2011 Summer Sizzler: Who Cares About PAX, Anyway?

August 24th, 2011 by Kate

The Friday of the Summer Sizzler weekend is traditionally the date of some sort of special event. In the beginning, there was Porsche vs. Corvette Clubs. Then the Cobra Club rose to prominence at Cumberland, and they faced off against the Cumberland “All Stars”—a host of the fastest regulars and a few ringers from the DC or Pittsburgh regions. This year, we tried something new. Rather than two teams going head to head for bragging rights, it would be every driver for himself. As a way to reward its most loyal customers, CBE placed a minimum event limit on qualification, and to include a wider array of regulars (and to cruelly force those in the timing trailer into doing math, I suspect) times were based on PAX, rather than raw time.


These parameters were kind to Team Zip Tie. We’re not exactly known for our blazing speed most of the time (except for Mike Moran, but we’re working on dragging him down to our level) but some of us do alright when our handicaps (only the driving kind, sadly) are taking into account. Those of us invited to this brave new shootout were Paul, Mike, Joe, Rob, Doug, Rich, and me. After three years of working the course for this event (and one traumatizing incident of avian murder) I was psyched to get to take part myself, and make other suckers run after my cones for a change. But sadly, it was not meant to be. Maid of Honor duty called, so instead of autocross glory (or, three qualifying runs and then working the course with the other suckers, more likely) I spent Friday afternoon at a bridal shop with my best friend, offering my deep insights into her choices in wedding dresses.


On the plus side, it sounds like that may not have made much of a difference, and I’ll get my chance after all. Between nasty weather and timing troubles, CBE had to suspend the event, and after some deliberation, came up with a new solution to determine Cumberland PAX supremacy. The organizers will take the PAX scores of the 40 qualifying drivers on Saturday of the Harvest Moon, and the top 16 will compete in the traditional NCAA bracket-style run-off immediately following the fourth heat. Let the month of PAX-related trash talking begin!


While some of you were standing in the rain at the airport, I left the District around 4:30, and was delighted by the lack of traffic heading up I-270. That delight was crushed by the time I hit Frederick, however, and I spent the rest of the drive in rainy traffic. By the time I reached LaVale, the abbreviated run-off was over and the usual crowd of Cobra drivers and Team Zip Tie members were several drinks in—but at Gehauf’s, not our usual Henny’s. Also joining us were two members of Paul’s band 88MPH (who has a show August 31 at the Charm City Art Space in Baltimore. Tell your friends!) Rich Siomporas and Ryan Rodgriguez. We had dinner and drinks while waiting for space at Henny’s, and generally cleared the room. At long lasted we were granted entry behind the velvet rope, but our usual VIP table in the back had been commandeered. Instead, we were shuffled off to the second level of the bar, but at least we had Larissa and Nikki there to take care of us. There, shots and beers were drunk, hair was tortuously removed from Rob’s arm, a leg was licked, and a nice family got photo bombed. Did I mention that all these acts were committed by one member of Team Zip Tie? (I’ll give you a hint: rhymes with Shashmorski.) After a long evening, we headed back to the Slumberland, fingers crossed for a hangover-free morning.

That's how we do "summer fun" at Henny's.

Saturday started off clear, but with a slight chill in the air that reminded us all that summer is quickly drawing to a close. After some unintentional extra sleep, Paul and I ate a rushed breakfast at McDonald’s and headed to the airport in the Fit. Since Paul had already changed tires on the WRX the night before, that freed up some time for us, and I was able to spend some quality puppy time with Shelby, while Paul harassed Wade, who was reattaching the blower he’d removed the night before in an effort to be more class legal. Saturday’s course was traditional Cumberland fare—“fast and open”—and after the driver’s meeting, we got down to business.


After running in the first heat at the last event, I decided to make a change, and asked Dave Williams to allow me to switch my permanent number. While going first allows me to drive while still feeling fresh and not having to play catch up to Paul’s time, there are some downsides to the first heat that I’d overlooked. Like the cooler weather, especially as we begin moving into autumn autocrossing. Whoops. After a few squirrelly runs on cold tires and a few cones, I ended the day with my final and fastest run of 49.251. Which wasn’t bad for the first heat, unless you consider Brian Karwan’s 42.339 in his Civic. So I’m not going to. Moving on. Rich and Meg also ran in the first. Rich finished with a 49.164, good enough for fourth out of nine in B Stock. Meg ran a 53.336, and set the bar for the cone award early, with six total. Though Mike tried with five, no one could top her, and she earned the cone-busting bonus points for Saturday.


