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Barber Motorsports Track (Birmingham)

Discussion in 'South Central - USA (TN, MS, AL, GA)' started by Mike C, Nov 22, 2003.

  1. Mike C

    Mike C F1 Veteran
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    Aug 3, 2002
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    Mike Charness
    Mar 26-27, 2004
    Barber Motorsports Track (Birmingham AL)

    There's a new track in town - in Birmingham! You've probably heard about it, and now you can have a chance to drive it. Tentative dates are March 26-27 (Friday and Saturday). Details are still being worked out, but it's expected to be $500 for two fulls days on the track, plus some time at the Barber museum. This is planned to be another of our more "intimate" events, like we run at Talladega, with a limit of 20 to 25 cars, so you'll be able to drive as much as you'd like! If you'd like more info about the Barber track, go to
    http://www.fca-se.org/barber_track.htm
    and at the bottom of the page that comes up, the "Turn a Lap" link will let you see the layout and give you info about how to run it, and you can even see an in-car video of the track so you get a feel for it.

    This may be an all-Ferrari event other than an open session at lunchtime... that's still to be determined. If you're interested, let me know. We're not taking reservations yet, but I'll get you on an email list for when we are.
     
  2. Crawford

    Crawford Formula 3

    Mar 5, 2003
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    Crawford White
    Mike, all I can say is...


    YOU DA MAN!!
     
  3. Mike C

    Mike C F1 Veteran
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    Thanks, I've been working towards getting us on the Barber track off and on since before the track construction was completed nearly a year ago. Besides "normal" channels, I've had several conversations with some Birmingham folks who know George Barber personally. This particular event and favorable pricing has come to pass through the efforts of two of those folks, David Bruno and his brother Vincent, both of who were at our last Talladega event. David Gold of Nashville, one of our driving instructors, is also working on this since he's been on that track several times (I've only been once) through his affiliation with the Porsche group. So in this case, I'm mostly just the lucky guy who gets to bring you the good news. Bart's been brought into the loop now, so I'm hoping this will indeed happen as expected.
     
  4. Dr Tommy Cosgrove

    Dr Tommy Cosgrove Two Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 4, 2001
    28,455
    Birmingham, AL
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    Tommy
    Count me in. I have 200+miles on that track already with my 308. I really like it. I can't wait to do it with the Ferrari guys for a change.
     
  5. jeffdavison

    jeffdavison Formula 3
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    Jul 29, 2002
    2,247
    Suwanee Georgia
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    Jeffrey Davison
    Put a place holder in for mee also!

    Am really looking forward, not only to driving the track, but I'm a motorcycle guy from waaaay back and their museum, I've heard is fantastic.

    Jeff
     
  6. Mike C

    Mike C F1 Veteran
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    Several years ago we participated in a Birmingham "Italian Day" (sister city celebration, I think). After the street fair/concours, that night we had a private showing at the Barber Museum in its old location, with Phil Hill (!) as our guest speaker. Yes, the museum is quite amazing, even though I'm not much of a motorcycle person. Of course, he also had real, historic race cars mounted on the walls and in other displays.
     
  7. Mike C

    Mike C F1 Veteran
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    I talked to the two "Davids" today, and apparently they mis-calculated. We're still going to find a way to make this happen, but it looks like it will be a 1-day event, just a Saturday. The date may change, but it will still be in the Spring, and price will be in the $275-$300 range to cover costs, depending on how much participation we get. As I get more details, I'll share them with the group. If we do have to have "run groups" instead of just having it "open" like we do at Talladega, we shouldn't have to have more than two, staggering them several times during the day, so everyone will still get in lots of drive time. Tommy, since you've done around 100 laps on that track at various times with the Porsche group, how do they usually arrange their day? And do they require any mandatory safety equipment besides a proper helmet? Under what circumstances do they allow passengers? I know the answers to those questions may be specific to the Porsche group, but they may also be mandates of the track management/insurance.

