Phil Wicks Racing
Heacock Classic Gold Cup Races
Virginia International Raceway – Danville VA – October 5-7, 2012
RACE REPORT

 




     


We traveled to Virginia International Raceway (VIR) on Thursday, October 4, so we could take advantage of the Friday morning practice. Floyd Harper, the suspension guru from Black Art Design had spent a lot of time the previous week adjusting the suspension on Snoopy and corrected as best as possible the caster, camber, tracking, ride height, and shock settings.

So with new tires, courtesy of Hoosier, we went out in first practice. The car handled much better – different but better. Lap times were not important at this stage. We just wanted to get the car handling more to my liking. The second session on Friday, we played with tire pressures and we got a lap time of 2:37.

Saturday morning, the weather was bright and sunny, but cold. It took 4 laps for the tires to really get hot. So I started to push a little harder. I was using 1000 rpm less that I would for fast times or racing. Lap times were 2:34. My times showed me 10th overall out of 36 cars and 1st in class.

Saturday afternoon, the temperature was in the mid 80s for the Qualifying race. As usual, Snoopy made a good start in the rolling start and was in the leading group. An immense battled with various MGAs and Morgans made for a very enjoyable and satisfying race. I finished 7th overall and 1st in class out of 36 cars – not bad! Lap times were 2:28, equaling my best ever at VIR.

True to the weather forecast, it rained all night on Saturday night and Sunday morning. And the temperature was low 50s. Because of the weather, many racers left and did not compete in the various Gold Cup races. I guess coming from England, many of my long and short distance races have been in some kind of adverse conditions. It doesn’t bother me to race in the rain (“The Art of Racing in the Rain”).

We did 4 laps in the all comers practice session, just enough to try wet/cold tires and adjust tire pressures accordingly. It must be said here that I find it quite amazing that Hoosier can produce a tire that I can race one day in 90 degree weather and, the very next day, use the very same tire in 50 degree weather and be competitive and win races.

15 cars lined up on the pre grid for the Gold Cup race consisting of MGBs, MGAs, Porsche, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Fiat/Abarth, Morgan, Spridgets, Spitfires, Morris Minor and Snoopy. The group was subdivided into 5 different classes. Because some of my fellow racers did not start, I found myself 4th on the grid and, don’t you know, it started to rain again – a fine misty rain that made it nearly impossible to see through the windscreen. I was hoping it would rain heavier so my windscreen would bead and run off. But, NO, it just stayed misty and very difficult to see. “OK, Phil, all you have to do is finish and win the class, “ I said to myself. I concentrated on keeping it on the island and cruised to victory. First in class and 5th overall. My first Gold Cup!

Many thanks to Mini Mania, Hoosier Tires, Floyd Harper from Black Art Design Suspension from England, Zapata Racing for supplying a great car for me to drive, Midlands Motorworks for helping prepare the car, and Norree and Sherry for their love and understanding.

Phil Wicks