Well, here’s the final post for the 2017 Mitty. This is the last race I photographed since the rain on Sunday kept me away. One of the biggest surprises of the race was when Doc Bundy pulled into the pits just as the field was taking the green flag. He usually dominates this group, and my first thought was that someone else would finally get a chance to stand at the top of the podium. Sorry, Doc.
I kept a similar vantage point as with the Group 6 Sprint Race in the previous post. Turn 10A/B is a great passing area, and there are gravel traps on either side to keep cars away from the walls. This means there is opportunity for action. However, the drivers were pretty well behaved in this race.
Again Greg Ira was driving his 3.0L 240Z with the big boys and doing quite well until he noticed a loose hood pin and hauled the car into the pits before damage could be done.
There’s over 400 photos in this set. Click on the last photo to get to the full set. If you look carefully, you’ll see several cars picking up the right front tire off the ground as they exit Turn 10B.
After the Group 5 qualifying session, I walked from the infield over to the paddock. Unfortunately, this caused me to miss the Group 6 qualifying with the prototypes, but I got to the paddock in time to see the Group 3 cars lining up to go on the track.
I took to the bridge over the front straight in time to get a few photos of the Group 6 cars coming into the pits. Soon the Group 3 cars were buzzing about the track. This was the largest group of cars in the Mitty. Lots of cars means that there are opportunities for more problems. Sure enough, they had to come in so the safety crews could retrieve a car. Fortunately it didn’t take long, and before I knew it, the cars were headed back onto the track.
Click on the last photo to get to the full set. There are 500 photos, so grab a cold drink or a hot coffee and start scrolling.
On Saturday I arrived just in time to start shooting the Group 5 Qualifying session. After a few shots from the top of the hill at Turn 10, I moved to the outside of the track near Turn 10B.
Group 5 cars have a great variety of noise from V8s to V12s, flat 6s and straight 6s. The 240Z you see in the group has a 3 liter engine. That 25% increase in displacement allowed it to keep up pretty well with the big boys. It was third fastest during that qualifying session.
Unlike Caffeine & Octane, Vintage Class Meets happen in the afternoon and only have older cars. Work let up enough that I finally had a chance to go, hoping I would see a different crowd from C&O.
I drove the 260Z to the gas station, got out to fill up the tank, and realized that my jacket was WAY too thin for the cold wind whipping across the state. I hurried back home and swapped out my jacket for one more suitable for the cold, and then I cruised down the freeway to the meet.
Since I didn’t arrive until about half an hour after the scheduled start, I was wondering if I would find parking. That wasn’t a problem. The weather made it a more intimate meet. I parked my car and started talking with Linus, who drove his Datsun 1200 to the meet. I also talked to a man and his sons about Z cars since his older boy is hoping to have one some date. As more cars gathered, I got my camera out to take photos.
It’s always a good day to hang out with car guys, talk and take pictures.
Click on the photo below to get to the full set of photos.