Hallett Motor Racing Circuit – NASA Summer Shoot Out
Hallett Motor Racing Circuit – NASA Summer Shoot Out June 9-10, 2018
This was our very first racing road trip with our race car. David had never driven this track, and I’d only been there once over a decade prior for a driver’s education event. It was our first foray into learning a new track while trying to crank out decent lap times—YouTube footage was useful to get an idea of the elevation changes and the layout, but we still had to figure out gear shifts and braking points that best for our car.
Another lesson we learned was about what to bring with us. We brought with us basic tools, an extra set of wheels and tires, and extra, extra set of tires (just in case), a couple of camping gazebos (SO critical for shade when you don’t have an enclosed trailer—one to cover the car and one to cover us), a cooler with water and Gatorade, protein bars and other healthy-ish snacks, and of course our safety gear. It was a lot more than we’d ever taken to MSR Cresson.
But the lesson we learned (thankfully not firsthand) is that sometimes you have to be able to do repairs between races. Control arms, tie rods, even spare fenders, and more can be crucial to finishing a race weekend or leaving early. We’re now collecting spare car parts when we find them in hopes that we never need them.
Another lesson? Even when you arrive right when the track opens on unloading day, people will be there before that and you might not get an ideal spot for working on a car. Try changing wheels and tires on wet grass with a floor jack—we made it work but it could have been easier if we’d prepared better. A staked down tarp or even garage tile squares are coming with us next time.
Other than learning a lot about a new track and racing road trips, we had a blast. NASA Texas put on a great event and the people who were working were so helpful and made sure the weekend ran on schedule. It definitely helped that David was able to bring home the car’s first two race wins in our class and we left the weekend with the car in the same great condition it was in when we arrived.
Huge thanks to Classic BMW for the amazing build, to the NASA Texas staff for a great event, to Hallett’s staff for hosting us, to Chuck Redfearn for lending us his truck and trailer, and to Carolyn Record for watching our kids so we could go play with cars.
See you at the next round!