41st Bay Bottom Crawl
6-8 October 2000
Hosted by the:

Ecurie Vitesse Sports Car Club

Summary: It was HOT! and not just the racing action. No rain is a good thing, but along with the dry weather came lots of sun and little breeze. Past years' pages describe the course in more detail, here is a recount of my 6th run through the BBC obstacles this year, the first 5 were good, but this time I think the heat was getting to me and the car:

  1. Launch - clutch seems slippy, could just be age - but they told me that kevlar lasts forever.... anyway, well on boost (3500RPM) by the time I get to the timer, nice shift into 2nd, then blow the shift into 3rd, get it into 5th after what seems an eternity, (probably about 1/2 second), then brake for the long slalom, a little too slow on entry, but not bad, downshifted to 2nd and back up to speed by about the 5th cone.
  2. Good exit from 1, good shift into 3rd this time, and winding up to 7000 RPM just like the previous 5 runs before braking for station 2... well, either my distance judgement was off, and the car was slower getting up to speed, or the brakes were extra greasy for some reason, but I came into station 2 waaaay too fast, managed to clip two cones and convince the course worker that I wasn't off course, but a major botch job, at this point I realize that I won't be breaking 2:45 this year.
  3. Good exit from 2, well into 4th gear before slowing for station 3. This year, it seems that station 3 has moved further from station 2 and closer to the dip, could just be the way the mangroves got trimmed, but if it is a change, I like it. More speed on entry to 3 - nearly as much as the dreaded 6, and less time to accelerate before the dip. Anyway, I always hated the offset slalom in 3, very deceptive, I took it clean all 5 previous runs this weekend, but this time I banzaied through faster than I thought possible, clipping one cone in the process.
  4. Exit 3, through the dip - perhaps a bit too fast, wash out to the outside of the hairpin (way outside in the marbles) but keep it on the pavement. Now I'm thinking, just don't hurt the car... through 4 nice and cautiously.
  5. Halfhearted exit from 4, nice easy braking for the slalom in 5.
  6. Leaving 5 nice and smooth, on the way to 6, there's a little dip in the middle of the sweeper, it doesn't bother most people, but this year it's hitting me a second after I'm starting to understeer at the limit, at top of 3rd gear, around 90MPH, unnerving to say the least. I do go ahead into 4th when the sweeper opens up, and manage a nice brake job into 6 without overheating the pads... Wave to Bob and Andy Hess who are working this station, but not for too long - have to have both hands on the wheel to avoid clipping the inside exit cone for the 4th time this weekend.
  7. Now I'm getting back into the spirit, good entry into 7, on the power early for the exit.
  8. Catch 3rd gear after the first cones of station 8, there's a little hump in the road that likes to grab the wheel and steer for you just at that shift point, then about 60 feet later stab the brakes, downshift while negotiating the obstacle and fly out.
  9. Having too much fun now, attempting to brake for 9 way too late, greasy pads again just like in 2, manage to miss the first two sets of cones, but there's no way to even convince the course worker that I'm making the 3rd gate, oh well, this wasn't going to be the fastest run of the day, anyway... Out clean, and accelerate for the finish, which I have been crossing consistantly at 95MPH this year, instead of 100+ last year, probably due to tire pressures at 24psi instead of 30. Could have something to do with the new ECU with only 1 hour of tuning work in it, too...

This was a good year, safety wise, no swimmers, and only two drivers tangled with the flora and fauna - the damage appeared to be cosmetic. There were also relatively few delays with radio and other problems.

Mechanical Notes:
My setup this year was identical to last year, except:

About the competition:
For once, I was classed against semi-competitive competition. (Translation: the real competitive E-Mod guys didn't show up.) But, Cobras are fun! They've got awesome potential, if they don't break and are driven well. John drove all the way from Ontario in his beautiful red supercharged Cobra, which unfortunately didn't get over its intake manifold gasket leak in time for the race. Richard, in the equally beautiful yellow #90 Cobra ran all 6 runs, but couldn't quite get the control and speed thing to go together this weekend. Personally, I bested my last year's time by 8.5 seconds, mostly by taking the A032Rs from rolling to sliding friction - previously I wouldn't let them slip much, if at all, in the slaloms, but there's alot more speed to be had when your sliding around the cones, and the R compound tires do it much better than ordinary street tires.

40th Bay Bottom Crawl
42nd Bay Bottom Crawl