Pretty much as soon as the first heat ended, the sun came out, and I doused myself in sunblock before heading out to work the course. From my vantage point at corner seven, I was able to watch Rob and Joe make their passes. Mustang Boy was back in his now street legal Mustang, and wound up with an ESP-winning 46.262. Rob, still without his not-so-trusty RX8, and resisting our peer pressure to bring the Stratus out of retirement, borrowed Doug’s Audi, and posted 47.681, which would beat Doug’s best fourth heat pass of 48.481. The third heat saw Paul bringing the WRX out for its second tour of duty. He quickly bested my time on his way to a 45.959 and a sixth overall PAX finish. With the Suxass parked due to rod knock, Mike gratefully accepted Ben’s offer of a co-drive in his Daytona Coupe, and ran in the fourth heat. His 43.504 beat the car’s owner, and landed him an eighth overall in raw time.


After driving festivities concluded, we sought shelter from the sun under a canopy in paddock, and shared beers and banter before making our way to Doc’s for the picnic. Though I hate to eat and run, a shower was very much in order, and Paul and I ducked out to clean up at the Slumberland before returning to Henny’s. Clearly, management missed the memo, because our table was booked once again, but we made due pushing several bar tables together. We’re resourceful that way. Our usual crowd was soon joined by Andy, who made his way up from Frederick with the promise of a co-drive in the WRX. As is typical for a Saturday evening, we were more reserved after a day full of racing (and a full night of drinking before that). But we still made a strong showing, and were rewarded for our resilience. As we were beginning to wind down, a bridal party came into the bar, complete with a bride shouting “Where’s my husband?” It was worth hanging around.


After waking up in the Slumberland, we quickly tuned into the Weather Channel to see what the day held in store for us. The short answer: rain. And lots of it. Not surprisingly, our numbers were far fewer on Sunday, and after some deliberation, the organizers wisely opted for a condensed day of just two heats with four runs each. The course was again open, but with a ridiculously tight turn at the terminal end that looked like it would require a three-point turn to get through.


The sky hadn’t opened up yet, and we rushed to get our runs in before the rain came. Andy and I shared the WRX in the first heat, and I for awhile I thought I was doing well, keeping close to him. Then I realized it was because he didn’t have a clean pass until his fourth and final run, when his 48.475 more solidly beat my 50.681. In the second group, Paul would beat us both, edging Andy out with a 48.132. Also sharing a car in the first heat were Rob and Chris Fritz in Chris’s STI, which was also run by Jake Moran in the second heat. Rob made Team Zip Tie proud by beating out both of his co-drivers with a 46.502. Meg finished up with a 54.305, but with only one cone on the day, so no bonus points this time. Mike ran Ben’s Coupe again, but only for the first three of his runs, before stealing his wife’s keys and giving Jen’s Cobra a warmup lap. His fastest time was in the Coupe, with a raw of 44.648, but with one cone. Joe also made a mid-heat car switch. His Mustang was leaking fuel, and his ESP competitor John Norton was kind enough to loan Joe his Mustang to finish out the heat. His fastest pass was in his own car, a 48.755, good enough for a weekend sweep of his class. Doug ran in the second group, getting his best time of a 50.842 in before the drizzling began. By the end of the heat, the rain had started in earnest, and paddock cleared out in a hurry as everyone rushed to change tires, load up, and beat the weather home.


Paul and I stopped at Sheetz in Cumberland with Andy to gas up and grab some food before getting on the road at an unusually early hour. By the time we set out, we were pleasantly surprised to see the sun come out again. Shortly after getting on the highway, we found Larry, Jen, and Rob making a strange caravan, and we happily joined in, letting the Cobras lead us eastward.


Next up is the Harvest Moon at the end of the September. The corn will be gone, but we’ll settle this PAX supremacy thing once and for all—assuming anyone other than Team Zip Tie actually gives a damn about PAX, that is.


