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Resident Curmudgeon
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Saturday May 5th started out like any other in the Shenandoah Valley. COLD!!!

Over 200 SVT foci, Cobras, Lightnings, a Ford GT, Cobra R, and even one Ferrari 360 Modena came out to play at Summit Point's Shenandoah Circuit.

Representatives from Saleen were also on hand to show off their new product line of Mustangs, trucks and even a brand new Parnelli Jones commemorative addition Mustang. Instructors were given the opportunity to take perspective buyers and students for hot laps over the course of the weekend. New owners, who had not yet taken delivery, were invited to drive the cars with an instructor.

It promised to be a full day of fun, excitement and track time for all.

CDSilver5DoorSVT, ME2, TRAINFAN, EGZ, ShelbyGT, WeeAsp and other non "fanatics" members carried the banner on this tight and challenging track. In total, there were 10 foci at the track to show the Cobras how the game is played.

Driver's meeting concluded with introductions and run group assignments.

CD and company were in run group 3 while I was hustling back and forth between the novice run groups, advanced, Saleen and instructor groups.

The morning found the track to be very green and did not warm up very quickly. There were a few off track excursions (mostly by the Saleen drivers - shocker), but none resulted in any damage other than to egos. Many times, I saw the Saleen rep wringing his hands like a father who is watching his child play with a hungry alligator.

We were just getting into the swing of things when a minor disaster occured. Mac Henkel in his Cobra R crested the bridge straight and came down with a resounding *CLANG*. When he crested the hill at the top of the bridge straight, he caught a little air under the front wheels and came down HARD on the K-member. Oil pans don't react kindly to this treatment and the quarter sized hole torn in the pan effectively demonstrated this. Fortunately, he was able to make it back to the paddock area without significantly oiling the track. Good insticts on his part to get the car off of the track surface and save the morning sessions for the rest of us.

Group 3 was up and the fanatics, claws and fangs sharpened for the occasion, jumped out on track. I was with Me2 providing a refresher course on the track line with CDSilver5Door and TRAINFAN running. A few laps in and she was VERY comfortable with the track and was driving extremely well. CD and TRAIN passed us once and we never saw them again. Normally, this is a good thing, but not this time. After 3 laps, CD suffered a mechanical failure and had to call it a day. We are still diagnosing the problem, but melted spark plugs can never be a good sign.

Our novice foci (Ed and Mark) were great students that picked up the track line very quickly with just the right amount of fear and respect for their cars. Mark's supercharged ZTECH was incredibly fast able to pull within 1-2 car lengths of the Cobras on the straights and filling their mirrors in the corners. More than a few times, Ed and Mark were directed to pass as the Cobras just could not handle the tight bits of the track. It didn't take long for the Cobras to become a distant memory as we muscled our way around the track.

Around mid-day, the rain began to fall in spits and sputters. Most people wring their hands at the idea of putting their car on a race track when the rain begins to fall. Not us foci drivers !!! Saddle up Cobras and get out of the way, we're coming through !!!!

Eventually, the skies cleared, but it remained windy and cold. Saturday closed without incident.

Saturday night, EGZ called me after he arrived at the track. Driving up from his house, he was content to break out the camping gear and pitch his tent in the paddock. That's someone who LOVES their track time. After a relatively fitful night of the tent flapping, collapsing and one unconfirmed assault by a WV ground squirrel, EGZ woke up to the rumble of engines as we gathered for day 2 of the event.

Once again, COLD! However, there was more than enough sun to offset the chill. The driver's meeting somewhat set the tone for the remainder of the day. Jeff Lacina (SVTOA Lead Instructor) made it a point to single out the focus as a very capable car on this track and that if we were filling Cobra mirrors, get out of the way !!!

I looked out across the paddock area and I saw a new focus among the pack. What was CDSilver5Door doing in a BLUE focus??? Apparently, a quick trip to his brother's house and some cockamamy story about an all day grocery run got him the keys to another focus for track fun.

Sunday, we spent a good portion of our time together both in car and hanging our in the paddock. I went out with CD and TRAINFAN to show them the "foci line" around the track and we were all giggling like school girls the whole way. The giggling stopped when Me2 passed her husband. [ohcrap]

As an impartial observer, I saw nothing... [:)~]

Lots and lots of track time over the second day. More than I can remember in a very long time. By the time the last group finished, we had all spent about 2+ hours on track. However, the day was not without its share of "oops factors". 2 Saleens went off the track and one Cobra found the business end of a concrete wall late in the afternoon. The driver wasn't injured, but it tore the whole front clip off of the car. It took track personnel about 20 minutes to repair the barrier before we could start up again.

