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Old 02-13-2007
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Sebring Weekend

Anyone know the number of drivers that will be at Sebring this weekend?
It's killing me to not be going........

Good luck all
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Old 02-13-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdh
It's killing me to not be going........
Good luck all
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Rats, cdh, I was hoping to meet you.

I love the place, can't stay away....almost spiritual being able to run at the Temple of Speed
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Old 02-13-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Sorry I wont be meeting you there also, Sebring is such a fantastic circuit with 2 of the best corners in racing, have a blast...........

To get psyched have another look at the MNCS race from 2006......I can't watch race videos before a weekend I am not attending - too painful!

Video - Team Red
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Old 02-13-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Must be a lot of us going, there are zero hotels/motel rooms in sebring. I think i am staying in arcadia.
craig
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Old 02-13-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Will miss you Doug!
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Old 02-14-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Thanks LRR, I am trying to do as many Eastern Regionals as possible this year so I just couldn't fit in Sebring, hope everyone's travels are not too disrupted by the storm.

I spoke with Todd this morning and he thought there were around 65 drivers expected, should be fun,

be smart, be fast, be safe
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Old 02-14-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Doug, what are you planning on running this year?

If 3:50PM on Wed is any predicter of what travel tomorrow will be like, there maybe fewer drivers than expected. I have almost 2 ft already in my driveway and it is a virtual white out on the road. I just got in and there are cars all over the place just plain stuck...

LRR
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Old 02-14-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

I guess the Eastern Champ group (I think there might be some objections to me running Sportsman at this point). Besides, the most important thing I learned last year running with the MNCS guys was lap times improve much more quickly running with a faster group, no doubt about it. My times improved more last year than any previous season.

I'm really gonna miss racing with and being around Big Dick, Dario, Amok, Maytag, Chris and all the other MNCS guys, but I have to shoot video at the regionals. It wont be the same without that bunch there though

Let's hear from others, what group are people running in? Who is moving out of Sportsman? Duo? LRR? Come on guys, we'll have a blast, it's time.

Hey Dom, are you racing again? What are your plans?
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Old 02-14-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

The jury is out for me as to what I will run. I am getting advice to move up and some knowledgable advice to start down again and then move up. I am really on the fence. Bottom line is I want to have fun and compete with all my racing friends made over the last few years...what are our other buds thinking????
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Old 02-14-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

No one has brought it up or said anything to me about it. Never got a packet with a declaration sheet either. I'm inclined (as LRR's advisors suggest) to start out where I've been and move up later. I'm curious to see race groupings.

The weather here is cool and getting cooler. Today was about 70 Thursday 60's Friday 50's and Saturday morning is supposed to be 38 degrees with a high in the high 40's. So bring extra layers as you may be shivering in your Sparco xtra light.

We miss the usual suspects... Sy, Doug and all the Masters National guys. Murray and Michelle are here so there is some semblance of order. :-)
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Old 02-15-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalyduo
No one has brought it up or said anything to me about it. Never got a packet with a declaration sheet either.
Isn't it your call? Did the powers that be decide for you?
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Old 02-15-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalyduo
We miss the usual suspects... Sy, Doug and all the Masters National guys. Murray and Michelle are here so there is some semblance of order. :-)
I wish I could be there, SO BADLY.. but too many things are in the way. Have a great time guys - be safe and drive fast.
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Old 02-15-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Yes, it's my call to a point...
If you are "walk away" fast in your group they can tap you on the shoulder and say "We think you should move to champ group", and you'd have to have a very compelling argument not to be moved up. I've never been "walk away" fast in the sportsman group so I think the choice is still mine. It's just a question of raising the bar of competition for myself which I'm sure would be a good thing as well.

I've been slow to move up because I don't run enough events to be competitive in champ group. Once you move up you can't go back in the same year. If I was running a full season I'd move up in a second because any progress made would be satisfying measured agains regular competition. I'm not sure how much fun a partial season in champ group would be given the higher skill level and limited amount of seat time available to improve.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cdh
Isn't it your call? Did the powers that be decide for you?
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Old 02-15-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Duo, I think you are selling yourself short, you may not be in the very top in Championship but you would certainly be competitive. Your best times last year were only tenths away from mine, and at LRP you would have walked me.

The MNCS racing I did in ‘06 covered 3 race weekends and 3 lapping days, that's all, far from a full season (no extra sessions, no computer car, no lead-follow). None the less the improvement was big and the racing was intense, even if it was in the back half of the field. I had no visions of podia, I wanted to race with my Masters Nat buddies (a faster group) and improve, I did. However, Pat can tell you I agonized over the move several times last summer, usually after the faster pace cost me some crash damage (thanks for putting up with me and the support bub).

Pat buddy, you got your first win and several other podia last year running, what, 3 weekends? I never have won a race and I was never "walk away" fast in Sportsman. I probably should have stayed there and gotten a win or two, I was poised to do so but I moved up. I still wonder if it was a wrong move...