Saturday (70 Entrants)
12 – Paul (6th in PAX)
11 – Mike (12th in PAX)
10 – Joe (15th in PAX)
9 – Kate (24th in PAX)
8 – Rob (25th in PAX)
7 – Doug (31st in PAX)
6 – Rich (36th in PAX)
5 + 2 – Meg (50th in PAX – Cone Award Winner with 6 cones)

Sunday (50 Entrants)
12 – Paul (5th in PAX)
11 + 2 – Andy (7th in PAX – Cone Award Co-winner with 6 cones)
10 – Rob (10th in PAX)
9 – Joe (17th in PAX)
8 – Mike (19th in PAX)
7 – Kate (21st in PAX)
6 – Doug (31st in PAX)
5 – Meg (39th in PAX)

Current Team Standings
1. Mike (84 points)
2. Paul (83 points)
3. Rob (82 points)
4. Joe (72 points)
5. Doug (60 points)
6. Kate (54 points)
7. Meg (42 points)
8. Rich (32 points)
9. Andy (24 points)
10. Bill (18 points)
11. Patrick (12 points)
12. Thomas (0 points)


August 17th, 2011 by Paul

Had an awesome final race at DC on Sunday. Andy and I ran the WRX in DS and managed a 2/3 finish.

Andy had me covered easily in the first three runs, but following his advice of “grow a pair” I managed to get him on my last run, by a scant 0.060. Check out the split screen.

In this video, you can see Andy demonstrating the new size of my balls (watch at the very end).

Hot and Bothered: Speed Week 2011

August 3rd, 2011 by Kate

Well, we did it. We survived the longest break in the Cumberland Airport Autocross season, and we did it without succumbing to those nasty withdrawal symptoms. Some of us (like Meg) accomplished this by trading up to a newer model Miata. Some of us (like Paul, Mike, and Rob) kept racing nearly every weekend wherever an event could be found. And some of us (like me) didn’t have the chance to do anything racing-related during the downtime, and showed up for the Speed Week autocross hoping we’d remember what those pesky orange road cones are there for.


Friday afternoon we all started making our way to the Cumberland area to kick off a full weekend of Mountain Maryland racing. Paul spent the week out in Portland for a conference, and once he landed, we jumped in the WRX and headed west. Along the way, we found ourselves tailing a black RX8 with a tire trailer, and knew we must have stumbled across Rob. We tried to keep up with our teammate, but Rob had other ideas, and left us in the dust. We later discovered that he wasn’t just being a jerk, but was having car troubles. Apparently, Rob had not inscribed the proper magical runes on his rotary, so the spinning triangle gods angrily smote the motor. Or something like that. Seriously, how do those things work?


After checking in at the Slumberland, we headed up the road to Henny’s, where we found our usual crowd of Zip Ties and Cobras assembled. Some of them had been drinking for a few hours already, so Paul and I rushed to catch up. Rob filled us in on his rotary woes, and managed to snag a co-drive offer. Ben Lambiotte left the Daytona Coupe at home, rather than risk overheating in near triple-digit temperatures. But his backup isn’t exactly shabby—a 2011 Mustang GT, and he generously offered to share with Rob, and Wade even threw in his Cobra street tires for good measure. As usual, the car-swapping didn’t end there. Overriding my veto, Paul loaned our car out to Jake Moran, which he would live to regret. After sorting out who’d be driving what on whose tires, we settled our tabs with our waitress Larissa—and gave her good enough tips to enjoy a night out on the town with fellow Henny’s barmaid Nikki—and headed to bed.


Waking up in my frigid room at the Slumberland, I tried to enjoy the air conditioner before heading out into the sweltering day. It was going to be hot and bright, and water and sunblock would prove to be necessities. The course was nothing new for Cumberland, with the exceptions of a tight Chicago box at the terminal end, and a longer straight leading down to the Trooper 5 turnaround. At the driver’s meeting, Dave Williams proudly presented a check to the Alleghany County Animal Shelter Foundation, the results of last month’s auction. On hand to accept the check were a couple of two-legged representatives from the shelter, and Lulu, a jack russell terrier mix available for adoption. A sweet-tempered wiry-haired pup who shamelessly mugged for the camera and accepted pets and belly rubs from the crowd, Dave was proud to share just three days later, Lulu has found herself a forever home.


Lulu graciously accepts her big fat check.


Once my puppy-senses stopped tingling, I remembered we were here to race, and settled in to the usual autocross routine. Heat one saw the debut of Meg’s new(er) Miata, and she finished with a 59.363, good enough for 3rd in C Stock. In the second heat, Joe “Mustang Boy” Oxenham dusted off his namesake, and reminded us all why we started calling him Mustang Boy in the first place. Remembering what horsepower feels like, he cruised to victory in ESP with a 52.074. Also in the second heat, our WRX made its first pass of the day, piloted by Jake Moran. He set the bar for me and Paul with a 50.679. Paul gave it his best shot in the third heat, but fell short of Jake’s time by 0.7, and my 55.156 was only good for fourth in class.


In the fourth heat, Mike Moran took the Suxass out to do battle with the Cobras, but his 46.758 was a tenth of a second off Wade’s class-topping time. On the plus side, he did take top Zip Tie Cup points of the day with a 6th place finish in PAX. Doug continued his uncontested reign of terror in DSP with a 52.597, and Rich—in a very contested BSP class—took 4th in class with a 53.939. Rob did his best to beat his co-driver Ben, but fell half a second short, finishing with a 53.215, and an astounding eight cones, handily taking the Cone Award for the day.


After the day’s racing ended, Rob limped his car off to Doug’s garage, where Joe was kind enough to help him try to diagnose the RX8. Not all of us are that nice though, and we preferred to take shelter under the shade of the canopy to drink a few beers and kill some time while waiting for the picnic at Doc’s to begin.  Doug joined us at the picnic, where he gave us an update on their efforts, but more importantly, he showed off his new line of Audi logo jewelry. The next item available on Team Zip Tie’s Café Press page, perhaps?


Photo of Doug E Fresh stolen from Ben.


After showering off the day’s dirt and grime, we returned to Henny’s for a quick nightcap. But after we’d settled our checks and were about to turn in, Joe and a very dejected-looking Rob turned up, and we couldn’t just abandon a teammate in need. More drinks were ordered, and as Rob dined on chips and queso (the kitchen was closed, but Nikki provided him with food as best she could), he told up that his apex seals were blown, and had no compression. Though his car would once again be out of commission for Sunday, Rob was happy to accept Ben’s offer to co-drive the Mustang once again, especially since Fred Kelly had promised to bring R comps.


Sunday kicked off just as hot as Saturday. The course was a close approximation to the previous day’s version, only without the long straight heading out to the second turnaround. I wizened up and switched to the first heat, in an attempt to get my racing done while still fresh, and also to use up the tires myself before the day’s heat and other drivers get them all greasy. I laid down a 48.6 on my first run, and Paul, ever helpful, decided it must be a timing error and went to the timing trailer to get me a rerun. He was promptly laughed at an assured that yes, his wife did in fact get that 48 fair and square. Let me just say how truly blessed I feel to have such a supportive spouse. I wound up with a 46.573, and while Paul beat me with a 44.763, it’s the closest I’ve been to him to date. Maybe he was right to be a little nervous. Rob also switched to the first heat in his borrowed Mustang, now on borrowed R comps. He ran a 44.249, and while the margin between Ben and Rob was extremely narrow, Rob once again lost to the car’s owner.


Joe was the second Zip Tie member to lose his class to Jake Moran during the weekend. Driving Sandy Smith’s Mustang, Jake took ESP, beating Joe’s 44.952 by three tenths of a second. Doug finished with a 46.155, good for 38th in PAX, and Rich was right behind at 40th with a time of 46.593, while Meg’s 50.368 earned her a 58th place. And Mike rounded out Team Zip Tie with a time of 41.414, good enough for a 4th place finish in XP and 10th overall in raw time. The top three finishers in the Zip Tie Cup points were Paul, Rob, and Mike, with PAX finishes of 11, 12, and 13, respectively. I was back on track cone-wise, though Rob is proving to be the biggest obstacle in my quest for a three-peat, and we tied for the Cone Award with three cones apiece.


As we all started packing up to go home, Paul and I discovered that one of our tires is corded. We used this as an excuse to drop in on absentee Zip Tie teammate Andy Thomas on the way home, and see if he’d be willing to flip our tires for us so we can squeeze just a few more runs out of them. We’ve got to make those last, they’re our wedding Hoosiers! Next up on the autocross schedule is the Summer Sizzler in late August. But first up, the Hill Climb is this weekend. If you want to volunteer your services to work the course, get in touch with our own Doug Macy. I hear you get a free t-shirt out of the deal!


Saturday (85 Entrants)
12 – Mike (6th in PAX)
11 – Gimp (8th in PAX)
10 + 2 – Rob (29th in PAX – Cone Award Winner with 8 cones)
9 – Joe (31st in PAX)
8 – Doug (36th in PAX)
7 – Kate (44th in PAX)
6 – Rich (48th in PAX)
5 – Meg (66th in PAX)

Sunday (71 Entrants)
12 – Gimp (11th in PAX)
11 + 1 – Rob (12th in PAX – Cone Award Co-winner with 3 cones)
10 – Mike (13th in PAX)
9 – Joe (27th in PAX)
8 + 1 – Kate (28th in PAX – Cone Award Co-winner with 3 cones)
7 – Doug (38th in PAX)
6 – Rich (40th in PAX)
5 – Meg (58th in PAX)

Current Team Standings
1. Mike (65 points)
2. Rob (64 points)
3. Gimp (59 points)
4. Mustang Boy (53 points)
5. Doug (47 points)
6. Kate (38 points)
7. Meg (30 points)
8. Rich (26 points)
9. Bill (18 points)
10. Patrick (12 points)
11. Andy (11 points)
12. Thomas (0 points)

Rob talks a little about NPH.

July 19th, 2011 by Team Zip-Tie Staff

I can’t say I agree with Rob, but he’s a free thinker…

Give me yo money…

June 30th, 2011 by Team Zip-Tie Staff

Don’t forget, TZT swag is available online here – http://www.cafepress.com/teamziptie

You would look stunning in something like this:


TZT-TV: WDCR Event #3

June 13th, 2011 by Paul

Long, hot, and rainy. Hell of a day with DC today. Andy was co-driving with me in the WRX and we had a pretty good bout with a an new 2011 DS Mustang. Fantastic driver with tons of talent, so we had out work cut out for us. The heat took it’s toll on me, and I suffered from major brain fade on my first three runs. By the time I had figure it out and was getting ready for my last run (the one that would have won the class) the skies opened up and ruined any shot I had.

Andy took second place in DS, just .550 off the leader. I followed behind in third.

You can see, in the video below, where I got greedy.

2011 Historics

June 9th, 2011 by Paul

Kate and I have been dealing with the loss of Cody, so no grand write-up from us just yet. It was nice to be with friends on the day we heard the news, and we had a good weekend. Still feeling a bit guilty about not being around over the weekend, but we had no idea on how short our time with him really was. We had a great few days taking care of him and showering him with our love. He is greatly missed.

So, now that I’ve depressed you (maybe), here are the TZT Cup results for the weekend.

Saturday (86 Entrants)
12 – Gimp (2nd in PAX)
11 – Mike (4th in PAX)
10 – Rob (15th in PAX – 1st in Class DQ’s for Cone Award)
9 – Doug (27th in PAX)
8 – Rich (32nd in PAX)
7 – Kate (41st in PAX)
6 +2 – Joe (51st in PAX– Cone Award Winner with 5 cones)
5 – Bill (64th in PAX)
4 – Meg (69th in PAX)

Sunday (80 Entrants)
12 – Gimp (1st in PAX)
11 – Mike (4th in PAX – 1st in Class DQ’s for Cone Award)
10 – Rob (12th in PAX – 1st in Class DQ’s for Cone Award)
9 – Kate (33rd in PAX)
8 – Joe (42nd in PAX – 1st in Class DQ’s for Cone Award)
7 – Doug (43rd in PAX)
6 – Rich (45th in PAX)
5 + 2– Bill (53rd in PAX – Cone Award Winner with 2 cones)
4 – Meg (66th in PAX)

Current Team Standings
1. Mike (43 points)
2. Rob (40 points)
3. Gimp (36 points)
4. Mustang Boy (35 points)
5. Doug (32 points)
6. Kate (22 points)
7. Meg (20 points)
8. Bill (18 points)
9. Rich (14 points)
10. Patrick (12 points)
11. Andy (11 points)
12. Thomas (0 points)

TZT-TV: 2011 Historics

June 7th, 2011 by Paul

My two best runs from the weekend. Had an absolute blast… Car felt real good.

2011 Ice Breaker: Hearsay and Gossip; Or, How to Write a Recap When You Miss Half the Event

May 17th, 2011 by Kate

It’s that time again. Time to break out the race tires, load up the car and head to… Pennsylvania? This year, Paul and I were a day late getting to 2011 Cumberland Airport Autocross Ice Breaker event, as we were attending another Team Zip-Tie sanctioned event. But we made it there eventually—just in time for the rain.

Word is we missed quite the party at Henny’s Friday night. Back at our favorite local bar, several CBE regulars were eager to make up for the long off season. Plied with drinks and shots by Nikki, the evening was a raucous one (or so I hear), ending with the traditional attempt to fend off hangovers, a trip to Denny’s. Crashing with friends in Philadelphia, Paul and I were with you in spirit, drinking heavily late into the night—purely out of a sense of camaraderie, of course.

By the time we rolled out of bed the next morning, things were already well underway at the airport. Team Zip-Tie members in attendance included Doug Macy in his Audi, Rob Robeson, who shared his RX8 with a carless Mustang Boy, and new recruits Meg Ellis in her trusty blue Miata, and Mike Moran, in the infamous Suxass. Paul and I were in Kimberton, Pennsylvania with the elder and junior Geraghty, at the second-largest Zip-Tie gathering of the day, Patrick’s wedding.

A Match Made in Zip Tie Heaven

At the wedding, we managed to squeeze the ceremony in with mere minutes to spare before the rain struck. The weather was more cooperative at the autocross. At the end of a surprisingly dry and pleasant day, Matt Felten took FTD and Wade Chamberlain won the PAX contest, but it was Mike Moran at the top of the Team Zip-Tie, with a time of 52.959 and a second-place PAX. I know it’s weird for you to give a damn about PAX, Mike, but you’ll get used to it. Maybe. Mustang Boy was our next finisher, taking the number 12 spot in PAX and edging out his co-driver Rob by 1.7 seconds. On the plus side, Rob handily took home the cone award for the day with 15 cones. I’m too lazy to do the research, but I’d wager that’s a Team Zip-Tie record. Doug and Meg both won their classes, finishing 16th and 47th in PAX, respectively.

While the group enjoyed the picnic at Doc’s (now featuring live music) and the nightly trip to Henny’s, Paul and I made the three-hour trek from the wedding to LaVale, where a pre-paid room at the Slumberland awaited us (a wedding present from the Macys). Unfortunately, it would seem that everyone had partied a bit too hard the previous evening, and made it an early night. By the time we rolled into town at 10:30, there was nothing to do but to collect our key from the Morans, who’d kindly picked it up on our behalf before the Slumberland office closed for the night, and head to bed. I will add that the room Doug reserved for us was the very same one we stayed in last summer, on the night of the now-infamous “little person incident.” But if anyone came knocking at our door asking for our help that night (with or without pants), we didn’t hear it, and dropped off to sleep quickly.

By the time we woke up the next morning, the luck had run out on the weather. It was gray and drizzly, and a storm was coming. There was nothing to do but pull our heads up and head to the airport—after giving the Suxass a push start and grabbing a quick bite to eat at McDonald’s, that is. The field had thinned somewhat, due to other events and the dismal weather. With roughly 50 drivers, the CBE Powers that Be opted for a condensed format of two heats, rather than the usual four. We’d start with five runs for each group, then break for lunch, and if it looked like the weather would hold, we’d do it all over again.

Walking the course with people who’d been there for Saturday, it became clear that Sunday’s offering was a big departure from the previous day. Sharp angles that demanded drivers come to an almost complete stop were replaced with flowing sweepers. Reactions to the new course were near unanimous: it was a huge improvement. In addition to me and Paul, Andy Thomas joined the crowd at the airport. An overheating Hyundai Stinkbug kept Andy from sleeping on our floor at the Slumberland Saturday night, but he made it up in time to share the WRX with me and Paul. By the time the first group got underway, the drizzling had stopped and while the course was damp, it looked like things might be drying out.

