The Waterfall/Area 81 Racing Car # 81 fought a good battle for the 2015 SARRC Championship at Roebling Road Raceway, but in the end the war was not won. After a successful Friday test day, the team helped Richard put his Stohr on the outside of front row and F1000 Pole Position during the Saturday qualifying sessions. On Sunday, after the crew performed a complete engine change, Richard took the green flag and raced up front for 2 laps, but soon the clutch started slipping which hampered his speed. Within 3 laps, his car suffered complete power failure and he coasted into the pits. It was a valiant effort overall and still good for 2nd place in the SARRC Points Championship.
Richard Franklin, Car # 81 – First of all, I have to thank Denis Schembri & Sid Goode for all of their hard work and dedication this weekend. I would have never made it to the grid on Sunday without their help. Friday’s Test Day went as planned as I tested a new exhaust set-up and concentrated on hitting my marks at my favorite track. My lap times were very, very good on old tires, but unfortunately, my Stohr was too loud for the SCCA (107db vs. 103db limit), so the old exhaust had to be installed. Saturday AM qualifying was wet, so no quick times were set. Saturday afternoon however, conditions were perfect and I put my car on the front row with very close to career best lap time at Roebling Road. Unfortunately, an irritating oil leak was diagnosed as a cracked crankcase on my primary GSXR1000 engine. This required an “at the track“ engine swap, which was a first for the Car 81 crew. The engine was removed in 1:45 hours; and new engine installed in 3:45 hours.
The fresh Suzuki was fired up and running strong in less than 5 hours. As with any engine installation, final adjustments are the key to success and we didn’t get any hardship laps. I had to settle for just running the car on the stands & around the paddock. I took the green flag and raced with two Atlantics and kept my F1000 competitor behind for two laps, but I could feel the clutch slipping in the higher gears. He got by me in turn 1 and I nearly collected him as he was not quite as fast in the turns. Soon, in turn 7, the engine went silent and my dash went blank. A huge bummer but that’s racing and we did all we could do. I’m still very proud of the Area 81 Racing Team and also for finishing 2nd in the SARRC Championship for the 3rd time.
The team begins their 2016 SEDIV racing schedule in the Goblins Go! Double SARRC at VIRginia International Raceway Oct 17-18th, 2015. Be sure to stay tuned to www.Area81Racing.com and our Facebook page –> https://www.facebook.com/Area-81-Racing-Team-173745692673454/timeline/ for updates.