What would the reaction be if I ran Sportsman again? It would be fun, and I might finally get a win, but would it be taking a step backward? The challenge and pride that come with racing in a faster group would probably be more satisfying as well. Thoughts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalyduo
Yes, it's my call to a point...
If you are "walk away" fast in your group they can tap you on the shoulder and say "We think you should move to champ group", and you'd have to have a very compelling argument not to be moved up. I've never been "walk away" fast in the sportsman group so I think the choice is still mine. It's just a question of raising the bar of competition for myself which I'm sure would be a good thing as well.

I've been slow to move up because I don't run enough events to be competitive in champ group. Once you move up you can't go back in the same year. If I was running a full season I'd move up in a second because any progress made would be satisfying measured agains regular competition. I'm not sure how much fun a partial season in champ group would be given the higher skill level and limited amount of seat time available to improve.
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Last edited by cdh; 02-16-2007 at 02:18 AM.
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Old 02-15-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

run with the fast guys. if you are front of the pack sportsman who are you going to learn from? your times will improve and you will learn a little more racecraft. if your in it for the trophy's you can buy really nice ones but if your in it to learn go big or go home.

dd dont sell yourself short you can do it

doug you did the right thing you saw yourself get quicker if you did a full year you would be right up front

cant wait to see you all how pathetic am i
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Old 02-15-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

OH! to my son LRR dont be the pansy your mom raised you to be. take after your dad be a man race with the big guys.

OH how i wish i stayed home to raise you But there were so many woman and so little time
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Old 02-15-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

So I now love Sebring. CDH and Sy have both stated how much they love the track, and I am now on board! So far the weekend has been going smoothly. I had a clutch lock up yesterday and broke a half shaft(CVjoint) today. From what I hear SBRS has upgraded the clutches and are now braking more CV joints. I do like the new wing very much. It is making the draft more of a factor. I have driven a couple of cars and they all seemed to be much much more equal!!! The guys here at the track have been very good about helping you make up time lost in the pits and as usual are putting their hearts and soles into our weekend. I was hoping to get to run with Pat today but had to come in for leaking fluids, stupid catch can. I also got a speeding ticket today, i knew that post about tickets would come back to haunt me. It is raining now I hope it clears up for tomorrow. I hear it is a full weekend, but we will see. The problem with racing is, so far I have loved every track I have gone to. I really have to say that the people that work with SBRS really make it worth wild. Stevie D, Phil, JP, doppler Dave, Nick nic, are all great people. I am not sure i would spend so much money here if it weren't for all of them. They make the experience fantastic. The lead follows are a deal at their current price. I had a couple sessions with JP and he helped me so much. I was much faster today after working with him yesterday. It really is the ticket to going faster. I never would have been able to figure all that out on my own. Kudos to SBRS on the new wing, the wicker they added makes all the difference
craig
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Old 02-16-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

chsutherland speaketh the truth...

Clutches don't break but CV joints do. Broke one myself on Wed. and got my missed laps back. Spent 20 minutes waiting for the recovery vehicle parked in the grass outside of turn 10. Did mental laps, studied the cloud formations and watched the hawks circling overhead. Then got charged for a mental lead-follow.

Jim Pace got more seat time running non-stop lead-follows yesterday and today than he did in the Rolex 24.

Stevie Dee bought John Pew's hardly used creampuff Audi A6 (V8) wagon and its the perfect car for him. A real sleeper. Looks like a family hauler and runs like stink. A wonderful upgrade for Stevie.

Divi came to dinner at Chicanes and progress continues for the simulator project. It may start rolling out selectively this summer. Divi will grace us with a visit at the track tomorrow.

Nick Spencer and Chris Brassard arrived tonight while John Peterson and David Libby showed up earlier in the day.

The track heats up with full blown practice and cools down to temps in the 40's. We had a few rain squals blow through today but the weather tomorrow should be dry though chilly by Florida standards.

The endurance bike racers are arriving now, gearing up to take over the track on Saturday night thru Sudnay mornin'.

Gerardo sez Mickey Mouse says "Hi!"

Rob Slonaker got socked in due to the weather and is making snowmen with his family until the plow arrives. :-)

Kelly D. did get out but was diverted to four different airports, separated from her luggage and spent over 8 hours en route. The air trip from hell. She made it to Sebring looking minty fresh and registration was up and running on time this afternoon.

The Inn on the Lakes isn't the worst hotel and restaurant on the planet but if the worst hotel and restaurant on the planet were to experience a massive earthquake, collapse, burn and be swallowed by a sinkhole... Then the Inn on the Lakes would be the worst hotel and restaurant on the planet. Other than that they're great.

