NutDriver Racing   Carl

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Over the 2nd through 6th of October, 2007, IMSA, the American le Mans Series, and Road Atlanta celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the Petit le Mans. The Nuts also celebrated their 10th Anniversary spectating at the Petit le Mans, keeping our streak intact, having attended all of them. As long as they keep having them, we plan to keep attending.

This weekend also marked the “swan song” for the Panoz Racing Series. We haven’t followed the series very closely, but we’re still sorry to see it go. Dr. Panoz has done a ton of things to help and promote sportscar racing in the US, and this series was just a small part of it. It will be interesting to see where those cars end up.

In addition, the weekend included races for Star Mazda, IMSA Lights, Speed TV World Challenge, both Touring and GT races, and the Porsche GT3 Cup championship.

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Notes and Highlights

  • We can warn you off the Scottish Inn at Oakdale, if you’re having any thoughts of staying there. People tell me it’s better now than when it was the Admiral Benbow Inn, so I hate to imagine what it must have been like then. The only thing that made it even partially worth the cost was saving us the nearly-an-hour commute from Lefty’s house to Road Atlanta. Next year, we’ll camp at the track or stay at one of the other nearby inns if we work the race, and just commute if we don’t.
  • The weather was great except a little rain Friday morning. We needed the rain, too, so it was hard to get too upset at the minor inconvenience of it.
  • Attendance appeared higher than in the past. It seemed like a record crowd to us, but we haven’t heard official numbers.
  • We both worked corners for the Test Day on Tuesday. On Wednesday Righty worked while Lefty spectated and shot photos of the corner workers and track action for the SCCA’s Atlanta Region.
  • Throughout the week and weekend, it seemed like there were a lot more red flags than in the past. That’s not a severe as it might sound to an SCCA habitue, though. Under IMSA flagging rules, the red flag gives about the same signal that a “Black Flag All” gives under SCCA flagging rules. It still means that someone “parked” in a spot bad enough that the Stewards feel it needs to be removed right away, and they don’t feel a “hot pull” would be safe. A “hot pull” is when the emergency vehicles go out on the track with the cars still circulating.
  • Golf carts are great for getting around the track property during a big event like this … except when they break and you spend hours dinking with them, then have to do without after being spoiled by having one the last couple of years.
  • We had new hats this year, but we didn’t get of our own pictures of them. Dozens of people stopped us for photos, but we have not found any of them on the web yet. We only wore them on the grid on Saturday morning and to show some friends over by Turn 9 later in the day.
  • The grid walk Saturday morning was hopelessly congested; you could barely move. They seemed to have more trouble than in the past getting the fans to leave the starting grid after the grid walk. I hope that sort of problem doesn’t lead them to get rid of the grid walk.
  • After the grid walk we went down to the fence near Turn 1 to watch the start of the race. We were wearing our gag hats. While there a reporter from the Gainesville Times interviewed us. Parts of the interview appeared in the paper the next day in a article about the race.
  • There seemed to be a lot of cars leaving the track compared to the previous years.
  • The pointy end of the field finished this Petit le Mans closer together than any of the previous nine.
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