A lap back in time
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Here's something that struck me at a rest area in Minnesota:
The thing rocked quite a bit with the slop between the adaptor and the car's towbar fitting (I've never seen one that small before) and the slop between the adaptor and the rack's fitting. But I was assured it's been okay on there for five years.
Visiting Paul Hoffmeyer in western Wisconsin I notice his old (early nineties) Dodge RAM pickup had some hydraulic works on the front...
He explained to me that he'd had a succession of pickups he'd used to push the snow back over the years. When a pickup got too rough for road use it was kept just for this purpose. He overcomes the lack of 4WD by packing weight over the back wheels.
In the meantime, he's putting a few miles on his '46 pickup:
He took me for a ride in it, it's not bad at all. Though the shortened frame should mean light weight, he said it's about a ton and a half because he 'over engineered' a lot of brackets. Certainly they were much heavier steel than you find on factory chassis.
The 318 Poly engine is standard and goes very well.
Crossing Wisconsin I made it to Elkhart Lake. I'll use a separate entry to detail the laps of the old public road circuits, shown to me by John Calhoun, but here I'll put in some pics of what I found when shown around the Road America circuit grounds.
Unfortunately there was a Ferrari Challenge test day on that occupied the track itself, while the circuit workers were putting the finishing touches to arrangements for a big weekend of Superbike racing. Therefore we couldn't even get into places where I could see some parts of the circuit.
Going into the control centre building...
...I was introduced to the man keeping an eye on activities. He's equipped with 2-way, phones, computers and a wall full of screens:
Cameras around the circuit can be guided and aimed from this position and recording of incidents is done automatically. Very impressive.
You can see from this why the old control centre...
...had to be replaced. The demands of modern racing series, sponsors, teams and press mean that facilities have to be large and fully equipped.
Speaking of 'fully equipped', the Ferrari Challenge boys come with plenty of gear:
But not as much as some of the Superbike teams, which were beginning to turn up in numbers:
One part of the circuit I did see was Thunder Valley:
And I could see quite readily that the television tends to flatten out the circuit. The uphill run to the finish line here is better shown in this pic:
But now, back to the original road circuits. I'll send a link shortly with these, but first I've got another pic to send...
This Chrysler Saratoga is Bill Parker's new acquisition. Well, he's had it a year or so, but he didn't have it when I last visited him. It needs some work, rust in bumpers and rear quarters, floor etc, but he's the kind of person who gets stuck into those things and he's looking around for some replacement panels.
I'll get on with preparing the road circuit stuff... you'll have it soon...