65 racers, 5 race groups. Should be exciting.
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Old 02-16-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Quote:
Originally Posted by chsutherland
I had a clutch lock up yesterday and broke a half shaft(CVjoint) today. From what I hear SBRS has upgraded the clutches and are now braking more CV joints. craig

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalyduo
chsutherland speaketh the truth...Clutches don't break but CV joints do. Broke one myself on Wed. .
Yep, the obscure engineering principle of "unintended consequences", also known as the "stainless steel prop syndrome". Cheap aluminum props break easily, get nicked up and generally look crappy in short order, but almost always get you back to the marina. Stainless props, ohhh, very shiney, add a little stern bling-bling and attract marina wenches. All is good. Then bling-bling meets submerged object. If lucky, shear key does it's job, if not, the lower unit throws in the towel. Marina wenches are not amused, as they do not paddle.

Next, the CV's will get beefier, then the gearboxes will start to break. Maybe a good time to go back to the weaker pressure plates?
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Old 02-16-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Quote:
Originally Posted by chsutherland
I do like the new wing very much. It is making the draft more of a factor.craig
Rear wing? How different is it? Any change to the front wings? (And do they still cost an arm and a leg to repair?)
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Old 02-16-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Just got back from the track, and I am only participating in the lapping day that happened today. I ran a 27.3 and it was the first time I ran the full course, and the track was a blast! I will be racing there in Star Mazda in a month from today during the 12 hour weekend.
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Old 02-16-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Also, about the new rear wings;

I did not notice any different handling characteristics, I just noticed how much slower the cars were down the straights. I found my brake points to be a little bit later. I also noticed the draft had much more of a "pull" from farther back on the cars.
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Old 02-16-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

I like the new rear wings. Dr Greist was saying how it made the races similiar to when they used the old school cars. I had a blast running in the draft today. I also know from first hand experience the front wings are still the same price. From what I hear in the pits SBRS is using a new clutch, and as a result there are more broken CV joints. It will always be something. At least the CV joints are easier for the mechanics to replace. After I saw Pat break his CV joint I decided to break mine, hate to have him feel alone, or like an outcast. Its too bad Slonaker isn't here, i was kind of hoping to see some more of those color corridinated socks! Stevie D's Audi is pretty sweet, and he appears to be having a whole lot of fun with it. Some guys get all the luck!
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Old 02-16-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Quote:
Originally Posted by chsutherland
...I saw Pat break his CV joint I decided to break mine...
OK, now I'm really curious. Are the CVJ's breaking under acceleration?
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Old 02-16-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Mine broke going into the hairpin. I don't think its problem. Only 2 so far out of almost 30 cars at a rough track. And like i said SBRS was super good about making up lost time in the pits, and they also aren't charging for stuff like that, which is nice.
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Old 02-16-2007
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Eek! Re: Sebring Weekend

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalyduo
Rob Slonaker got socked in due to the weather and is making snowmen with his family until the plow arrives. :-)

Kelly D. did get out but was diverted to four different airports, separated from her luggage and spent over 8 hours en route. The air trip from hell. She made it to Sebring looking minty fresh and registration was up and running on time this afternoon.
65 racers, 5 race groups. Should be exciting.
We flew in to Orlando last night. Our JetBlue flight was originally scheduled for 3:00pm out of Newburgh, arriving in FL at 6:00pm. At 2:50pm, I asked the fatal question: Ummm... Where's our plane? By that time, Walter Irvine had arrived at our gate and was calling back to the office to get updates on our flight status. First it was that our plane was in Orlando, and they had no record of our flight's being scheduled. Then, it was that it was in Orlando, but wouldn't get here until at least 4:00pm or 7:00pm. The office told Walter we were delayed until 6:30pm.

Ten minutes later, an announcement over the PA system said all passengers on JetBlue flight 577 should report to the ticket counter because the flight had been cancelled. No explanation, just call the JetBlue 800# to get a refund or reschedule. Mind you, the 800# was so overrun, they weren't accepting new calls. Walter entertained the idea of driving to FL. We drove home.

It's a little less than 1.5hrs from our house to Stewart Airport. We were home less than an hour (during which time we called every airline servicing the area and were told we might as well drive) when, at 7:35pm we got a call from JetBlue telling us that our flight had been reinstated and would be departing at 8:50pm. Were we close to the airport? Somehow, we made it back to Stewart by 8:45pm, and we were wheels up by 9:10pm. Landed in Orlando at 12:15am. Gotta say, I'm thrilled we didn't have any checked baggage. Would've hated to go through what Kelly did.

I don't know what ended up happening to Walter. He wasn't on our reinstated flight, and we couldn't get him on the phone.

Needless to say, this weekend was NOT a good one for air travelers. Hopefully the weather will get better, though. Supposed to be 69F tomorrow.
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Old 02-17-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

I was testing my brake point into 10 and got lock up. Instead of grenading the tires I rolled down the short escape road and turned onto the grass to cross back to the track. Hit the gas and thought the wheels were spinning on the grass but the CV joint was gone. So no, it didn't happen under acceleration.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosso
OK, now I'm really curious. Are the CVJ's breaking under acceleration?
The rear wing modification has been nick named the "Hampster Device" a variation on the Hansford Device it is based on. The double rear wings on the back of the car are about 3 inches apart and there is a 3 inch wide strip of alluminum pop rivited across the back of the two wings to seal up that gap. As modifications go this one is as cheap as it gets.

The net affect is drag that slow's the cars top speed a slight bit and also allows cars behind to pick up the draft sooner while two cars working together as a train are able to catch and pass with impunity.

You almost don't notice the lack in top speed and the benefits in drafting make the racing much more fun. (Unless you're the one being swallowed up..)
Quote:
Originally Posted by WatertownNewbie
Rear wing? How different is it? Any change to the front wings? (And do they still cost an arm and a leg to repair?)
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Old 02-17-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosso
OK, now I'm really curious. Are the CVJ's breaking under acceleration?
Most of the time the CV snaps due to having a small blip. The shock to the half shaft of an idling engine and wheels at road speed is repeated over and over at a track like Sebring if you have what John Murphy calls a bad case of "noblipitalls".
That is why we emphasize proper foot work and getting a good blip to raise the engine revs so when the new gear is selected the engine and wheels are turning the same speed. Remember, as a good race car driver, the last thing you want to know for, is having a "SMALL BLIP".
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Old 02-17-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

BTW, thanks for the updates Pat and Craig. I do wish I had made it, sounds like a good weekend. Hope todays racing went well.
Rob
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Old 02-18-2007
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Smile Re: Sebring Weekend

ok, it's 3 am Saturday night in Sebring, and although I finally got to sleep by midnight, I'm now wide awake. Like that Disneyworld commercial, "I'm too excited to sleep." I won my first race ever today!!!!!! (This Bud's for you, Rob! Thanks for getting me on the right course last year. It took a while, but here it is)

It was a really good day all around. I'm doing a double in Sportsman, and in the first race I started P6 and finished P2 for my first podium, having led my first race lap. then for race 2, I won my first pole, led every lap but one after Nick Spencer kindly provided some unintentional blocking for me by going really sideways through Turn One (I have found Nick to be an extremely generous guy-- having won his first race in December here, I think he just wanted to share the wealth...but he fought back to a fine P3 with a great mad-as-hell and taking- no-prisoners drive). I'm sure everyone remembers their very first victory lap-- mine was soaking wet in bright sunshine, the world in soft focus and glow from the sunlight glinting off all the water on my visor, with all the corner workers waving their multicolored flags in a festive nautical semaphore. It felt like when the fireboats welcome an incoming ocean liner to harbor with their spray! No matter what happens tomorrow, I'll never forget this.

I want to thank all the Team Juicy members who responded to my thread on "Getting to the Gas." I immediately started practicing your recommendations and you have no idea how much they have helped my exits from these great Sebring corners. I dropped 2 sec from my lap time despite slower top speeds due to the Hanford devices. And Grant Ryley's brake release article really cleaned up my brake work, making my car more stable on turn in. Thank you again, everyone.

As far as the Hanford devices go, I have to concur that they have made the racing a lot of fun this weekend. You can pick up the tow from as far as 7 car lengths and it is not unusual to have 4 car trains on the back straight and heaven help the poor soul who pops alone out of the draft! You have never seen an open wheel car go backwards so quickly. If you do pop, you need help from someone drafting behind. Coming into 17 with 4 cars two-abreast and flat-out at something like 7 mph faster than usual, it feels like restrictor-plate racing without the banking! Yee haw and don't forget to brake early! Really great practice in planning for and working the draft, and thinking strategically.

I'm having a great time hanging out with Pat, Chris, Nick, Leland, Daniel Graeffe, Mur, Michele, Brent and wish more were here! Well, I'm going to try to get at least a couple of hours of sleep before my alarm goes off....the best part is....more racing tomorrow!!!!!!!! (oh I've got it bad, soooo bad.......)
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Old 02-18-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Great report Harsha. A day you will never forget for sure. Congrats again!

I too find myself writing a report, unable to sleep, peering out the window at the slow moving bicycle lights now oozing around Sebrings unlit track.

In race one qualified on pole with Rick Balsley in P2 and Luca Orlandi in P3 (Lee Englebardt had p3 on time but spun). JP was radio coaching Rick and encouraged him strongly to jump the start knowing there was little chance they'd wave it off due to the time and fuel issues of 5 race groups and a very long track. I didn't know JP was in Rick's ear but just smiled when he took off. With a 4 or 5 car length lead at the start/finish I was back up on him going into 3 where it looked like he snapped off the brake and almost spun it. He also had a moment going through the carousel but I was too close, had to back out, and didn't get a good run going down to the hairpin. Luca then took advantage of our leisurely pace up to 10 and dove under me into 10. I happily gave up the position and trailed them both up through 16. Luca was leading on the back stretch and I re-passed Rick coming out of 17 and then took back p1 from Luca going into turn 1.

The lead was mine up through turn 10 when a half-shaft broke and my race was over.

Which brings up the question of having a tiny blip. (Oh no! ) Is it possible? In the heat of battle anything is possible and I had an in-car camera so I may be able to tell from that. Going from 5th to 2nd gear it's possible I could have made less than a full blip in the sequence. On the other hand there have been a rash of half-shaft failures this week and I'm inclined to believe the parts are under performing as I've never heard of so many half shaft failures at one event before. (Another car in this same race also had a half-shaft failure and there have been many this week) This reminds me of the rash of clutch failures that happened two years ago at Sebring. The clutches have now been upgraded to break the half-shafts! It should also be noted that the car I was driving was being used in most if not all of the qualifying and race sessions, so it was getting steady abuse by others as well. Though I'm sure they're all big blippers as well. :-)

Out of the car I stood with Stevie Dee at turn 13 and watched the race unfold as Rick, Luca, Harsha and Chris Brassard duked it out. Sadly Lee Englebardt slid into the right side of Jay Fuchs going into 17 and they touched wheels. Lee's car launched so high up and over Jay that the FAA sent a guy over to check his pilot's license. The suspension broke as Lee crashed down on the other side of Jay and slid into the tire wall at high speed. Lee was OK but had a sore wrist and hand that struck the inside of the car when it impacted the tire wall. Jay was OK also but had to come in with damage. Glad they were both OK.

Rick, Luca, Harsha and Chris traded positions throughout the run and if memory serves correctly the finishing order was (First time winner!) Luca Orlandi, Harsha Sen, Chris Brassard and Rick Balsley. The hamster device is producing lots of drafting opportunities and it made for great racing all day.

OK... time for more ZZZZzzzzz's

PS... Opps... It just began pouring rain
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Old 02-18-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Bravo Harsha,
I too won my first race at Sebring, although on a different layout, and have fond memories of the day. The best things are worth waiting for.

Bummer Pat,
The CV/Clutch thing is not the blame of one individual, but rather a group effort. If ten drivers drive the same car and all have marginal footwork, the accumulated shock to the driveline will have it's effect. And one poor soul suffers, most painful when leading.

Now I really wish I could have been there, sounds like a great time.
Thanks for the updates.
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Old 02-18-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Awesome, Harsha! Sebring is an incredible track, you should be very proud to get your first win there. Wish I was there to see it.

Pat, time to jump up to the Champ group and stop all that clubbin'!!

Syduuuude
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Old 02-18-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Rob you were missed. Sebring was a great time. The people that work at SBRS are a big part of what makes it so great. I am so sad the weekend is over. I think there were a couple of first time winners this weekend. The new wings kick ass. The draft they create is a lot of fun. It doesn't guarantee a pass, but it helps to keep us in a group. Brings a little strategy into the race. Last but not least, I would like to thank the hard working folks at Mr. Chicken for their support of our series.
craig
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Old 02-18-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

[quote=chsutherland]I like the new rear wings. Dr Greist was saying how it made the races similiar to when they used the old school cars.

Yup. Great fun and sure keeps the field together. Should minimize effect of inequalities in power.

Wonder how the school cars would race against the Hanford RTs. Popping early leads to stalling out and risk of repass.

Race craft to the fore.
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Old 02-19-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

I was lucky enough to get to race today's Memorial race. It was my first time with the new Hampster Device rear wing. How was it? FUN FUN FUN!!!

It was the most fun I've had in a Skip Barber race in a long time! It forced me to think of every game in the book to manage the traffic. Getting to the front was a thrill. Staying there was one of the coolest chess matches in a race car I've had in a while.

Sy, you'll totally dig this wing. It was worth the wait. It's a great mental exercise, and did I mention it's loads of fun?
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Old 02-19-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend: Sunday report

Well, all good things have to come to an end. I think I finally drove too much! I'd been here since Wednesday doing extra sessions, and then a double race weekend. That plus not getting much sleep last night.

Anyway, morning found the track wet with puddles from a shower in the wee hours. The wet surface helped me, Chris, Luca Orlandi, and Rick Balsley check out from the rest of the group in short order. We had a great battle that I am told was quite entertaining for those watching as we tried to carry as much brake in and throttle out as the conditions would stand. Everybody got sideways everywhere, while within feet and sometimes inches of each other, but everyone tried to give room and there were lots of great saves all over the place. The exit of 17 was particularly exciting as the grip under the bridge evaporated instantly leaving the back end suddenly sliding way out under throttle and threatening to come 'round. The entry to 13 was also devilish and left me flailing like a gasping fish more than once trying to keep it on. Rick finally dropped off the pace and the other 3 were left to fight it out with lots of passes and repasses. Chris was just too good today, as he challenged the brake zones more than me and found earlier than I did that there was a surprising amount of braking grip once a few laps were done (surprising because here I thought I was doing fairly well braking mid-road into 7, and then Chris comes sailing by me down the inside lane at least 20 mph faster! I had my chances but he was always just enough better. Luca made an ill-advised attempt at an outside pass into 7 on the last lap and went into the grass, leaving the door open for me to move up to P2. A really fun, challenging race that taught me a lot about changing track conditions.

But then, I found myself mentally drained. Just didn't have the mental resources left to do a good job in Race 4 despite a nearly completely dry track. what a waste of a pole position! had a sluggish start as 3 people (Nick S. being the only one I recognized)dived under me into 1. However I managed to salvage it by taking a later entry and wider arc so I got to power better than the others who were still turning at the exit, and slid by 2 interlopers in the brake zone of 3 to regain P2 behind Nick. But then I experienced huge brain fade, went somewhere else mentally (the Bahamas? Hawaii?)and found myself hanging most of the car off the exits of 10 and 13 at angles incompatible with straight line speed. Stuff I haven't been doing for months. Anyway, I managed to bring it in P4 after all kinds of nonsense, but then was penalized 20 sec for not coming in to the pits for some car contact that I didn't feel (what with all the kerbs I was hopping over) and was never black-flagged for, so dropped me 2 more spots. Juan Pablo G.C., Jeff Glassman and Nick S. ended up having a good run and dice, but you'll have to ask them about it since I was nowhere near it. And then I had to leave before Pat's race was over to catch my flight out.

wow. A great, great week. Learned a lot, made new friends, had a great time hanging out with great folks. What this sport is all about.

P.S. Someone tell NickNick that if he is going to continue to attempt to add an international flair to his already prodigious on-air personality, his Indian(!) accent needs a ton of work. I'll be happy to provide private coaching at Skippy lead-follow rates. You know, give something back.
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Old 02-19-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Truly a great weekend. Harsha, Congrats on your first Win! You should be so very proud to do this in a realitively short time. Nick S took 2 3rds to add to his point standings and challenged quite handily for stronger spots. My support to DD and Leland for the challenges they faced that caused them to not finish in the races. The mix would have been different had they been able to dice it up with us.

DD is modest and is not telling that his lap times in Qualifying and practice were a good 2-3 seconds faster in the dry that the top runners. He is doing a fantastic job! I understand he won late in the day yesterday in his make up race. Congrats!

The race in the wet yesterday was awesome. Harsha's description was spot on. We were all challenging for the lead in places where standing water and water not readily visible to the eye caused some skippy drifting! Somehow I stole a win yesterday and a P-3 on Saturday. Who would have thunk it?

The Hamster device has changed the way we race in the long straight aways. The huge sucking sound you hear and feel is not the sound of your brain leaving your helmet...but then again maybe it is!
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Old 02-19-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Sounds like a typical SB weekend, fun fun fun

Congrats to all who went home with hardware, and everyone for great racing.

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Old 02-19-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

OK, one last:

I get back home, got my Monday appointment with my CPA trying to make sense of all the tax info I've been avoiding, and I tell her about my race win, since she's a race fan and has been following my new Walter Mitty life with some amusement.
She says: "Awesome, what are you going to do to celebrate? You need to go out and buy yourself something nice."
I say: "What? My accountant is telling me to spend money??"
She says: "Sure! Just make it something we can write off!"
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Old 02-19-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

I heard our crew kicked ass at Sebring last weekend and that Big Dan is doing a great job as crew chief also.
I also heard that there wern't but one or two framed cars! If this is true, WOW! Thanks to all who participated, raced, and otherwise had a blast...
I will humbly remain committed to building a safer, more rigid and better chassis.
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Old 02-19-2007
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Thumbs up Re: Sebring Weekend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kopperslip
I heard our crew kicked ass at Sebring last weekend and that Big Dan is doing a great job as crew chief also.
I also heard that there wern't but one or two framed cars! If this is true, WOW! Thanks to all who participated, raced, and otherwise had a blast...
I will humbly remain committed to building a safer, more rigid and better chassis.
Dude, you guys ROCK. in every possible way. I hope you all know that.

BTW, cool avatar. Is that a G&L? Is it yours?
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Old 02-19-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Thanks for the kind words dude! The avitar is not a G&L. It is one of my Custom Signature series guitars #027. I used to build custom guitars on the side. The pic was from my old website. That baby was cool as it was the first CS with the new design. Not as complicated as building a chassis but just as intricate.
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Old 02-19-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Harsha! Congratulations! Sorry I couldn't be there to spray cold champagne on you! Its so much sweeter when it doesn't come quickly or easily! You have earned every ounce of satisfaction, and the respect of those of us who have cheered you along the way. I admire your determination and skill! You will, in the future, become a poster-boy for our belief that, with desire, you can learn and master this skill to which we all aspire.

Carl Lopez
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Old 02-19-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

I had a late flight out today, and i was pretty sure i had seen some ALMS teams showing up during the week and parking their trucks and mobile homes. I was kind of hoping today would be a test day. Well sure enough there they were, and today WAS a test day. So i drove back, snuck in and got to watch Team Acura fly around the track in their P1 car, there was also a porsche cruising around. What great sounds those cars made! Not to mention how fast they were going!
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Old 02-20-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Looked up at breakfast from my complimentary USA today to a cheerful "Mornin'!" from Danny Sullivan on his way to sit with Geoff Brabahm. Several other familliar racing faces appeared and while the last few grains of race driver sand were slipping from the hour glass of our Skippy weekend the Chateau Elan dining room filled with those who get paid well to do it every day.

Didn't have time to go back to the track but did see the Acura sedan and Porsche go through the scarepin about 5 times while packing my bags.
Yes... much faster.

Oh please let me stay just a little bit longer.... .

Quote:
Originally Posted by chsutherland
I had a late flight out today, and i was pretty sure i had seen some ALMS teams showing up during the week and parking their trucks and mobile homes. I was kind of hoping today would be a test day. Well sure enough there they were, and today WAS a test day. So i drove back, snuck in and got to watch Team Acura fly around the track in their P1 car, there was also a porsche cruising around. What great sounds those cars made! Not to mention how fast they were going!
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Last edited by dalyduo; 02-20-2007 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 02-20-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

only 22 more days before gates open for the 12 Hour, y'all....
...prototypes, sportscars, Porsches, Ferraris, Corvettes, Astons, Lolas, and that Audi that sounds like a Federation battlecruiser, laying rubber at the limit on the hallowed pavement many of us just made our own pilgrimage to.....
I for one am not strong enough to resist. Who else is in?
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Old 02-20-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kopperslip
The avitar is not a G&L. It is one of my Custom Signature series guitars #027. I used to build custom guitars on the side.
Even better. Even from the small photo looks like very professional build quality. I knew there was a reason I felt comfortable in those cars.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Lopez
Its so much sweeter when it doesn't come quickly or easily!
you got that right. All I can say is that if you guys can teach me to drive, who had no clue how to downshift, brake, or correct a skid, had the lowest eyes known to man, and whose best lap around Laguna Seca on his first race weekend December 2005 was fifteen seconds slower than P1 in Sportsman (yes, that's no misprint, 1:59 (thanks for reminding me, Ted)), well you guys can teach anyone. Miracle workers, the lot of you. Thanks a million.
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Old 02-20-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

Congrats to all the winners and everyone who worked so hard to make it a great event. It was cold and we didn't care, it was windy and we didn't care, it rained and we didn't care. There were 65 drivers for the first non-combined February Southern region event in several years at Sebring and we only cared about going faster and having fun. All goals were achieved.

The 2007 SBRS Sebring southern regional will from this day forward be known as the Harsha Hamster 500 as there were more than 500 passes and 500 smiles as a result of those little strips of aluminum and Harsha's first win. I’ve never passed or been passed more times in a single race than I was this weekend and it made race craft and strategy all the more important and satisfying. JP suggested that this weekend was the first time since about 1992 that there weren’t any complaints about cars being down on power. (dop) Correct that… There was one complaint from a serious cyclist in Champ group who set fastest lap of the race with his dop car! If we first laugh and then give him the benefit of the doubt that with a dop car and masterful use of the draft he set fastest lap, it is just another stunning endorsement for the value of the hamster (Hansford) device.

From the sublime to the ridicules… I was having an “If I didn’t have bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all…” weekend until the last race of the day.

After a lap 2 half-shaft mdnf on Saturday left me with lots of time to observe, rain poured down very early Sunday morning and though skies were clearing at race time the track itself was mostly wet with puddles. Those of us in race group one were treated to a van around for a quick rain line discussion and then jumped into the cars for our race.

On the warm up I felt the car lurch a couple of times like the gear box was slipping or popping out of gear but it was so unfamiliar I thought it might also be the tires spinning on wet concrete so decided to run with it. Starting from the back I passed a few cars and eased it down into turn one on a modified inside line with everyone else and the tranny lurched again upsetting the balance of the car enough to start a rotation I couldn’t catch. The car slowly revolved 270 degrees creating the largest possible target, being horizontal to the track, and someone clipped the back end turning my exhaust pipe into a Dizzy Gillespie bent trumpet. Boom! Race two is over on lap one turn one. Ugh! The good news was that Jason tested the car and there was a tranny problem so I was awarded a second mechanical dnf and invited to race in R3. (Yeah!) When R3 rolled around there weren’t enough cars (Boo!) so Keith moved me back to R-5. (Yeah!)

By Sunday afternoon I was starting to feel like a teamster driver on a film shoot whose job it was to sit around and watch the other kids play. Nine race groups had run over two days and I’d managed less than 2 laps. Everyone was supportive and sympathetic but by the 4th race of the day I felt like an astronaut with a full diaper.

