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NEQ at Watkin's Glen (one view)
If you want to cut down on your reading, stop after the next sentence.
IT WAS EXCELLENT IN ALL RESPECTS! For those of you with the time, here's
one view of the event. I arrived Sunday very late afternoon after
caravaning out with Glenn Lawton (well, most of the way, but that's another
story) from Manchester, NH. The Seneca Lodge "Headquarters" is a great
place with lots of cabins scattered about, lots of grass and cool shade.
Most of us had our cars pre-teched at the lodge on Sunday and had some time
to get aquainted at the lodge and restaurant before the track event on
Monday. The Trout Almondine was excellent.
Monday AM, we were all out at the track by 8:30 for the driver's
meeting and began some on-track excercises at 9:00. This gave us all a
chance to get a good look at the track without any pressure and to "loosen"
ourselves up around some slalom and braking excercises that were manned by
instructors at 3 points around the track. By the end of excercises at
10:00 it was clear that this was going to be a very hot and humid day. The
word of the day had to be fluids; both for humans and automobiles.
For those of you that have not been out to The Glen, it is a wonderful
facility tucked into the gently rolling hills high above the lake below. I
hadn't been there in years, but I don't mind telling you that I get chills
thinking about the legends of motorsport that have driven there over the
last few decades.
A quick summation of the driving hardly seems fair because The Glen is
such a wonderful track but here's my shot at it. First of all, I don't
believe that anyone put so much as a scratch on their Audi (or guest Lotus
Elan, Porsche, BMW, or even Alfa) and the turf stayed where is was supposed
to be for the most part. The students and instructors all had a great time
I'd venture to guess with the few exceptions being due to mechanical
problems which are all part of the bargain unfortunately. Ross Esposito
(RIPP) showed with his multi-colored ride but unfortunately it succumbed to
the heat early on Tuesday after running well on Monday (I'm surprised there
weren't more casualties as the temperature and humidity soared). I found
myself pulling into the pits on a couple of runs just to wipe the sweat out
of my eyes and cool off for a moment before returning to speed (a luxury
you'd never get in competition...how do they do it?). Some folks even
left a little early on Tuesday and I gotta believe that the heat had a lot
to do with it. I think it ran about 90+ degrees with about 99.99%
humidity....a typical upstate NY mid-summer dog day. One track worker on
Monday was taken ill from the heat and I think all us us very much
appreciated their efforts more than we can say.
The track itself is a joy to drive with two very nice straight-aways,
and just about every driving challenge that you could hope for on this kind
of track. It took me awhile to master getting the 90 degree turn at the
end of the front straight just right, but with my instructor's help (Glenn
Lawton, oddly enough) and tips from the class and others I was able to take
it well and really enjoy the following Esses at speed. Coming up the back
straight and hauling the car down from 105-113MPH for the "Bus Stop" is an
experience I will not soon forget and has left me with a grin that has cut
straight through the gloom of being back in my office. The Chute, all
parts of The Boot and the remaining off camber turn taught me volumes about
car control and have left a similar grin on my internal face that I'm
saving for tomorrow. Tuesday was another great day on the track and was
near perfect save for the heat. The word of the day?: Aquiate!...is that a
Monday night most of the participants went to the Bully Hill Winery in
Hammondsport for a wonderful dinner with new and old friends where the
conversation about driving, car stories, and laughter was only interupted
by people saying what a beautiful view the deck afforded of the lake, and a
more formal pause to thank all those that had worked so hard to make this a
successful, safe and fun event. One problem.... NEQ at The Glen '97 will
be hard to top.
My thanks go out directly to all those who worked on the event and
gave of their time and energy; my instructors, and all the other
participants whose friendly nature and comraderie made it an an event to be
Proud Member NEQ #3367