It was a cold morning in Asheville, but we still had 34 Appalachian Region members come out for the New Year’s social featuring coffee, donuts, socializing and sim racing.
Sim Racing Commissioner Dan Dazzo and Don Therien had arranged for two groups of racers; an experienced group and a new to Sim racing group. The new to Sim racing group showed their nerves at attacking an unknown track with a strange car but soon settled in and kept the car on the track for some great wheel to wheel racing.
The new to Sim Racing group drove on Watkins Glen using the French Alpine sedan. It is a 200 hp, 2000 lbs. mid-engine rear-wheel drive car so it was ideal to introduce newbie’s to Sim Racing. Sean McDonald and Mike Delaguardia quickly established themselves as the ones to beat. Dave White, Carl von Schummer and John Long were challenging for the remaining podium slots.
The French Alpine Racer used by the New to Sim Racing group.
The experienced group drove a Porsche GT4 on VIR (Virginia International Raceway). Experienced racers David Wells, Don Therien and Dan Dazzo led the way with “sleeper” sim racer David Butler pushing them in every race.
The races were set up so there was a practice group and then a heat race. The podium finishers of the two heat races moved forward to the Championship race.
The new to Sim Racing group saw Sean McDonald, Mike Delaguardia, Dave White, John Long, Scott Pluene and Greg Cox advance to the Championship Race. Carl von Schummer qualified but was a DNS for the final race.
It was tight battle up front as Sean and Mike traded positions. The ultimate winner was Mike when Sean experienced an off-road. Dave White came home in third with the added experience of having grown up in Watkins Glen, New York so he had driven the track multiple times.
Left to Right: Sean McDonald, Mike Delaguardia and Dave White
David Wells dominated the experienced racers in every practice and in every race. Dan, Don and David Butler challenged him at various times but David prevailed at the end of every heat race and started on pole. The qualifiers for the Experienced Championship Race were David Wells, Don Therien, David Butler, Dan Dazzo, George Cain and Peter Graham.
Dan’s rig unfortunately had a malfunction after the third lap so the race for the win came down to David Wells, Don Therien and David Butler. They finished in that same order.
Left to right: Don Therien, David Wells and David Butler
Besides racing, a first of the year social was held. Members enjoyed watching the racing action as much as the racers enjoyed racing. Several new members came out to see what the Appalachian Region is all about. Bob and Brenda Brewster, new owners of a 997 991 Turbo, drove down from Spruce Pine and are committed to join us at other upcoming events.
We also saw “somewhat new members”, Diana Bradley-Eudy, Steve Eudy and their daughter Devereux join us to see what it was all about. Dianne and Steve have been with us at other events, so I guess that is the last shout-out as a new member. It looked like so much fun that they signed up for the Introduction to Sim Racing course.
Jerry Hinz and his wife Diane also attended their first Appalachian Region event and plan on bringing their Boxster out to future events.
There were the usual cadre of Appalachian Region members in attendance with many wishing they had signed up after seeing the action.
The reception to Sim Racing was so good that we are looking at starting a league of Appalachian Region members. If you would consider joining a league dependent on nights, cost, etc. let me know. We will probably have another day of practice and races for an introduction to Sim Racing for those of you that are interested. If you are interested in either or both, let me know via my contact page.
Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at 9:00 a.m., Black Mountain Perks Coffee gathering in Black Mountain
Saturday, January 15, 2022 at 9:00 a.m., Breakfast Ramble at Joey’s Pancake House in Maggie Valley
Wednesday, January 19, 2022 at 5:00 p.m., Socail Mixer at the Wedge at Foundation in the River Arts District
For details on these events go the web site calendar: https://aprpca.org/356B/index.php/events
Enjoy the gallery below of photos from the day.