Jul 30, 2001
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This report just in from Tom Shields of RPM Racing, the WERA South Central affiliate:<BR><BR>On Sunday, July 29th, RPM officially tested with the Riders Committee at No Problem Raceway Park in Louisiana. A couple of Committee members were not able to make it so substitutes were taken to get good feedback. Riders testing the track were Pete Martins, Chad Smith, Mitch Fuselier, John Casley, Ty Stranger-Thorsen and Greg Abbott. David Hirsch (Michelin-Island Racing) and Bill Capshaw (Dunlop-ICE Motorsports) were also on hand to assist. <BR><BR>The riders were there to give input on potential hazards for run-off. There were two sections (out of turn 9s & 14) that needed modifications and the NPR staff and owner were more than happy to make sure we have a safe racetrack. In a matter of only 15 minutes the NPR staff had removed drag strip walls (turn 14) at our request. Note: The track map on the NPR website ( not accurate. John Casley had a GPS on his bike and will be getting the track map available in short order. <BR><BR>The asphalt mixed with limestone showed amazing grip. The drap strip is not slick since you enter it after the drag strip finish line (turn 14 is the last turn going onto the drag strip). Greg Abbott was shown with an unofficial fast lap time of 1:20.72. Since this is a 1.8-mile track, it will be as faster than Oak Hill and Hallett. <BR><BR>Riders found the track to have plenty of run-off in 90 percent of the areas, very technical with many double-appex corners, late-appex turns and so many lines to choose from they almost felt lost all day. Riders also found that the circuit flows very well. While the land is flat, the turns have positive camber built into almost every turn. <BR><BR>The track was not ready until 11:00 a.m. (waiting on ambulance and clean-up/prep). Once practice started at 11:00 a.m., we were delayed by two rain showers passing through. Finally the day was going by 1:00 p.m. <BR><BR>There were approximately three practice sessions where riders went onto the track and come off to give input. The NPR staff was there all day to listen and take notes. The day ended with a mock start to figure out the best suited placement of the grid. <BR><BR>The owners were asked for several additions to the facility and the NPR staff asked numerous times for input from everyone. <BR><BR>As a side note, Ty Stranger-Thorsen's truck window was busted out when several riders/wives went into New Orleans to have a little fun. His leathers, boots and gloves were stolen along with his wife's purse. Needless to say, the owners of NPR said to stay away from New Orleans when we are all there in September.