story and photos by William Loutzenheiser
The weekend was a normal June in Nebraska, with temperatures hitting 95° by midafternoon, a moderate 12-15 mph wind, and humidity at a nice 50%. This weekend’s racing was a big difference from last weekend, when they had four different Porsche clubs in town and they were noisy; then, there was a Mazda MX 5 on the track proving to the German-made cars that a Japanese rice rocket could make life miserable for them.
The Mazda was back Friday afternoon, helping in the training of all the drivers that have never been on this track before. They go to a driving class first and then put everyone on the track. One of the primaries on this track is no passing in the corners, only straightaways. The Mazda is fast in the short straights to stay in front, then they slow down take the outside of the corner and see if anybody loses their patience and passes them on the inside of the corner, which will get them black flagged and pulled off to the pits for a re-education. With this group, everybody passed on the first trip.
This group had a large variety of cars, from the totally daily drivers to a few of the specifically built high-end race cars, but the interesting part was listening to the cars as they came out of corner 13 into the front straightaway. As they went under the flag stand, cars would race past the grandstand in second gear and shift to third. We had the daily drivers who shifted under 5,000 nice and smooth, to the fully modified cars that ran the RPM clear up to the rev-limiter and then shifted while the engine sputtered. Since they are all running the same motor, they all have the same basic sound and tone, just moderately louder with a nice purr, to the full-blown open exhaust pros.
They had 52 cars show up from around the Midwest and other extremities we had one car from Florida, cars from Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska. Missouri had several, Minnesota had six, and there were five from Wisconsin; North Dakota and Montana each had one. I was told by some of the drivers that more of the racers in the Southeast would’ve made it but they were unable to get the cars out due to water over the roads.
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