This year's driver's school was not going to follow the typical Colorado April weekend script - with Friday's temperatures staring out around 29 degrees F. - it was slated to be chilly for the last weekend in April. - That's cold for most of Colorado that time of year, let alone southern Colorado. The weekend before saw temperatures in the 60's to the 70's - much more seasonal. Travelers from the north experienced snow, rain, and very cold winds up reported in the 30 mph range. Those arriving late Friday were likely heading directly to the hotel to check in or maybe a nearby restaurant like the Edelweiss to recuperate.
Not the coldest driver's HPDE school on record for us - thinking back to one at Second Creek Raceway by D.I.A. around ' 97.. When there were times when it might have better been described as an 'old fashioned' drift school - as in 'drifts' of snow....
For most cars and some people - especially those early '70's MG's and Spitfires- getting woken and on track took a few additional turns of the key and some initial slow manuvers along the hot pits to get things started and flowing - one would revisit the processes of the old and the entertaining ways to start a car that are usually reserved for steep hills..
This turned out to be a weekend for the diehard enthusiasts. The Saturday morning was chilly - still around 30 degrees and more noticably, windy. To help out drivers with the weather conditions in the morning, a modified track layout was implimented. This layout incorporated part of the PPIR infield track and also ran counter race. This was a new run configuration but well protected from some of the weather by the surrounding high banks of the track and facility. This layout also provided a good way to work on manuvers and cornering through a few complex radius turns. A newly paved 'bus stop' area along the short straight in the infield was also assisting in keeping the speeds manageable for the cool tires and pavement.
By noon Saturday during the lunch hour it was noticed PPIR's upper track was beginning to dry off - the pavement noticably lighter and possibly usable for additiional activities. The skidpad could also be opened up to assist drivers in finding the boundries of a car's cornering capabilities.
Lunchtime on the second floor of the hospitality room provided a needed break and a chance for everyone to converse on their accomplishments. For the third year in a row Motul U.S.A. was generous in assisting with the event and provided the Driver's School gifts and momentos for the new drivers and their instructors who braved the weather for the weekend.
The event turnout was good: initially around 80 were expected - through the atmospheric changes, the Colorado road temperatures dropped, and so about 15 cars decided to visit the HPDE on another day. Understandable as most attendees in their preparation likely thought of soft compound Pirelli tires and similar types of sporty track shoes rather than having to mount a set of Blazzak tires to the formula V for the weekend. A few closed car drivers tried some unique new configurations for ducting excess heat energy into a usable source of driver comfort. Additional driving skills were developed as the formula drivers were reminded of the finer points of an open car : the wind - and for those without fenders, the spray kicked up from the wheels during turns..
At the end of Sunday, there were the many smiles and new acomplishments that made the cold and hard work not only barable, but certainly desirable for more - more opportunities, more time and more fun with the new extended family.. Thanks to RMVR to putting on a great event with the instructors and lining up a great facility where everyone can learn -