Events

Every year, there are great track opportunities fun for beginner and veteran drivers alike. Following is a running archive of some of them.

The Annual SevensFest

The 6th Annual, 2010 Southwest SevensFest will be held at the MotorSport Ranch in Cresson, Texas between Fort Worth and Granbury. Some 21 cars are registered to run, and we're expecting 40 enthusiastic people for the dinner Saturday night. Entries include Birkins, Caterhams, Stalkers, and an Ultralite.

See a map: MotorSport Ranch

Back by popular demand, this year's format will be similar to last year's:

Friday, May 7 - Track Day, MSR 30-minute sessions @ $35 each. Ricardo Vega will give a technnical seminar at 5pm Friday on Duratec engines.
Saturday, May 8 - Track Day, MSR 6 20-minute sessions approx $175 total. John Stancoff will do Saturday's tech seminar on engine management systems. 
Sunday and Monday May 9 & 10 is the road tour to some interesting spots on the edges of the Texas Hill Country. 


This event is great fun for experienced and new racers alike. If you are new to Birkin cars, it's a SUPER way to get your feet wet, as there will be cars to test and many brains to pick.  A number of new Birkin owners are among the entrants so far, and we are looking forward to a fine event. Updates will be posted on Birkinowners and other lists; entrants will receive information at their eMail addresses.

To register, or to ask a question, please contact George Hillard at saxonhillard@yahoo.com. Dick Brink is coordinating for the track and Phil Anderson is working on the tour. There will also be some technical sessions; these were quite interesting and popular last year. There will be more prize drawings, and, hopefully, a group photograph! 

 

   
       

VIR NASA Mid-Atlantic weekend, October '09

A smallish group of Birkin Hearties (3 cars) gathered at VIR early in October. There was a good turnout, good racing, good track time. Folis continued as an instructor, while George Hillard and Erle Archer both ran in HPDE-3.

This was a step up for George, who found it much to his liking. Faster cars than in HPDE-2 and fewer restrictions on passing. The drivers are more experienced and work well with each other on the track.
 
Going up the esses toward VIR's fast turn 10, George checked his mirrors and saw nothing; setting up for ten (fast left-hander, then downhill--great fun) he checked his mirrors again and there were 4 cars, 2 Mustangs and 2 Porsches. This was exciting.
 
Folis's wife, Evelyn, made sure we didn't starve. Grits, bacon, and eggs hit the spot each morning. If we could just get Folis to drink some decent coffee....VIR has apts to rent over the main straight; about the same as a motel and very convenient. They have other rooms as well but the list is long, so sign up early. We stayed over Sunday night, ate some shrimp, and drove home Monday morning. When 300+ cars/trailers/motor homes vacate the paddock, it is so quiet it is scary.
 
I think we're gonna skip VIR's opener in March; weather then is traditionally BAD. This was a nice event, and we passed out Birkin flyers to passers by in the paddock.
   
       

NASA Virginia Driving Event, July 24-26, 2009

This is one of NASA Mid-Atlantic's largest events - often with more than 400 entries! There was excellent racing on both Saturday and Sunday, plus, for most of us, the HPDE series (High Performance Driving Experience). This means three track sessions of 25-30 minutes each day plus classroom sessions. HPDE 1 and 2 have an instructor until the student is "soloed." VIR is over 3 miles long, and there is plenty of room on the track.

 HPDE 3 entrants (Birkin) included Dick Brink from Texas; Russ Strough from Maryland; Folis Jones from Virginia; and Michael Daugherty (Caterham) from Maryland. George Hillard from North Carolina drove in HPDE 2 and soloed. On Sunday, Jeff Cranmer (NC) drove up for the day in his Birkin, now outfitted with an excellent roll cage. 

One of the paddock highlights was Folis Jones Racing's Team Principle and Head Chef, Evelyn. This event featured great evening fare of chili and arroz con pollo. Thanks to Evelyn!

 A good event; outstanding track; well run by NASA-MA. Look for a larger gathering of Sevens there next year!

See Folis' track video here.

     
       

The 2009 Southwest Sevens Festival

Held April 3-6 at Motorsports Ranch in Cresson Texas, near Fort Worth.

The first-class Motorsports Ranch was our home for three days. We had two full days of track time for experienced drivers, a school for novices, technical seminars, and plenty of time to enjoy the company of other 7 owners. Track activities were provided by Apex Driving Academy. Two members brought their RV and graciously provided hospitality, beverages and good conversation.

On Sunday, after the festival, a group of us traveled in our Sevens to a lodge at Lake Palo Pinto, taking in the beauty of the Texas Hill Country!

 

Here's a summary of the event from member George Hilliard:

On Friday, we had nine cars, or ten. The count was not easy. Birkins, Caterham, Stalkers. On the track we were "joined" by two monster Porsches, probably members of Motorsport Ranch. They ignored point-bys; I was black-flagged twice for my 'relationship' with these guys, who were also black-flagged. Not as dramatic as it sounds. I gave them a point-by whenever I detected movement in  my mirrors! They lost interest about noon.

On Saturday we had 15 or 16 cars in the Apex Driving Academy. Great fun. Lots of track time and a good classroom instructor. On Saturday we ran clockwise. This was very interesting, and not the usual direction. Some uphill turns quickly became downhill reverse-camber turns...in other words, a new track.

We enjoyed nice dinners in the evening; a nice gathering of cars (Birkins, new Birkins, Caterham, Stalkers, Ultralite). Footnote: back at the hotel on Saturday evening, we found another Stalker, being driven from Bradenton to Mexico City (!). The guy had just taken delivery and decided to "swing by" Cresson to see how the Fest was going. He followed the announcements on USA7s! That's how he found the hotel.


Here is a link to the discussion group called "USA 7s" with more info about the April 09 Festival.