    It looks like we'll open it up as a "Ferraris and Friends" event again (I do like those), allowing other exotics such as Lamborghinis, NSXs, Vipers, and higher end Porsches. Other sports cars will be put on a waiting list to fill in any empty slots or late cancellations. I'm hoping to have an "open session" at lunchtime for other folks like we did at Talladega.

    Each registered car can bring one guest or extra driver included in that price. Other/additional/outside guests will probably be $20 each.

    All details are still being worked out and subject to change. I welcome suggestions along the way!

    Mike
     
  8. GREENHOUSE

    GREENHOUSE Karting

    Nov 7, 2003
    56
    Alabama
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    MIKE
    I LIKE THE IDEA FOR FERRARI AND FRIENDS.KEEP US POSTED WITH INFO I WOULD LIKE TO TRY THIS EVENT WITH THE TR BUT ILL BRING THE C/T FOR BACK UP.
     
  9. Dr Tommy Cosgrove

    Dr Tommy Cosgrove Two Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 4, 2001
    28,455
    Birmingham, AL
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    Tommy
    Porsche runs in groups but keep in mind that they have a really big turnout. The run groups are based on your ranking in the "Driver's Education" track sessions (which happens to be ALL their track sessions). It's 5 groups plus an instructors group. Group 1 is the least experienced and 5 the most.

    Everyone must have a helmet and all convertibles must have a roll cage. No one is allowed on the track without an instructor. Instructors are club members who have "graduated" out of group 5, not some employee of the Porsche Experience at Barber's. Someone is assigned to at least one or two people in each group. Presently, I am in group 4

    This system isn't practical for us Ferrari guys because their just isn't enough of us to go around. A better way to run for us is how it has always been done in FCA, Touring and Sport groups.

    I will tell you that Barber's is a fast track. In other words, an inexperienced driver with a really fast car (348's and up) will most likely find the grass often. Not only that but the track line seems to be a problem for even experienced drivers. I have seen several "instructors" who have no idea how to drive Barber's (remember, they were promoted elsewhere). Most of my time on Barber's has been with a guy who was involved with developing the track and has won on it in HSR so I have a good basic understanding of it.

    In my opinion, we should go Touring and Sport groups just like Road Atlanta. I do not want to piss off George Barber with a bunch of wrecked Ferraris on our first official showing from the FCA.

    I will be happy to help you organize this event in any way I can. Just let me know what I can do.
     
  10. Dr Tommy Cosgrove

    Dr Tommy Cosgrove Two Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 4, 2001
    28,455
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    Tommy
    I almost forgot. PLEASE try to NOT book the same weekend as the Mitty in Atlanta.
     
  11. Mike C

    Mike C F1 Veteran
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    I like the idea of Touring and Sports groups. For those of you who aren't familiar with them, definitions are basically:

    Touring: Passing only in designated area(s), usually just the main/front straight; top speed generally 60-70mph; SA 95 or SA2000 helmet required. This run group is primarily for less experienced or casual drivers.

    Sports: Passing on any of the straights when signalled by driver ahead of you; no limit on top speed; SA 95 or SA2000 helmet required; in-car fire extinguisher securely mounted; fire-retardant driving suit including Nomex or Proban socks and fire-retardant gloves.

    Of course, depending on our group, we *may* change that around a bit, such as by opening up the top speed in the touring group. Some of the restrictions may be elements of track policy or insurance requirements.

    As Tommy said, we want to keep the day safe and sane. In many of our events at Road Atlanta, we have multiple accidents during a driving weekend. In the 10 years I've participated in or hosted events at Talladega Grand Prix, we've NEVER had anyone hurt or a car damaged beyond one cracked front spoiler. The Barber track is "safer" than Road Atlanta in that it has been designed with fewer walls to hit and better run-off areas, but it is still an very challenging track.

    By the way, for those of you looking ahead at getting ready, at
    www.TradeTutor.com/raceprep
    you can find a plan for an in-car fire extinguisher mount that's now being used across the country, and has been accepted at all FCA events where an in-car secure mount has been a requirement.

