167532012 TrackChaser Report #47--Waterford Raceway, Ireland
- Jul 2, 2012TrackChasers:
Greetings from the Dublin Airport. After Pam finished her conference at the University College of Cork, we returned to touring and racing in Ireland on the weekend.
On Saturday we visited the Blarney Castle and the infamous Blarney Stone. We had hoped for an autograss race from the Mallow Autograss Club, but neither Roland nor I ever did figure out exactly in which town it was supposed to be or even if the meeting was on or canceled, so we didn't do that.
On Sunday Pam and I did finally add a new country to our TrackChasing resumes. As we left Cork for the last time and headed north towards Dublin, we made a slight detour for the Sunday races at the Waterford Raceway. Will has Waterford listed as a paved oval on ARR, but this one stretches the bounds of the definition of oval track to the limit. After seeing it, I would probably consider it a road circuit, but for now I'll stick with Will's ruling to keep consistent with ARR. I did take pictures of the track which I will send to will and perhaps he will decide to reclassify the track. If he does, I'll change it on RTR to remain consistent. My guess is that it will remain catagorized as an oval with a note as to its shape, as did Mothar Mountain in Queensland, Australia after I also sent Will photos for analysis.
The track website said the meeting started at 12:00 noon, sharp! We found that this was not the case at all. We arrived quite early, before 11:00. Unlike the NI tracks visited last week, there was no program with a schedule of events. Roland visited the sign-in building to inquire, but they said they wait to see how many cars show up before deciding on the race schedule. Oh dear. We were in the southeast, but that was the southeast of Ireland, not the US where this type of confusion is the norm. The website also advertised Demo Derby, Drifting, Van Racing, and Caravan Racing, but I saw no signs of any cars for that.
There were seven or eight classes on hand. They were rather blandly named Class 1 through Class 6, as well as Juniors. There was only one entry in the Ladies class, so she ran with the Class 1. Some other classes were combined, which was a good thing. There were a pair of races for each grouping of classes with all cars in the class competing in both. The track itself is very challenging. It's 0.3 miles in length and paved, with some interesting elevation changes. There are a couple of turns in the frontstretch, and they go downhill into the very tight first turn. Other than the top Class 5 and 6 cars, the others hop and even lift the right rear when going through that turn.
If they would have started sharply at noon, we could have seen the racing in dry weather, as all the warmups were run in sunshine. But they were not ready to go until 12:30, then spent ten minutes more trying to find all the corner officials, resulting in a 40 minute late start, the latest of our trip. By then it was raining. Class 1 raced alone with eight cars, including one of the greatest names in oval track racing: Arkaduisz Konieczuy. Not many drivers that I have seen can boast of a "Z" in both names. Class 2 and 3 ran together with nine cars. Class 4-6 was originally announced as racing together, but at the last minute they split Class 4 off on their own and they had 4 cars. Class 5 and 6 were combined. These were the top cars, the ones usually called Hot Rods. They had seven cars. The Junior 1 class had nine. There were a total of 32 cars in the pits, but some cars were used in both the class races and the junior races with different drivers.
Once the races began, they moved the program along very quickly. Once again there was no seating, but there was a dirt mound all the way along the frontstretch for viewing. There were not many spectators on hand. I found two really good spots to watch. By standing in the last turn you could see the entire track better than from anywhere else, although the high infield still block the view a bit. And by standing down in turn one you could see the best turn really well, and also see them coming down the "road course" part on the frontstretch really well, although there were other parts of the track that could not be seen as well as from higher up by the last turn.
Overall, I liked the track and the racing a lot, although they didn't have a large number of cars and were a little laid back in the organization, at least until they got started (or was it because it started raining?). It was great to see racing in my 19th different country. For Pam, it was her 17th different country as she did not go to the races with Will and I in Jamaica, and she did not go with Will and I to Mexico at all. Pam did point out that for the first race in 12 of her 17 different countries, we were with Roland, and that she had seen racing with Roland in three additional countries as well for a total of 15 of her 17, all except Australia and New Zealand. Overall, a delightful little speedway.
Guy & Pam Smith 2012 Summary
2012 Events--Guy 47 / Pam 26
2012 New Tracks--Guy 30 / Pam 24
2012 Total Tracks--Guy 47 / Pam 26
2012 Additional Non Classified Tracks--Guy 6 /
Lifetime Total Tracks--Guy 1,448 / Pam 811
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