    My next race is Cal Speedway, an SCCA National race January 27-28th.

    You should come join me in racing. The Speed Ventures gang is a group of good drivers and the Red Group, while not full-blown racing, does prepare you well for racing. I think many of the Blue and Red groupers at SV get more track time than many SCCA racers and are consequently faster. Dealing with traffic and aggressive passing requires some aclimatization, but it is not too bad.

    I would like to see a kick-ass team of SVers out there. Right now there is me, Ed Beyer is coming on board, and so is Craig Dale. Ryan O has converted his car to T1 specs and is already racing as is Roy Benedetti. There are other classes that might attract some of you more. Lotus' are a T2 class car for example.

    I think one of the reasons I came up so fast is all my track time with SV.


  4. #4
    Motorsports Photographer imager993's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    West Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    1,551
    Liked
    1 times

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Olitho View Post
    You should come join me in racing.
    Wanna sponsor me?

    I'd love to get into competition racing but the budget must go elseware for now. I would like to get into a smaller Spec series like Spec E30 for experience at some point because I don't want to risk any damage to my TT (daily driver) right now. One of these days... or years.

    I'll live vicariously through you for now.
    Aaron Kupferman | 2007 BMW Z4 M Coupe | Visual Effects Electric Reality | Motorsports Photography Motorsport Lens | Other Photography AaronKupferman.com

  5. #5
    Professor Chaos thefrush's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    1,087
    Liked
    1 times

    Default

    I'll set my DVR when I get home.

  6. #6
    Master of Disaster SteveLevin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Posts
    2,172
    Liked
    546 times

    Default

    Heck, I set my Tivo online!

    Steve

  7. #7
    Senior Member mlk_f1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles, California, United States
    Posts
    18,157
    Liked
    34 times

    Default

    thanks for the heads up. I'll catch the one at 1AM tomorrow nite.

  8. #8
    Professor Chaos thefrush's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    1,087
    Liked
    1 times

    Default

    It's recording right now.

  9. #9
    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,088
    Liked
    2165 times

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mlk_f1 View Post
    thanks for the heads up. I'll catch the one at 1AM tomorrow nite.
    Correction: Please note my race is actually at 12 AM/midnight.


    Oli

  10. #10
    Driver upgrade 2.51 JC3D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Venice Beach
    Posts
    1,032
    Liked
    0 times

    Default

    my DVR will be full of 3 racing when I get home today!
    John
    #522 996 Spec / GTS3
    JC3D // Racecars and Keyframes // 996 Spec

  11. #11
    Senior Member zjchaser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Aliso Viejo, California, United States
    Posts
    1,741
    Liked
    15 times

    Default

    damn...mind fart. went down stairs to flip on the TV and watch and saw formula Fords...oops, I turned it on at 10 instead of 9.

    DVR set for tonights showing.

  12. #12
    Master of Disaster SteveLevin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Posts
    2,172
    Liked
    546 times

    Default

    Just watched it. Fantastic job! Lots of screen time too...more than everyone else, I think.

    Steve

  13. #13
    Driver upgrade 2.51 JC3D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Venice Beach
    Posts
    1,032
    Liked
    0 times

    Default

    Just got done watching. Great driving. A couple more laps and you would have had 13th.
    They really liked giving you camera time and I see top ten for you next year.
    John
    #522 996 Spec / GTS3
    JC3D // Racecars and Keyframes // 996 Spec

  14. #14
    Professor Chaos thefrush's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    1,087
    Liked
    1 times

    Default

    Watched it this evening, well done Oli! Your name was mentioned far more than any other driver! Congrats on a great showing!

  15. #15
    Senior Member mlk_f1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles, California, United States
    Posts
    18,157
    Liked
    34 times

    Default

    haha, I just saw the CEO of the Unicycle Tape Guy on TV.

    Talk about using all the road and than some. (me likes, I do that too)
    Still watching the race......... I just got excited when I saw Kristjan.

  16. #16
    Senior Member mlk_f1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles, California, United States
    Posts
    18,157
    Liked
    34 times

    Default

    Very entertaining last lap. You really put the pressure on the guy in 13th. He was sliding all over the place. Great driving. that was very inspiring. Now go kick their butts next year.

  17. #17
    Senior Member zjchaser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Aliso Viejo, California, United States
    Posts
    1,741
    Liked
    15 times

    Default

    Just got done watching it. Very cool! You got tons of TV time. nicely done!

  18. #18
    Senior Member desertosprey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Oak Glen, CA
    Posts
    678
    Liked
    6 times

    Default

    GO OLI!!
    GO KRISTJAN!!

    Great job, good sir! I just watched the race on my lunch break. It's cool that the announcers were really impressed with your season and race and mentioned you a lot. You deserve all the accolades.


    I hope to catch the CalSpeedway race in person. Also, let us know when you and Kristjan are headed back to Moran to kart. I'd love to go again.

  19. #19
    Professor Chaos thefrush's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Posts
    1,087
    Liked
    1 times

    Default

    I know the story of the Runoffs was all our boy Oli, but...

    Did anyone watche the American Sedan race?

    By FAR the most exciting amateur race I have ever watched. My Mom actually came down and asked if everything was alright because I was screaming and yelling so much. I hopped on McDermid's bandwagon after he put that T1 pass on Von Kluge, and what a performance he put on for his new fan! I was sitting upright, on the edge of the couch for the majority of the race, I am still in awe! It will hopefully play again in the next few days so you guys can watch it, I'm SO glad I decided to DVR it today!

  20. #20
    Senior Member mlk_f1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles, California, United States
    Posts
    18,157
    Liked
    34 times

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by thefrush View Post
    I know the story of the Runoffs was all our boy Oli, but...

    Did anyone watche the American Sedan race?

    By FAR the most exciting amateur race I have ever watched. My Mom actually came down and asked if everything was alright because I was screaming and yelling so much. I hopped on McDermid's bandwagon after he put that T1 pass on Von Kluge, and what a performance he put on for his new fan! I was sitting upright, on the edge of the couch for the majority of the race, I am still in awe! It will hopefully play again in the next few days so you guys can watch it, I'm SO glad I decided to DVR it today!
    That was a good race wasn't it?!! McDermid drove very well in a handicap car (poor tires). Not to take credit from his driving performance. But he also had plenty of luck on his side for him to take that victory.

+ Reply to Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts