August 24, 1996

Hardly seems possible that itís been 4 years since Hurricane Andrew blew through here reminding us of our basic significance in the overall "master plan". Tends to put things in their proper perspective, doesnít it? Well, itís been a while since my last letter and a lot has happened in the interim - fortunately, I took notes and kept an outline going during this time so, hopefully, I wonít forget much...

Under the topic of "Things We Learned While At The Races" there are several items. As some of us were made aware at the initial race of the year, we need to watch the starter closely since, at least at that event, they may be holding a standing yellow in addition to waving the green!!!! Hey, I know, I couldnít find it in the GCR either - BUT, the race was started under a standing yellow and only some of us (about half) noticed! This gets to be very important since it is during a start and those aware of the standing yellow are probably not expecting to be overtaken and those unaware of the standing yellow are so overjoyed at being able to improve their position in a seemingly effortless display of driver ability and agility ... well, you get the point - itís an incident looking for a place to happen. While I doubt that this will ever occur again, it does serve to remind us to pay close attention on the starts to not only the when but the what as well! At the same event, we learned that a Shelby GT does not brake and turn as quickly as a Formula V... whoever would have guessed... A third observation made at the early races was that some have perhaps forgotten the general guidelines of Vintage racing - that of spirited but courteous competition! I cannot emphasize the need to remember this part of our program enough. We have been blessed by having some of the most talented and energetic people involved in initiating and keeping this program alive and have been grievously reminded how quickly harm can come by losing one of them during one of our events. Life can be too short - letís enjoy it while we can. If the most important thing in racing is the need to win then, please, find some other class or organization as we have other goals.

As most know by now, Vintage will be Group 1 at all Florida Region events for the remainder of the year. While this is a real pain to those of us who are not early risers, it does permit most of us to get the car home before dark, since we can usually be on the road by 3:00pm. At most of the event, this puts our Sunday race as the first race after the lunch break. This being the case, we have moved the "awards" meeting to convene at the Jurassic Paddock area after our morning warm-up rather than after the afternoon race. This gives us more time to socialize and allows entrants more freedom in the scheduling of afternoon events. So far, this has worked out well so we will be continuing this practice.

We were all disappointed when the Homestead event got canceled and was not rescheduled but, as they say, "Thatís racing"! We have two dates scheduled there next year plus the November 9-10 race there later this year. By that time, the grass should have grown in all those sandy spots - not that any of us drove into any them mind you...

I was approached earlier this year regarding the topic of a Vintage Participant Directory listing name address and maybe types of vehicles owned. While I am reluctant to publish this for a number of reasons, I thought it was something that should be presented and allow our community to voice their opinions. In any case, the individual would always have the right to have their information, or part thereof, withheld. While I am on this topic, I need people to let me know when their address, telephone number or other information changes. Most recently, I have added Email address to my list of information collected about our participants as this is often the most effective way of my communicating with them. If you have an Email address or web-page URL (or both) please forward them to me at nobozos@ix.netcom.com and then check out my web page of miscellaneous information at http://www.netcom.com/~nobozos/ . One of the links you will find here is that to the SCCA Vintage Racing calendar, which is kept up-to-date at all (OK, most) times. Several of our participants have found this a great way to keep in touch with me, oft times in a less than complimentary manner, regardless of the time of day or night. And, since Iím usually dialed-in somewhere, trying to call me wouldnít work anyway! Let me know your feelings about a Vintage Racer Directory, even by snail mail if you must...

Some of our group have kindly offered their services as a benefit to the group as a whole. Joe Hill indicated he would like to give a brief talk to us regarding the benefits and real need for proper hydration at these events. (No, Beau, that doesnít mean standing naked in the paddock while nubile nymphs spray you with newly shaken magnums of Moet... but, hey, Iím game if you are!!!). Joe assures me this is NOT a laughing matter and, in truth, Beau and others can attest to the truth of that. At the same time, Joe wants to also discuss the importance of ear plugs in a race car - something we donít really think about since the sound is one of the things we like about our hobby. There are some vital issues at stake here (hear?) and Joe is willing to answer any questions that might arise on this topic. I will try to schedule this with Joe for some event where the participation will be high; a video-taping of the presentation might be arranged as well.

Glen Efinger has also volunteered to perform general car safety inspections at the events for those wishing his experienced eye to grace their cars. Glen has been involved with racing for some time now and has discovered the ďtrouble spotsĒ on a variety of car makes. There are always those pesky suspension pieces, bratish (or British, I suppose...) brake parts and snivelish steering components that we all have come to take for granted - Glen is willing to deal with these areas, and those of the more troublesome frame and structural integrity elements, and give you a general "grade card". I am also comfortable with his offer since I know he has more work than time already. I would urge you to seek him out if you are not totally sure of the condition of your car from top to bottom, front to back. Any information remains confidential between you and Glen and has no bearing on your tech sticker validity. However, if he DOES find something, do something about it, as the condition dictates.

Some possible, new venues have been mentioned in recent weeks. Since they are all still in the "blue sky" arena, I will summarize them quickly. Central Florida Region is considering adding a Vintage race group to one or more of their upcoming Driverís Schools to help defray the costs; Florida Region has discussed a similar approach. I was asked if Vintage would be interested in running as a support group to the "Longest Night" 24-hour race at the end of December at Moroso; since many of us may be there as workers or support crew, it sounded like a good idea to me. We would need to commit to at least 20 entries, which I donít think would be a problem at that time of year (the weekend between Christmas and New Year) - what do you think?

Trophies at our last event were silk screened, aluminum "Vintage Racer" Florida license plates which Sandy Jackson had made. We made only 50 of them and have been selling the surplus plates at $5.00 apiece (just under what they cost...). The proceed are going to our annual Worker Fund to be used to buy good stuff for the workersí year-end party. These items will be donated in the name of the Vintage Racers of Florida. If you would like to purchase one of the license plates, contact me as soon as possible as they have proven to be a popular item...

Last item: any interest in a Vintage 24-Hour race? What if it were to be done by teams of multiple drivers AND multiple cars per team...? Give it some thought. Updated 1996 and the proposed 1997 Calendars are enclosed - play safe!!!


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