    TOMMY: What weekend is Mitty? Road Atlanta doesn't have 2004 events up on their website yet.
     
  12. Tspringer

    Tspringer F1 Veteran

    Apr 11, 2002
    6,155
    count me in!

    terrycspringer@yahoo.com

    I'll likely have sold the 308 by then, but will bring the 911S track car. I may also bring the Daytona and cruise a few laps in it as well.

    Terry
     
  13. GREENHOUSE

    GREENHOUSE Karting

    Nov 7, 2003
    56
    Alabama
    Full Name:
    MIKE
    Is their any news on the track event.
     
  14. Mike C

    Mike C F1 Veteran
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    David B. had originally expected to get that Saturday as a "give up" from a motorcycle club who originally booked the entire weekend, but was too late in getting it locked in, and they gave that date to someone else. He mentioned that the BMW club had the track for a weekend in the Spring but might be willing to give up a day. Meanwhile, we're now on a waiting list for a Spring date.

    The track DOES (at the moment) have the Saturdays on either end of Spring Break, but I'm thinking that may take out too many potential participants as folks often travel during that time for family vacation.

    The Barber track is almost always fully booked for either competitive race weekends, or by the Porsche Club for their driver education events (it's now their "home track"), or by car manufacturers for testing and demo days (even mid-week). But we're still working on it.
     
  15. GREENHOUSE

    GREENHOUSE Karting

    Nov 7, 2003
    56
    Alabama
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    MIKE
    ARE YOU STILL GOING TO HAVE A TRACK DATE IN THE SPRING AT TALLADGEA? THE BARBER TRACK EVENT SOUNDS LIKE IT'S NOT GOING TO BE EASY TO GET A DATE.
     
  16. Mike C

    Mike C F1 Veteran
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    If it turns out we can't get Barber, we'll do Talladega again.
     
  17. PWehmer

    PWehmer Formula 3

    Oct 15, 2002
    1,733
    Surrounded by Water
    Posting the info once you get this going in the LA section would be a good idea.
     
  18. GREENHOUSE

    GREENHOUSE Karting

    Nov 7, 2003
    56
    Alabama
    Full Name:
    MIKE
    GAS AND GO COUNT ME IN
     
  19. 360girliegirl

    360girliegirl Rookie

    Nov 6, 2003
    34
    Fultondale, AL
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    Jennifer Howell
    Any more info on this yet?
     
  20. Tpup

    Tpup Rookie

    Nov 2, 2003
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    Roswell, GA
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    Roy
    I'd love to go, I sent you an e-mail...

    Thanks

    Roy
     
  21. Mike C

    Mike C F1 Veteran
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    OK, we've been able to get a date for the Barber track. We weren't able to get on as "host", but we will be guests of the RPM Autosport group.

    Saturday, March 13 is the day! We've been given room for 15 Ferraris... and we've already fliled six of those spots.

    Details and sign-up info is on the Event Calendar at our websites,
    www.fca-se.com and www.fca-se.org


    .
     
  22. Mike C

    Mike C F1 Veteran
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    I think we now have about 4 spots left...
     
  23. Mike C

    Mike C F1 Veteran
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    We're now full, but ready to start a waiting list, as there's often one or two people who have to drop out for one reason or another.

    If you want to get on the waiting list, contact Tommy Cosgrove by phone
    (contact info at www.fca-se.org)
     
  24. Mike C

    Mike C F1 Veteran
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    FYI, I have confirmed that passengers will be allowed to accompany drivers on the track, but they must have an SA95 or SA2000 rated helmet -- motorcyle helmets (even if Snell M2000 rated) are NOT acceptable.
     
  25. Mike C

    Mike C F1 Veteran
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    If you didn't get in as registered to drive your Ferrari on the track, you *can* come for the day as a guest or spectator and watch and ride as a passenger (if you have a proper helmet).

    If you're the guest of one of the registrants, we have to put your name in ahead of time on the "VIP List" and your admission will be free. If you're a "spectator", then the track will charge you a small amount to let you in (probably $5-$10).
     

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