Round 2 - Track Session at Red Star Raceway
With most Gautengers thinking about trading their cars for jet-skis and submarines, many thought this second round of the Michelin Cup Series for 2017 might just be postponed thanks to a downpour. But guess what? Cars are waterproof, so come rain or shine, it was all systems go. Luckily the dark and overcast skies and the little bit of drizzle dried up and moved along to leave competitors with a dry track. This leg of the series is a fun one, especially for the pig power cars because they have the chance to stretch their legs on Red Star's long straights. It's easy to see which cars have great power and which have great handling. The powerful stuff pulls away when the track opens up but the lesser-powered cars catch up in the bends, getting so close that they have to back off. So while many reckon the big cars have the advantage, the smaller stuff can hold its own with a competent driver at the wheel, and most entered are certainly competent. The field of cars entered was great, loads of fast Subarus and BMWS came out to play along with the usual host of Audi and Renault streetcars with the odd random manufacturer chucked in between. That old Porsche looked great on track, as did the turbocharged Beetle that taught an A45 AMG a lesson in speed. Sadly there were a few hiccups with the day, forcing a much later start than anticipated. The issues that arose were sadly beyond the control of the Series organisers. Basically what happened was that when the event was planned there would be a field of 80 registered cars and 20 day-entrants, capping the field at 100 cars. On the Thursday preceding the event, the organisers were told that the timekeepers booked for the day of the event had let the track down and wouldn't make it to the event, and this saw just 40 timing transponders supplied for a much larger number of competitors, and out of those 40 it seemed like only around half were rotated between the cars, adding to the frustration of some guys who really wanted to get on track. Sorting out a system that would allow for everyone to get in a decent amount of track time took a while, but at around 11 o'clock things started to smooth out. By this time though, there were a few of the regulars who left the event because they hadn't had track time since arrival before the sun came up (well, tried to come up), while some other cars had managed to squeeze in two sessions by that time. Unfortunately these things sometimes happen at events - life happens and we're all just along for the ride. It's the first problem that's arisen over the years that the Michelin Cup Series has been running, and if I know the organisers like I think I do, they will do their best to make sure it doesn't happen again. Those who stayed had a good time on track.