Red Hills National Tour Results

Red Hills National Tour Results

Last Thursday I wrote a blog post about the trip down to Moultrie Georgia for the 2024 Red Hills Solo National Tour, this post will serve as the event review from the event. My first National Tour event in a number of years.

We arrived in Moultrie late Thursday night and got checked in to our hotel. The lot was exceptionally small, so getting the truck and trailer situated took Dave some work, but fortunately being a Thursday night there weren’t many customer vehicles on the lot, so we had plenty of room for the rig.

The event was held at Spence Field just outside of Moultrie. Probably 30-40 miles from the South Georgia Motorsports Park where previous tours have been held (and attended by myself). Spence Field is an old WWII air field that was used for advanced pilot training. Since the war it has served a number of purposes, it’s most prominent use being host of one of the largest Agriculture expos held every fall. Driving into the property feels very familiar to those initiated in autocross and old air fields, similar to Walnut Ridge, Lincoln and many other autocross sites that I’ve visited over the years.

Friday we pretty much woke up to wetness in Georgia. It rained off and on throughout the day. This made the idea of the practice course not all that interesting, but I knew I needed to get out there anyways. I ended up taking 3 runs. The first run I spun. The second run was okay. The third run I spun and saw the Mustang sliding into a light pole… No more practice runs for me, blood pressure too high after that scare.

Friday evening I went out for 2 course walks. By this time my feet were thoroughly soaked, and I managed to give myself a nice big ole blister on my big toe on the right foot which then bothered me for the rest of the weekend. Reminder: Put some damn waterproof shoes in my autocross box.

Saturday morning we got up, had breakfast at the hotel, their continental breakfast left a little to be desired, but they did have some decent sausage biscuits that you could get and heat up. From there a quick stop at the gas station to grab a coffee and supplies for the day before heading out to the event site, waiting for the sun to come up.

Another couple of course walks really set my blistered feet on fire for the day. Second Reminder: Waterproof shoes, dry socks.

My work assignment for the weekend was to be Sweep for the second heat. For the uninitiated, sweep is the car that goes out half way though each run (3 runs per heat, 6 sweep runs) to grab the paper corner sheets in which a corner worker writes down every car that goes passed, and which cones (if any) that car hit. This is something done at National Events, and sweep brings the sheets in so that if a driver has a question they can look at the corner sheets to see which specific cone they hit on a previous run. Super helpful when you aren’t sure if/where you hit a cone. This was my first time doing sweep, in 24 years, I had Evan Williams riding along with me as the worker chief, he actually did most of the work, grabbing and organizing the papers, I just did the driving.

By the time the third heat came around I was ready to go. I had setup two GoPros on the top of the car, but was unable to get them working properly with the remote, I figured out the new Hero12 was setup to shut off after 5 minutes of inactivity, which meant I needed to keep changing the mode every so often or it would shut off, so I missed the forward facing video of my first run, and the SoloStorm error’d out connecting to the Hero4 that Dave uses with that setup. I did however manage to get a rear facing video of that run. The run started out exciting, I looped the car right after the start line and put the nose off into the grass. No harm no foul. I ended up with a time of something like 58 seconds, which I figured was 10+ seconds off from where I should have been on the first run.

Saturday Run 1

Second run was much better, good enough for second place, about .5 behind Dave’s best run which would come on his third run. My third run however, was wet. How so? Somehow it started raining as I got into the car for my third run, and then pulling up to the line and starting it started raining harder, enough to make the ground slick and cause me to be about 2 seconds slower than my second run. Still good enough for second, but not near as close to Dave as I would need to be for Sunday.

Saturday Run 2

Saturday evening the local region provided Pizzas for dinner, I am NOT a fan of cold pizza, so I was right near the front of the line and was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed the Marcos deliver they brought in. Kudos to the Red Hills region for a great dinner experience!

Dave, Beth and Sean all went out for a course walk after dinner, I didn’t dare attempt that on Saturday evening due to the pain I was feeling in my feet, I was hoping that I would be a bit better Sunday morning and get a couple of course walks in before Sunday runs.

Fortunately my feet did feel a tad better for those Sunday course walks, I managed to get 2 walks in before first heat. My feet definitely paid the price, but I was glad to see the course in Sunday’s direction, which was reverse of the course from Saturday with a few minor changes at the start and finish lines to configure for reverse running.

Sunday competition runs definitely started out better, my first run I was about a tenth of a second faster than Dave, second run was even faster for me, but I managed to hit a cone entering the final turnaround. I wasn’t sure where I had hit the cone, so I ran over to the area where they kept the corner sheets to try to track down what I hit. On Dave’s second run he was a tenth of a second faster than my dirty run was at 44.589+1.

I knew I needed to put a good clean, fast, run down on my third run, so I went out and did what I could. Putting in a 44.099, not quite the 43 I was looking for, and not enough to catch Dave for the lead in CAM-C. Dave went out on his third run and put a 44.155 down, giving him an overall victory of .486. Here’s a video of both of our third runs from Sunday.

Promptly after third runs were done I started packing things up for the trip home. Dave and Beth planned to make the drive over 2 days, getting home later on Monday, so I hopped in with Sean and Melissa to make the full drive home. Big thanks to both of them, and Dave and Beth, for putting up with me over the weekend!

Overall I was pleased with how I did for my first real event in almost a year, and first time driving the Mustang since September 2021. I look forward to getting more adjusted to the ride and seeing how else the rest of the year goes!


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