More Desert Fun - Report from the Track Event in Las Vegas

By: Jeff Littrell

The weather was hot but the new track was fun at the Alfa/FCA track event in Las Vegas on June 10th and 11th. The track is now 1.75 miles long with 9 turns and 2 straights, similar to Willow Springs but much flatter, tighter and slower. It is a challenging track with a couple combination turns with decreasing radii that really test a driver's ability.

The best news is that participation from the Club is up, and we're starting to see members like Joel Quaid get the racing bug and move up from the Intro group to the Time Trials. Below is a list of members who made the trek to Sin City:

Marshall BuckLA AreaCorvette
Jeff LittrellLA AreaMazda RX-7
Neil MillerLA AreaMondial t s/n 82553
Paul PorteousPort Hueneme, CABMW M3
Joel QuaidSanta Barbara, CA348 ts s/n 89754
Tim StromboMissoula, Montana308 GTSi s/n 41085
Arthur TrejoLA Area308 GTS QV s/n 50701
Drew KelleyLA Area330 GTC s/n 9911
Marv LandonLA Area Southwest Boeing 727
You will notice from the list above a couple interesting facts. Tim Strombo gets the award for working to hardest to get to the event. He actually built himself an enclosed trailer using a flatbed trailer and a lot of plywood so that he could brave the storms on the long drive from Montana to Las Vegas. All that for a little track time! Think about Tim next time you feel that Willow Springs is too far to go.

Paul Porteous Paul Porteous relaxes between sessions.

Another member who really made an extra effort was our illustrious competition chairman, Marv Landon. Marv couldn't participate in this event because he had to attend a wedding on Saturday but he still went through the expense and effort to fly out Sunday, rent a car, and drive to the track just to make sure all us FCA guys weren't giving the Club a bad name. Drew Kelley must get some mention also for taking his own special, 14 hour route in his 330 GTC from Downey to Las Vegas just to watch the rest of us drive around the track. Think about that next time you look at your Ferrari languishing in the garage.

Joel Quaid Although you can't tell, Joel Quaid is smiling ear-to-ear behind that helmet as he comes in from a some hot laps.

But my favorite member of the weekend was Joel Quaid. Joel has a beautiful blue 348 ts that he bought to drive on the street. But as happens to so many of us, he came out to Willow a while back, participated in the Intro group, and got the racing bug. He has subsequently installed a 5-point harness and fire extinguisher in his gorgeous cream colored interior and dramatically improved his driving skills by working with instructor Brad Gray. In Las Vegas he had the foresight to sign up for the novice time trial group and therefore got more track time than anyone else. He got to follow the instructor's car around the track to learn the racing line and also got classroom instruction on time trial techniques. As a result he had a lot of fun and greatly reduced his track times. His Ferrari is no worse for wear either.

Joel chases Niel Miller Joel Quaid's 348 chases Niel Miller's Mondial through turn 3 at Las Vegas Speedway Park.

Member and perennial track hound Marshal Buck out classed the field in his Corvette to win the race on Sunday while the rest of us worked on our time trials.<