The SCTA El Mirage 2017 season ended with a two day meet. Each team got the opportunity to make 1 run on Saturday, and two runs on Sunday. There was no wind to speak of either day. Temperatures started about 40F in the mornings and topped out in the 60s in the afternoons. Hanging dust was was a problem both days, but especially on Sunday.
Vehicles run in (roughly) points order, so the points leading bike was the first off the line, and immediately crashed. I knew the rider, we'd bought our current motor from him. He was just leaving the starting line and had been going about 30mph at the point he crashed, but that was much better than the 240mph he probably would have been doing at the finish line. He's expected to fully recover. He had been a shoe-in to be #1 overall, but not completing his final meet, dropped him out, and moved everyone else up a spot in the overall standings.
The car that was 14 or so points ahead of us had several things stacked against them. The biggest was another competitor that could deny them their 25 bonus points even if they set a record. It turned out it didn't matter, the missed a record by just a whisker.
The car that was about 13 points behind us needed a record and, they needed a big one. To jump into first place they were going to need bump their record from 191 mph, to about 205 mph. They ran a disappointing, (for them, not me) 133mph which left the door open for us.
We ran 186, on a 189 record. None of the other cars were close enough without a miracle to get near the three of us. We poured over our engine data and made a couple of tweaks, most notable we changed the fuel/air ratio to be less rich. We were by no means certain there was any magic left in our motor.
Sunday morning, all three of the teams were near the front of the line, all knowing it was the last day. Again the car that was #1 ran first, and again missed a record by just about 0.4 mph. Then the #3 car ran and pulled a blistering 212 mph rabbit out of the hat. That moved them up to first place. Then we ran, hoping to fine any size rabbit in our hat. I stepped out of the timing tower to watch and listen to the engine. I could tell right away it was a good run, the engine sounded great. But the best sound was as the car went through the lights I heard a cheer from the other timers that knew we needed a record. I ran inside and saw the computer display at 194.193mph, about 5 mph over our last record and better than expected. But was it enough? Running the points numbers, we were going to be about 1 or 2 points behind.
The engine data looked mostly good - we'd run out of gear, not power, so we changed the rear ratio to try and get a few more mph out of it. The one worrying bit of engine data was a sudden substantial drop in our boost pressure just a half second before the end of the run. We checked for leaks, didn't find any, and didn't have time to do much else.
About 1pm, round three came up. No surprise all three teams were in line. The former #1 desperately needed a record, or they would wind up third. We needed them to not get a record and us get a record at 197 mph. The new #1 team needed both of us to fail, or they needed to improve their record by as much as we improved ours. Things were tense. Seasons points races rarely come down to three cars all running third runs at the last meet.
To spoil the suspense, It didn't matter. We'd blown the turbo, and coasted through at 104 mph. Both of the other teams came close, but neither set a record, and so as far all of us concerned, the season ended anticlimactically, with no last run reversals of fortune. (The turbo now sounds like a cheep angle-grinder with a chipped disk)
It's not official yet, but we expect we'll be #2 car by about 1 or 2 points, with a total of about 1107 points, competing against about 100 cars. Still, that's our best ever finish, and we got an open wheel car running on 1.3 mile dirt track, to over 194 mph using a 750cc engine.