I was a competitor in the inaugural Time Trial Challenge event held this past weekend at WHRRI. I understand that some OTD participants are considering taking part, and I want to encourage you to come out and drive. I had a great time!
Ed (Clutch) has put a LOT of time and thought and effort into the event, and it shows. The event ran very smoothly, and Clutch made sure we all knew exactly how everything was going to work. Thanks, Clutch.
Here are some thoughts from the weekend:
1) If the schedule remains the same (it may not), you don't have to be to the track until 11 am or noon on both Saturday and Sunday, so it's not the huge time commitment that it looks like. You're done by 6:00 pm.
2) TT got the same amount of track time as the racers did, so it's hard to complain. However - I believe (nothing official here) they are trying to include the possibility of an extra practice session at the end of each day so it's possible that you might get 6 sessions. On-track incidents during the day may cut into this time - it's not going to be guaranteed.
3) Spectators! There are fans in the stands which makes the driving a lot of fun, and I was surprised at the number of people who dropped by in the paddock to comment, compliment, and just chat.
4) The racers were all *very* welcoming. Before I arrived at the track I wondered if I'd be treated like a "wanna-be" but there was nothing of that. A few of them even stayed to watch TT on Sunday. They would normally have left after their racing was finished at 2:00, but they were interested in the event and had been unable to watch the earlier sessions because of their own preparations for racing. I thought that was very cool of them.
5) I didn't get as much track time as I normally would at a track day, but that's ok. Knowing that my times would be posted and scored made the driving more intense. Think of TT as the examination of your OTD studies! At an OTD, I can drive 100 laps and if they're all sloppy nobody will know. In Time Trials I did about 40 laps (our last session was cut short by an unfortunate crash) but every one of those laps got posted to the board for all to see (plus, spectators!). You can bet I wanted my laps to be consistent and fast, so it was mentally and physically demanding. And a LOT of fun.
6) There were 6 competitors - we need more! Give it a try - even if you don't want to take part in the competition aspect of the event, it's worth it to be a part of the race weekend atmosphere, and to get some accurate lap times. Harry's Lap timer is close, but far from accurate.
The price for the weekend includes: a transponder, 4 sessions of about 18-25 minutes, pace car warm up laps, an excited announcer on the PA while you're driving, timed results, points, and a shot at the Time Trial Challenge trophy! It was a great event, and thanks again to Clutch for putting it together.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at lorne DOT dunkley AT gmail DOT com or to post a reply in this thread.