In the first group, Andy and I ran the WRX, Mustang Boy was back in Rob’s RX8, Meg was in her Miata, and Doug had his Audi. By our last laps, the tarmac was nearly dry, and Andy and Mustang Boy battled it out for FTD with Chris Fritz in his STI. Andy managed to get his raw time down to 50.00, but his cone count left him to stand on his second run of the morning, a 51.558. With his final run, Joe pulled off a 51.224, edging out Chris by a tenth of a second, and taking the fastest time of the first heat. Like many other drivers, I was having a hard time getting a clean run. Finally, on my fifth and final lap, I pulled up to the stop box, demanding to know “Was I clean? Was I clean?” I think I scared Steve Hotchkiss a little, but he told me that I had in fact, finally managed a clean run at 55.765. I was happy to take it. Meg took E Stock once again with a time of 57.269, beating out Shane Howard. Doug was another double class winner, finishing at 53.261 and handily taking DSP.

The next group began with the best conditions we’d see that day, just in time for all the Cobras, the Reynards, the Suxass, Rob in the RX8, and Paul in the WRX, with doubly-warmed up tires. Things were looking good and we were into the third runs, until in the span of two minutes, the weather changed from bright and sunny to dark and stormy. Working grid, it felt like hail, the rain pelted down so hard and fast. After an hour-long rain delay, the drivers—those who stuck around anyway—finished their runs, but the surface was too wet for anyone’s times to improve any. Rob would have been able to take his co-driver had he only been able to get a clean run, but he took the cone award once again with a total of seven cones, and his fastest time was a 52.278. Mike Moran had the third fastest time of the day with a 47.857, behind only the Reynards. And Paul finished the day with a 50.262, good enough for 8th in raw, and 1st in PAX. Team Zip-Tie was well-represented in the PAX results, taking spots 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6. Nothing like a shrunken field to make us look good, right?

After the second group finished, anyone who wanted to could stick around for fun runs. As good as a little more seat time sounded, Paul and I had a long drive home ahead of us, and it had been a long weekend. We changed tires, made our goodbyes, and headed back east.

Next up: Historics weekend, and the famed Long Course. And I’ll warn you now, June 3 is Paul’s birthday. I expect to see you all at Henny’s.



2011 Rules
This is the same system we ran as last year, but as we have some newbs and some old, forgetful folks, I’ll rehash.

We run a 12 point system.
First in PAX will get 12 points, second will get 11, third gets 10, so on and so forth.

We will be dropping your four lowest scoring days.
You can’t make it to an event, it won’t count against you. If it rains and you weren’t on the right tires, it won’t count against you.

All events will count.

We will be rewarding poor performance.
If you are the person with the most cones on the day, and you didn’t rank in our first place (on the day) position, you will earn 2 bonus points. That’s right… Drive like shit and cone a lot, and you might only get 5 points. But if you get more cones than anyone else, you get 7. Go ahead, take out that wall of cones… we’ll let the corner workers know what you’re doing.

Results will be posted here: TZT 2011 Standings

Saturday (64 Entrants)
12 – Patrick (married bonus score)
11 – Mike (2nd in PAX)
10 – Joe (12th in PAX)
9 – Doug (16th in PAX)
8 + 2 – Rob (26th in PAX – Cone Award Winner with 15 cones)
7 – Meg (47th in PAX)
6 – Bill (father of the groom bonus score)

Sunday (54 Entrants)
12 – Gimp (1st in PAX)
11 – Andy (2nd in PAX)
10 – Mike (4th in PAX)
9 – Joe (5th in PAX)
8 + 2 – Rob (6th in PAX – Cone Award Winner with 7 cones)
7 – Doug (16th in PAX)
6 – Kate (23rd in PAX)
5 – Meg (34th in PAX)

Current Team Standings
1. Mike (21 points)
2. Rob (20 points)
3. Mustang Boy (19 points)
4. Doug (16 points)
5. Gimp (12 points)
6. Patrick (12 points)
7. Meg (12 points)
8. Andy (11 points)
9. Kate (6 points)
10. Bill (6 points)
11. Thomas (0 points)
12. Rich (0 points)

“Winny” the Great White Whale’s Maiden Voyage

April 24th, 2011 by Paul

Took the new DS ride out for its maiden voyage yesterday at the CDC Bowie event. I managed to get 8th overall, and that was with the 275 A6s watching from grid. By the end of the day, Kate and I had successfully tortured the hell out of the stock tires.

Rob wussed out and ran the AI event… chump.