MARC 2010 / 2011 Series Race #5 – Taj MaHO

Snow affects attendance; Tamburo wins first MARC event

Suffield, Connecticut, January 8, 2011 – With weather forecasts predicting vast quantities of snow, 15 brave (crazy???) racers headed toward Suffield, Connecticut to participate at one of the finest HO race facilitates known to man – Dan DeCosmo’s Taj Ma HO.   Dan had the driveway plowed, the tracks cleaned and warm coffee & donuts waiting for the racers has they arrived.  The tracks were in immaculate condition, Dan’s treatment of WD-40 kept the surfaces clean throughout the day.

Lexan G-Jets

First up were G-Jets on the Scorpion.  Due to weather conditions, racers wandered in throughout the 2 hour practice session but come race time we had 16 participants ready to go.  For this class, MARC mixes the Pros and Amateurs together in one grand mish-mash allowing for some interesting heat match-ups.  Heat one looked more like a Pro Super Stock final with Dan DeCosmo, Tom Gray, Jonathan Reimels and Rob Hayes joined by Tom Bussmann and Rich Audet.  Would the Pros run away and hide from Rich and Tom?  In a word – yes…  Nothing against the amateurs in this heat  but Rob, Dan and Jon were clearly hooked up and flying, especially Rocket Man Rob setting a blistering 364 lap total beating track owner Dan by 11 laps with Jon a further 5 laps behind.  This was clearly the heat to be in for the Pros with Rob, Dan and Jon setting the marks to beat for a podium finish in the Pro division.  Rich finished with a very respectable lap total of 320 setting the target for the amateurs to beat followed by Tom Bussmann with 313 and Tom Gray with a 297.  With the smoke clearing from this amazing heat race, Stez, Vince Tamburo, Turbo John O’Brien, Eric Handel and Durf Hyson grabbed their cars from the tech box and hooked up their controllers.  Stez was using one of the NBRC club G-Jets having loaned his personnel car to Rob Hayes – like Rob needed any help – what was Stez thinking???  Even though he was using a “well used” G-Jet, Stez was still able to pull off the heat win with a total of 340 laps followed by Vince Tamburo, upping the total to beat for the Amateur division with 337 laps.  Turbo pushed Vince all the way the finish line with 314 laps, Eric accumulated 276 laps and Durf ended the heat with 261 laps.  The last heat consisted of an interesting Pro / Amateur mixture of Dave Muse, Paul Ryer and John Reimels representing the amateurs and Dr John Pileggi and Erik Eckhardt up for the Pros.  Would Dave, John or Paul manage to deny Vince his first win in MARC?  Would Dr J or Erik break the strangle hold of the first heat’s sweep by the Pros?  No and no – while Dr J walked away with the heat finishing with a 343 lap total, he was only able to salvage a 4th in the overall Pro standing.  John R was able to squeak out a 2nd in the heat beating Paul by one lap.  Paul and John had a very tight race throughout the heat but neither managed to beat Vince for overall honors in the Amateur class.  Erik ended up turning 321 laps utilizing the car that Rob should have used had Stez not been so “generous” (this wasn’t the first word that came to mind – hahahaha) and Dave finished up with a 290 lap total.  Congrats to Rob for the overall win and to Vince for his first MARC victory in the amateur division.

Amateur Super Stock

Next up were Super Stocks on the very challenging Clubman track.  While the long straights and fast sweepers favor horsepower, the tight section really requires handling.  With only two hours to dial in these beasts, track time was at a premium.   As rear axle assemblies were being swapped out at a feverish pace, the race director was dividing up the field into Pro and Amateur.  MARC now runs two separate round robins for this class allowing for tight racing throughout the field; amateur up first followed by the Fast Ones.  With Stez and Rich Audet giving this class a pass; the field was narrowed to 8 amateurs and 6 pros.  As the 2 hour practice limit was approaching, the final preparations were completed and the cars called up to tech.  The amateur field consisted of Dave Muse, Tom Bussmann, Paul Ryer, Durf Hyson, Eric Handel, Vince Tamburo (fresh off his G-Jet victory), Turbo John O’Brien and John Reimels.  Up for grabs was the chance to participate in the pro event.  The race for the top spot was a real barn burner with Dave Muse, Turbo and John Reimels running many heats within car lengths of each other – fun to watch, amazing to participate in.  In the end John Reimels eked out the victory by 4 laps over Dave who suffered from a tough run in red, followed by Turbo John O’Brien a further 2 laps down.  In fourth was Tom Bussmann followed by Vince Tamburo and Paul Ryer.  Paul had an uncharacteristically bad day in this class never really getting a handle on the track.  Speaking of handle, Eric finished seventh squeaking by Durf Hyson who finished eighth.

Super Stock – Pro

With John and Dave passing on the opportunity to embarrass themselves in the pro division, Turbo took up the mantle to represent the amateurs in the next race.  Would he finally break the string of the amateur participant getting a lower lap count in the pro division than they got in the amateur race?  Turbo was very confident he would, he was out to prove that he had the car and skills that should have won the amateur race so he joined John Pileggi, Erik Eckhardt, Dan DeCosmo, Tom Gray, Jonathan Reimels and Rob Hayes in the final race of the day.  If the amateur race was any indication, this race would be real fun to watch.  John Pileggi took full advantage of the race director’s screw up causing the first to heat be aborted (I didn’t set the correct heat length – sorry guys).  John was having a particularly tough heat in red when this occurred but just like lightening never strikes twice, John was not going to have two bad heats in a row.  With the computer adjusted for the correct time length, the cars were brought back to the start line and the race was started over.  At the end of the first heat, Rob, Jonathan and Dan were tied for the lead with 87 laps with Dr J only 2 laps down in red.  With the tough gutter lane behind him, Dr J took off and hid from the rest of the field, especially when Dan had body problems – that is to say, the body decided it no longer wanted to play and took off for parts unknown; Rob had problems in the gutter lanes and Jonathan was falling off the pace after a very good 1st heat.  Erik Eckhardt was making car owner Durf Hyson proud as he matched the pace of the leaders setting very respectable lap times and lap totals.  Tom Gray had a real bad heat in yellow only getting 73 laps which ruined his day.  What about Turbo?  He showed the true potential of his car by besting his amateur total by 6 laps.  Luckily for John Reimels, his lap total in this race doesn’t affect his official finishing position in the amateur standing as he would have beaten John by two sections.  When the last heat drew to a close, Dr J’s total of 348 laps topped the sheets followed by Rob Hayes with 340, Erik Eckhardt with 334, Jonathan Reimels with 329, Dan DeCosmo with 324, Turbo John O’Brien with 318 and Tommy Gray with 309.

I would like to extend my thanks to Dan for hosting this wonderful event; a good time was had by all who braved the elements to participate.

Next up is the February 5th event at John Stezelecki’s Gray Lady.  Racing will be with Lexan G-Jets and Super Stocks.  Originally this was to be the debut of the F1 G-Jets but with some concern and confusion over the part supply issues, we’ve moved their debut out until the April 16th event at Dave Muse’s track.

Jonathan is working on a new MARC website that should be up and running shortly – I’ll post a note when it makes its debut.  Hope to see everyone at NBS in a few weeks.

John Reimels

MARC Communication Director