The upside was the extra time for chats with John Pew, Divi, Gerardo and all the usual driving and instructor suspects. John is working hard rehabbing his shoulder. Sadly the rehab won’t be complete in time to run Star Mazda this year but he may jump into a Skippy car when he’s ready to test it.

Divi is still developing what sounds like the most comprehensive realistic web racing game in the world. They hope to be rolling it out later this year so watch your mailbox for an invitation.

Gerardo is head of driver development for the kiddie nationals this year. He’ll be doing group and individual training with the drivers on race craft, sponsorship, presentation and macramé’.

Most smiles per hour on the instructor radio chat line go to Stevie Dee, Terry E, Phil Lombardi and when he's not pit lane coordinator Kieth Watts with the droll troll award to uncle Wally. Fast and furious reporting that always makes you smile between laughing out loud.

Kim, Kelly, Linda, Laurie and Ashlei all did the heavy logistics of making the weekend run smoothly. Linda, Laurie and Ashlei produced a delicious lunch each day, kept the coolers full, the breakfast and snack tables stocked and all with a cheery smile. Kim and Kelly had the timing sheets; race logistics and trophy award management under control and it all ran like a Swiss watch. (Rolex sponsorship will no doubt soon follow… Stay tuned .

David Libby and I worked with John Giddens who was running his first race weekend and first time at Sebring. After appropriate new track first race overwhelm John figured it out with only one day of practice and his times dropped dramatically. Race one was a steep learning curve experience with a harmless spin and later an mdnf. Race two was clean and productive with another nice drop in lap times while finishing 9th of 14 on the lead lap. Well done. Congratulations and welcome aboard John!

The mechanics were abused to the same degree Sebring abuses racecars. Lots of half shaft and transmission woes and not just the ones I experienced. They worked long days to keep the cars in the show and we bow down and give thanks for their extra effort especially at Sebring. (Hey, who won the lapping day from the mechanics fund drawing?)

Keith Watts was the hardest working man in show bidness. He never dropped any of the 15 balls he was juggling, and did it with grace and humor. A big tip of the cap to Keith (500) Watts as pit lane coordinator for a stellar job.

By Sunday afternoon I’d been the bridesmaid for so long it was comical. But the mechanics, Nick Nick, Keith, drivers and instructors were all so sympathetic and supportive that other than bad luck there was nothing to complain about. Keith asked Ricky Ehrgot, the pole sitter of group 5 to flip a coin for the pole position and I won the toss. Ricky started P2 and after leading him into turn one he drafted past me on the backstretch and Dan Palma got me going into turn one. Ehrgot and Palma then battled each other fiercely while I hung back a couple of car lengths anticipating the inevitable. At lap 4 Ehrgot dropped a tire off the track out curbing exiting turn 1 and overcorrected hooking it into the inside tire wall. A black flag to extricate the car brought us into the pits where Divi, John Pew, David Libby, Peter Tucker, Nick Spencer and others came over and chatted while we waited for the track to be cleared. It was so… Civilized. Go run hard for half a race, come in and chat pleasantly with friends for a while then go back out and get after it again. Ya gotta love it.

Restarted P2 and had a nice back and forth with Dan while loving the hamster device. We gapped the field a bit and I'd pass Dan on the backstretch while he'd get me back going into one. On the last lap he bobbled through the carousel but I did not want to be in front on the backstretch so with no pressure from behind stayed back for the preferred position. Got the good draft on the backstretch and a clean run through 17 to the checker. Yee Ha!

Though not a first time winner they gave me the royal soaking (probably Nick Nick's doing) and a victory lap. Damn, It's a long way around that place in 3rd gear with your arm in the air and a big flag trying to rip your arm out of its socket. And I loved every second of it. :-) So I won my last sportsman race, and it’s now time to up the anti, and become a baby seal in Champ group.

Then jumped into the Memorial, starting and ending mid-pack (7th) keeping the leaders between 10 & 15 car lengths the whole race. The lead packers including Gerardo were having major fun cutting each other up which allowed me to keep them in site. On the last lap I turned in late and spun the car past the apex of 1. Dropped it down 2 gears and kept going. Caught Steve Welk who had spun farther along on the last lap and that lovely hamster let me draft by Steve on the backstretch but I butchered 17 and we had a photo finish with Steve nipping me by six thousandths at the line! So much fun and closer to what champ group will be like. Mighty humbling.

Sad to see the weekend end, as these are the happiest times we have in a troubled world. Lots to be thankful for and take back to apply in the “real” world.
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Last edited by dalyduo; 03-03-2007 at 03:01 AM.
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Old 02-20-2007
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Re: Sebring Weekend

DD - this is your best race report yet, big laffs, great imagery, felt like I was there - congratulations on the P1! _

So glad we'll be racing Champ together, I foresee epic battles (that is if I can keep up with you )

All this talk of a hamster device and daring endeavors reminded me of this pic......(ok, it's a mouse but you get the idea)
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