Sunday dawned wet and stayed wet, much to the consternation of the Phil Wicks NAMCCRS race teams who struggled with tire choices all morning. On the other hand it was a boon for the Phil Wicks Driving Academy participants (about half the number on Saturday) as a slippery track absolutely demands learning finesse at the controls and lower speeds to keep it on the black stuff and shiny side up. Also benefiting was the Teen Safety Driving Course that Phil ran at the same time. There is nothing like a thin sheen of oil floating on water to bring real meaning to the word skidpad. When the track finally dried out around lunchtime, most students were surprised to see how much faster than Saturday they were thanks to their work in the wet.
Race qualifying produced the same race lineup as Saturday with the exception of Gordon Barclay who failed to meet the call to grid for the race. SundayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s race was much closer as Steve Diniz was apparently experiencing mechanical problems in the MINI Madness car that allowed Waylen Hunsucker to pass and lead briefly before being repassed by Diniz. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIt just wasnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t making power,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â said Diniz later, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œI donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t know, it felt like maybe there was a backpressure problem or something.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â The fast number 53 car that Steve was piloting made enough power to retake and keep the lead to the finish however, ahead of a field that placed only slightly differently than on Saturday. Late in the race the pack bunched up behind some slow backmarkers which added to the suspense and showed the spectators some real racing excitement as the leaders squirmed through traffic and sprinted to the checker.
Asked for his impressions of the weekend, one Driving Academy participant said, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThere’s no doubt everyone’s heart is in the right place. MINI people are really a cut above; Todd gave up his *car* for crying out loud, and Waylen even contributed the swaybar to help Randy make a go at the race. It’s really nice to be around such great people.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Phil Wicks owns and operates the Phil Wicks MINI Driving Academy as well as the North American MINI Cooper Championship Racing Series. Phil Wicks has been involved with the Mini Cooper since its inception in the 1960s and has been a significant presence in the MINI enthusiast community for fifty years.
Order of finish:
1. Steve Diniz
2. Waylen Hunsucker
3. Randy Webb
4. Brian Black
5. Amanda Graham
You can see more photos here (Courtesy of Brian Lalor).