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Rolex GrandAm races - Barber Motorsports Park, July 29-30, 2006

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  • Rolex GrandAm races - Barber Motorsports Park, July 29-30, 2006

    What an awesome weekend of racing.
    Barber Motorsports park is an incredible facility. There are no bleachers to be seen. All the spectator areas are hillsides where you can setup folding chairs or a blanket and relax and watch the action. The entire place is immaculately manicured and every spectator area has a good view of multiple sections of the track, so you're bound to see action.

    My future brother-in-law was able to get tickets for the weekend, so I sprung for paddock passes, which gave us access to everything except the pits. We could walk right up to the fence between the paddock and the pits.

    The second photo is former NASCAR Winston Cup champion, Bobby Labonte. He co-drove a car and was very friendly, as were all the drivers. We talked to him every time we passed by and, despite his hectic schedule, always greeted us. He even apologized when he nearly ran us over with a golf cart Sunday morning!
    As you can see, Paddock access gets you right there in the middle of everything. The last photo is the tech inspection area, and these were waiting in line for their turn to go under the proverbial microscope.
    The paddock area has three tiers anbd for this weekend, the upper tier was for the World Karting Association teams, the second tier was for the GrandAm Cup and the lowest tier was the Rolex GrandAm series GT & Daytona Prototypes. It's very well organized and easy to get around... most of the time.

    On Saturday, we got to see the final practice for the GrandAm Cup and qualifying for the Rolex series, then the GrandAm Cup race.

    The first photo shows some of the GrandAm Cup guys. Those Z4 roadsters are cool to see on the track. This is the back window of a Subaru Legacy wagon that was running, as well. It was actually quite competetive during the race Saturday... A lot of guys got to see this sticker, I'm sure.
    The last picture shows the GAC guys finishing their practice and the DPs lined up and ready to go qualify.

    Sadly, I didn't get any pictures of the GAC race Saturday. The batteries in the camera crapped out and I didn't bring any spares. It was a bummer, too. We had an awesome view of turns one and two. There was a wreck ont eh first lap in turn one, sending three cars into the gravel.
    Saturday's race was called due to severe weather. Severe thunderstorms rolled in, and they wouldn't have been able to get the race restarted to be able to finish within the allotted time limit, so they called it at that point.

    So Sunday morning found lots of rain... This is road racing, so that doesn't mean a damn thing!

    This was final practice for all the Rolex racers. In the third photo, you can see how close we were to the pits. One of the two Krohn's Racing cars whizzes by on the track just on the other side of the barrier.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?

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  • #2
    Part two...

    One cool thing about the race is all the cars on display. In the Fan Expo area, there were all sorts of classics and exotics. They even pulled a '57 Lotus from the Barber Museum (which is a must-see for any motorcycle affeccianado!) and made a few laps. It was tres sexy....

    These are actually taken on both Saturday and Sunday. In order, there's a TVR (with an ugly MG in the background), a Ferrari 308GTS, a Mustang fastback, Rhys Millen's drifting Solstice, a pair of Lotuses (Lotii?), A Triumph TR-6, An MG-B fastback (my dad used to have one back in the day), and the aforementioned '57 Lotus.
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?

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    • #3
      Part Three...

      OK.... dinner is over now.
      Here's some pics of the WKA races. They didn't get a qualifying session due to the rain, but race-time saw bright, clear skies.
      Nothing like the sound of a nest of angry hornets and guys on 125cc & 250cc gokarts to get you in the mood for racing.

      And then, the big boys. I was too into the races to get a lot of pics, but it was some excellent racing. It was actually decided on time, due to lots of full-course cautions. There was another lap-one, turn-one incident, but we were planted in the treeline near turns 11 & 12 and didn't see it.

      The #17 Porsche had a bad day. He was part of the first-lap melee.
      All in all, it was a hell of a good weekend. I got a little sunburnt and a bit dehydrated, but it was worth it. My 9 y/o daughter went to her first auto race and had a good time for the most part. She even got to meet Boris Said. There's a story behind that, but let's just say she was excited.
      Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
      How about the Wiki?

      Under normal circumstances, a signature would go here.


      • #4
        Me likes the Lotuses....


        Post # 3000


        • #5
          That Solstice GXP is one helluva car.
          2001 Rio Red Mercury Cougar. See it Here!