It was a FANTASTIC weekend and hope that more of our fellow fanatics can join us for "Cobra hunts" at Shenandoah next year. The same dates are already reserved.

Also, a big thanks to CD5Silver5Door for bringing me much needed parts to repair my car. In a few short weeks, the #152 "Duct Tape Special" will be back to normal.

Sorry more of you weren't able to make it, but hopefully, we'll see you soon. [headbang]

Videos and pics to follow as soon as I get them off the camera.
 

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Sückn' n Blown
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That was the first time I've had Cobra owners come up to me and comment on how my car was much faster than expected. And to poke around the engine bay looking for the non-existant supercharger. Yea for N/A!
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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Discussion Starter #5
OK...

I'm a NOOB when it comes to uploading photos from Photobucket where the image displays on this page.

I have the first batch loaded up and ready, I just can't get them to display here. I can attached the URL, but that seems like it is an extra step.

HELP!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Apologies for the resolution, but I am just a PC idiot...

Enjoy round 1. FYI, I was not the photographer. More foci pictures to follow.
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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Discussion Starter #10
NO pictures of me?!?!?

LOL
 

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There is a "Spouse Law" that I can't take any car that I don't own outright out on a full roadcourse. I just put myself even further from that goal with the new car, but I gotta tell you I have a deep, deep hunger for some open track action!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
There is a "Spouse Law" that I can't take any car that I don't own outright out on a full roadcourse. I just put myself even further from that goal with the new car, but I gotta tell you I have a deep, deep hunger for some open track action!
You'll get there!

Just remember your tag line. The longer you put it off, the less of a reality it will become. I finally said, AW the heck with it. I've never looked back.

However, I didn't have a "Spouse Law" to contend with either. That changes in December. Although, she's pretty understanding when it comes to my track addiction, affliction, obsession, and desire.

One piece of advice, if you are itching that much to get out there, don't go watch. I took a year off to recoup some finances and went to a few events as a spectator. Afterwards, I would have rather carved out my own spleen with a spoon rather than not be able to play too.

That said, come to Summit Point and I bet I could find you a loaner car. [8D]

Turn to the dark side Carrera...let go of your feelings.... [poke]
 

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Nice meeting up with everyone and meeting Tom.......very glad to have had an expericed Focus driver show us a line instead of a Mustang driver......Best thing of all is hearing in the drivers meeting........" If you have a focus in your mirror, let them around, they are faster than you".......for some reason cobra guys HATE being passed by a focus.......
 

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I'll probably end up buying a track beater. Caged CRX, Miata, FB RX-7 or something that I can buy for cash, drive to the event, and "afford" to write off if I decide to remodel the ARMCO with it. Seen a few decent ones for under $3,000.

It'll happen, just doing all those "starting the family" things like saving for kids, buying a bigger house, going on that one last nice vacation as DINKs (Dual-income-no-kids), etc etc.
 

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That was the first time I've had Cobra owners come up to me and comment on how my car was much faster than expected. And to poke around the engine bay looking for the non-existant supercharger. Yea for N/A!
Your car sounded BAD A-- going up the hill under the bridge! It looked like you were leaving those poor Mustangs in your dust. They really hate it when they realize that there IS something different and better out there.
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
It really was a lot of fun and gratifying too. I think our little foci stood a little higher and a little prouder this past weekend.

Thanks in no small part to some really good driving on everyone's part.

EGZ -

Hopefully, I'll get to ride with you next time. You were really tearing it up out on course.

Everyone did well and we all learned from each other. That's what these events are all about. [woot]
 

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Great story....I'll excuse the fact that you got me confused with Me2.....she's cool, so it's ok......
anywho....we had a blast and can't wait to do it again......as far as I know....we won't be on track again until Watkins Glenn.......so, hope to see you and a lot more foci's there!!!!!!!!
 

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Sückn' n Blown
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Your car sounded BAD A-- going up the hill under the bridge! It looked like you were leaving those poor Mustangs in your dust. They really hate it when they realize that there IS something different and better out there.
Thanks! On the street, it can be quite annoying, but it does make me weak in the knees when the RPM gets up there. [headbang]

WeeAsp said:
EGZ -

Hopefully, I'll get to ride with you next time. You were really tearing it up out on course.
Ah, you give too much credit. It wasn't until the last session that I actually got remotely close to pushing the car. There was so much to learn on that track with the line and landmarks. But I did feel I made some really good progress with my eyes/hands. It was almost as if I took off the blinders and saw it completely different.

I'll see if I can get some video up later of my cleanest lap. Not very exciting stuff, but good for those who are curious about the track layout. I need to figure out what to do about the audio. Its mostly wind with some occasional Cosworth notes.
 
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