Back to School

I am an Open Road Racer (ORR). Been running ORR since 1997, participating in the Silver State events (Nevada), the Big Bend events (Texas), the Sandhills Events (Nebraska), and the MKM events (Nevada) in classes from 95 mph up to unlimited. At the urging of my wife, Vicki (am I a lucky guy or what?), I participated in the Corvette Level 1 Ron Fellows Driving School at the Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada, last fall. Man, what a blast. It was a three-day schedule, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. Some early time is spent on braking, shifting, and cornering exercises and then it is on to the road course. An instructor will occasionally take a lap with you, but you are mostly on your own.

After some classroom discussion, each day you take to the track in new Corvettes. You get a lot of track time in Grand Sport and Z06 Vettes. Although they also had ZR1s, only those who already owned one or had one on order could drive them. But from what I could see, the only place that the ZR1 had an advantage was in acceleration. The cars were bulletproof and I was very impressed with their performance. The instructors were great. They could tell you how to improve your performance without making you feel like a dunce. It was an outstanding experience all around. Go do it.

Just for the record, my street legal ORR car will out accelerate a ZR1. How do I know? I have run the MKM Mojave Mile and my “slightly modified” ’65 Corvair ran higher trap speeds than the ZR1s in attendance.

OK, slightly modified … in this case is a Gen-1 400ci aluminum small-block in the “back seat”, Porsche 930 transaxle, C4 Vette suspension, steering, and brakes. The car weighs 2,700 pounds and I’m guessing the engine output at around 600 at the clutch. My fastest trap speed during an ORR (Big Bend 2011) was 209.7 mph. Unfortunately shortly after the speed trap, I fragged a distributor gear and was a DNF.

Charlie Friend Alamogordo, NM

Charlie, thanks for sharing your experience. I haven’t had the opportunity to check out their program, but I can tell you that I am definitely going to look into it. Also, be sure to send us a few pics of your ride, I’d like to check it out!

Weld Racing is Back in the Truck Wheel Business!

Weld Racing introduced their forged aluminum truck wheels to the attendees at the 2011 SEMA show. The U.S.-manufactured wheels are available for single rear-wheel trucks, dualies, and trailer wheels in matching styles and finishes. The line offers 10 classic and new styles in polished and machined after black anodized finishes. Single rear-wheel truckload ratings of 3,500 pounds using 44-inch tires put these wheels in a class of one. Forged aluminum construction adds durability and sheds the excess weight of cast-aluminum wheels. Single rear-wheel truck sizes are 17x8.5 to 20x14. Direct-mount dualie sizes are 17x5.6 and 19.5x6.75. Trailer wheels are 16x6. Currently eight-lug applications are available with five- and six-lug wheels along with trailer wheels available beginning in January 2012.