Racing Against Leukemia - Take Two
- by Paul Zahornasky
A second look at RAL weekend from a different perspective. Have a story from RAL weekend that you want to share - email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Racing Against Leukemia weekend – the one weekend where, if you schedule things right, you could participate in all three of our programs’ activities: Club Racing, Solo (two days), DoubleCross, Rally, and RallyCross. I don’t think we had anyone that managed to do this, but, you could (and if you did, please contact me as I’ll change this.)
As of this writing the estimated donation total was in the $17,000 range. We don’t have all of the final figures, but, looking at the First Giving page shows $7,400 raise online. $1040 was raised at DoubleCross, and $1,140 was raised to coerce Jerry Rigoli to shave his goatee off (more on this later.) So right there, we are over $9,500. We still need to add in cash and check donations, Hot Laps, Track Tours, raffle ticket sales, and merchandise sales.
My personal schedule was Jeff Gordon Challenge, Track Tours, and the Sunday Solo Points event, so you will have to excuse the Solo-centric nature of this article. I also did not get a chance to observe the DoubleCross as that time slot was reserved for an extremely cold (and needed) shower and setting up Casa de Zahornasky in Solo City.
For those that have not read up, the Jeff Gordon Challenge is run a little differently than a ‘normal’ Solo event. Normally, we get competition runs, then, if time permits, fun runs (and time rarely permits). JGC is just the opposite. The morning is spent taking practice runs at $10 per run. This gives competitors a chance to drive other cars besides their own and change cars and/or classes to better their chance to place better in the competition portion. It’s also a chance to just have fun in friends’ cars that you normally would not get a chance to drive.
This, of course, is where the fundraising is important as anything over $100 gives you pretty much all the runs you’re going to be able to get in. There were plenty of people with left-over tickets as there were many competitors that were over $200 in donations.
Following the lunch break, competitors (about 30 or so in this case) each got 3 runs at the course. Competitors were ranked using PAX/RTP, then a run-off was held using the top 12 (with the Top 4 getting a first round bye.) But fundraising came in to play here as anyone with over $1000 in donations (of which we had 3, well 4, but Bob Lang didn’t show on Saturday) automatically received entry to the challenge and were seeded at the top, based on dollar amount. Wiley Cox, Emmanuel Cecchet, and JoJo Corrales all qualified based on fund-raising. The final four came down to Grant Reeve, PJ Corrales, Chang Ho Kim, and Charlie Thompson. And, as I type this, I realize that that, after some hard fought battles, those were the final finishing positions as well.
Sunday started off and stayed cooler than Saturday. But the action on course was hotter. Jeff Anderson took a significant step in the STX battle by taking the win. More importantly, Charlie Thompson took second, depriving David Gott of two precious points. By my calculations (unofficial of course) Anderson now has a four point lead with points events to go. Gott will need at least one win and will need to finish ahead of Anderson at both events if he is to take the points Championship.
Road Tire Rear Wheel Drive (RTR) action was just as hot. While Howard Roundy set the fastest time in the morning, Bryan Mancuso, Jeff Martynuska, and Barb Seeger (in that order I believe) all used their afternoon runs to make it exciting. The spread from first to fourth was a mere two tenths of a second.
Pro was another close battle with Grant Reeve taking the win by .069 over Billy Davis. I believe Reeve set the time on his first afternoon run and was not able to match it. Davis ran his fastest run of the day on his 2nd afternoon run, slowing down on each of his next runs.
Finally, in results news, a shout out to PJ Aspesi for his first win in HS. He and your writer battled all day swapping both the lead and cars with Aspesi taking the win on his last run of the day.
Look for full event results and coverage in the next issue of PitTalk.
On to thoughts, musings, and randomness:
Finally, while Doug Fisher already did this, I want to thank the RAL and NER Charities committee for all their hard work in a short amount of time to pull everything together. Any fundraising event takes a lot of planning and work. If you would like to help out with next year’s RAL event, please contact Linda Kogan, Kathy Moody, or any of the Board of Directors (who will then put you in touch with the right people.)