Competition School Story – James Paul
February 10th, 2017 by James Chartres
Story by James Paul
My dad Greg, and I had a great time at the Competition Licensing School. Our instructors were very knowledgeable and obviously really enjoyed the sport, but I think also really enjoyed having the opportunity to share their skills and help. My dad was driving a FE that was completely rebuilt from the frame up by Jason and Chris at Bulldog motorsports. It is a beautiful car. They are simply the best there is in their field. I was driving my Norma M20f that Bulldog had recently finished updating with nice refresh on my Honda K20. The car was perfect. Aside from some intermittent vibrations, it was flawless.
The School was a really good opportunity to get a full experience of what it’s like to run with SCCA. I was very impressed with the organization and professionalism. I am very new to Racing so I did not have much to compare it against, but honestly, I couldn’t see anything at all that needed improvement. I felt very Safe and confident that I was around people that knew what they were doing and how to react in case of an emergency. It certainly gave me a chance to focus on the task at hand and not worry about the what if’s…
The initial few sessions of the school were very helpful in having a chance to follow a very good driver / coach in Jeff Lederman. Although he never got up to race speed due to some of the educational focal points, he was very precise with his line and explanations which were very helpful.
The Practice Races on Sunday were great. What a wonderful experience. Lining up with a group of really nice race cars in the OW group was a fantastic feeling. Inside my helmet, I was grinning from ear to ear. The weather was absolutely perfect Friday and Saturday, however Sunday was a different experience. The wind was so strong, it broke the Bulldog Motorsports flag pole which was rated for 40+ mph winds. Going down the strait away, there was a nice tail wind which allowed for greater speed entry to turn 1, however the wind also played with the rear end of the car quite a bit more while going through the turn. I had a few of those “Oh Crap” feelings in the Races. Unfortunately, my dad had to leave Saturday night and didn’t get the chance to experience the practice Races, as I was really looking forward to being able to take a green flag together, but he was really happy with the experience and the people.
My car felt really good. The Open Wheel Race group was a very good group of guys to race with. There were a lot of different speeds out there but everyone was very good at holding their line and driving hard.
All in all, it was a fantastic weekend. I’m really looking forward to this upcoming season with SCCA. I’m very new to this and would love to meet more of you that share this passion. It is one heck of a ride!
See you at the track!