This was no April Fools joke. On Friday, April 1st, VIR partnered with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of SWVA and NC to hold a charity laps events. For at least the past three years (and I think longer), these events have normally been held in November for the benefit of the Salvation Army. So a spring time frame for one of these events was a new twist.
Before getting to the track, I donned my blue PUMA driving shoes in support of Autism Awareness Day and wearing blue was a sign of support for that (you'll see in one of the pics, I had on my blue shirt and hat as well). Been a while since I've worn them, but apparently they have finally stretched out to fit my feet. Normally they border on being too tight for me (they tend to run narrow). Maybe because it had been a while, but I could certainly tell I had on some thin-soled shoes as I could really feel the pedals and feedback through them really well.
Got to the track about 9:30 in the morning and I was still in Group 2. So it didn't look like it was going to be nearly as crowded as it was this past November. That proved to be the case as the day panned out. Of course, I would have thought that with the numbers down, it might be a little easier to get in some quicker runs. That was not the case though.
For this event, they were just running it on the North Course (Bertil Roos had the South Course). This was my first time running the North configuration. The turn off the esses to head up into the infield was a nice corner and the additional esses are probably a lot of fun at speed. However, there were several slow cars mixed in with the group which kept speeds down. I noted in my second run that we were only going 20 mph through the Carousel. For the first session, my top speed was only 83 mph. Second session didn't exceed that. In the third session, I managed to get up to 95 mph on the front stretch one lap.
In between sessions, we discovered that the RMHC had a Clubman that they use for getting around to events. We managed to strike a deal to get our MINIs on pit road with the RMHC Clubman for a group photo.
So a little slower compared to the full course, but still a lot of fun. That was helped in part due to all the THMMC MINIs who showed up. I think we had around a dozen that attended the event. Much better than last fall when there was only a small handful of us. Here is the link to the page of photographs. I also have some video that I grabbed with my new GoPro. Still learning how to use it and how to process it into a decent video (along with the differences between vimeo and YouTube - used vimeo for this).