AA Watkins Glen Epilogue

Thanks for all the supportive emails and comments, and the offers of rides at both Road America and Sovren’s Fall Finale. I’m not taking anyone up on that kind offer. I’m not comfortable racing other people’s cars, but most of all, now that I’m on the way, I’m pretty excited about being home. Four months in the front 16 feet of a trailer is a long time.

One phone caller was not so pleased, I heard from Carl Jensen, the competition director of SVRA. He was pretty pissed that I said in my post that it was the stewards that would be making the decision about any sanctions (they don’t, he does), that I expected politics would be involved, and the reason I hadn’t heard any result was so the decision to do nothing could be announced after everyone was safely gone.

Not only did Carl make his determination before the end of the race weekend, but he also came looking for me to tell me about it. It must have been fairly late on Sunday, I was at the track until almost noon. The decision was a penalty for the Corvette driver, none for me.

I took another look at what I said and how I said it. I was talking about my assumptions. They weren’t unreasonable, but they were wrong. I’m not going to change the article because then this apology wouldn’t make sense: I’m sorry Carl, I shouldn’t have sold you short. And I should have come looking for you or called before I made assumptions about how you run your show. Thanks for getting in touch with me and giving me the chance to set it straight.

I don’t know what penalty you assessed, and I don’t really care that much. I remain unimpressed at the character and integrity of the driver, but how you deal with him is your business. All the best.

Incidentally, the sour ending aside, SVRA runs a pretty neat event. All the races went off on time until it started raining insanely hard. The off-track re-enactment tours were great fun, very well coordinated and handled (I know firsthand how hard that is), the registration and logistics were flawless and painless, and they got people pretty much into the right groups (though I’m still wondering about those MGA’s in group four). Watkins Glen is definitely one of my favorite tracks to race. Next time I’ll try to bring a little more horsepower so I don’t give away so much in the straights.

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