Fellow ACFL members and Audi enthusiasts,
We are pleased to announce the opening of a new Audi point in Pensacola at 6301 Pensacola Blvd, and along with that the new Emerald Coast Region of the Audi Club of Florida with Travis Kiser who can be reached at [email protected]. as the new region lead. This region is planned as the new paradigm for ACFL going forward in which our regions will be centered around a supporting Audi Point as it’s home base. More on that in future issues of newsletters. The dealership along with the new Emerald Coast Region will be serving the needs of ACFL members and Audi owners from Biloxi to the west and Atchafalaya to the east and all points north and in between. The first organizational meet is planned on May 27th with a cars and coffee between 8-10am central time. In addition there will be a tour of the their new facility, A gathering of the minds on planning further events down the road will take place around 9:30. Those of you who are ACNA members and live outside of Florida in neighboring Mississippi and Alabama and received this newsletter are more than welcome to attend. There are no ACFL dues and if you would like to receive our news letter in the future just drop me a line and we will place you on the mailing list. Nothing like getting in on the ground level. Make sure to check out the new dealership in Pensacola at Audi Pensacola.
Be rest assured, it is not that Florida has any plans for expansion beyond our boarders. No Anschluss planned here we have enough going on, but now we will have an operating region close to areas in two states that for many years unfortunately have not had an ACNA presents.
A number of members from the First Coast Region joined in on ground breaking ceremonies for a second Audi Point in Jacksonville. It is planned that the new Audi Jacksonville dealership will be opening in December 2017. Both points are part of the Hanania Automotive Group.
Finally, If you have an idea for an activity or an interest in planning and executing an event in one of our four active regions, Emerald Coast, Frist Coast, Gold Coast or Gulf Coast, drop me a line at [email protected]. I will put you in touch with the appropriate region leads and let us see if we can get something rolling. This can be anything from a meet up at a car show, place to gather for a breakfast, lunch or supper or perhaps a technical meet at your local Audi dealership similar to our recent car care event at Audi Tampa. Drives of course take a bit more planning but if there is a group of you that has an idea, know an interesting drive, an end location for a good meal and are willing to work on its’ planning and execution, we have done a number of those in the past and they are always great fun. It is not too early to plan a drive in one of the regions for the fall when it will be a little cooler.
The photo of the Audi above was taken at their corporate storage facility in Ingolstadt, which unfortunately is not open to the public. The second Audi can be found in Munich at the Deutsches Museum Verkehrszentrum. There are two additional fantastic auto museums that are well worth at least half a day to explore, not only cars but planes, trains and military vehicles. One museum is in Sinsheim, at the Auto & Technik Museum Sinsheim. In fact the collection is so big that there is a second museum; the Speyer Technik Museum in Speyer. A good place to spend at least another half day.
Down the Road
May 6, 2017
Gulf Coast Region
Cars and Coffee Reeves Motorsport 6:30-8:30 AM
Reeves Motorsport Tampa
May 13, 2017
Gulf Coast Region Cars and Coffee
Audi Clearwater 8:00-9:30 AM
May 27, 2017
Emerald Coast Region
Cars and Coffee 8:00-10:00 AM Central
RSVP to [email protected] by Friday May 26th
June 17, 2017
Gulf Coast Region
Drop the Flag for the 24 Hours of LeMans at Reeves Porsche
Additional information and RSVP link in the June newsletter
Some final thoughts:
Recently I was talking with a fellow who knows a heck of a lot more about racing than I and he was both analyzing and dissecting Sebring. The discussion went along the following lines. Now I have noticed that it has seemed to have change a bit lately, a lot of more cautions, longer cautions, certainly it seemed like fewer reasons for full track cautions, whether I was track side or watching on TV, more bunching up of the field for restarts etc., He mentioned somewhat sarcastically that one could almost set a stopwatch by the caution flags. That was enough to start one thinking, of course none of it being scientific or based on facts. Viola, all of a sudden after 12 hours and 24 hours of racing, some very close finishes, oh yes we had close finishes in the past but we also had blow outs when one car was clearly far superior to all of the others and it showed it, now more of the latter. Is the competition leveling off, becoming that tight, or is something else happening? Yes there are cliff hangers and it makes for great excitement and everyone wants to stay for that last lap and in real life they do happen on occasion, but also in real life one car, one driver, one team, one combination, of all of the above really dominates the field hands down. Perhaps with all of this leveling of the field due to a full course cautions so everyone can catch up to the leader, perhaps that best car, best driver, best team by the luck of the draw gets a wheel scrubbed in a restart and is spun. What happened to that 8/9th of a lap safety margin lead prior to the unnecessary full track caution?. Yes that is racing, will always be racing but this is also a leveling of the competition and frankly I maintain, that is not racing.
Racing is a business first and foremost. If Bill France could not have sold someone a seat on an empty sand dune there would not have been a Daytona race on the beach. let alone the empire he would later build. And there are all sorts of different kind of automobile competition, sprint, endurance, rally, and variations on a theme. What I find interesting is that endurance races, the old Fire Cracker 400, 12 Hours of Sebring, 24 Hours at Daytona or LeMans, some of which were never originally live broadcast seem to have changed. Now I believe the Fire Cracker was back in the late 60’s but the only time there was a caution was when someone wrecked and unfortunately that was fairly often and generally not a pleasant scene. In those days the NASCAR of Fireball Roberts, and Stephens Pontiac of Daytona it was an endurance race, no forced full track yellows to bunch up the pack for photo finishes. One had be a clear winner even if you built a 7/8ths car. Those were endurance races as were Sebring and Daytona after the Speedway was built. Unfortunately, I think the latter may have become sprint race, almost races within races or between the yellow flags which seem to be about time for refueling when all of a sudden there is full track yellow. The leaders bunch up and then everyone gets to refuel. What happened to the best engine that got the best fuel economy and still provided the most horsepower and the best driver who was still the fastest after 400 or 500 miles and 12 or 24 hours? I may and probably am totally off base on all of this but it almost seems that the 24 Hours at Daytona and especially Sebring are looking more and more like NASCAR, which should not be a surprise. Who runs what? Now is that exciting racing for the fans, probably and possibly so, cliff hanger finishes and of course that sell more seats on a sand dune. Bill France was a genius except watch out for the fire ants at Sebring if you are sitting on the sand. Is that good for racing, probably so for the business side. The France family, its heirs and empire has had a long run, but the jury may still be out for the purely racing side. To a few, attendance at Sebring was down this year and seemed to continue a trend. Once again why, cars, drivers, format such as the technical race within a race, Racing is the realm of engineers, mathematicians, steely eyed intense still fearless drivers, camp followers and the wannabe’s. Those teams, which are not as strong and may not have earned a podium finish get a stronger shot at it with all of the yellows. Almost reeks of participation trophies. Somehow I feel that this artificial leveling of the field hurts those teams that at times should have won had it not been for those proverbial “that’s just racing” incidents.
Not that everything in racing was better in the good old days, quite frankly, it was anything but. I recall too many years back receiving my monthly Road & Tracks and in a number of successive issues reading Rob Walker’s accounts of Formula 1 Grand Prix drivers’ unfortunate last laps. Thank goodness it has become incremental safer but at a very high price. When one thinks of it, perhaps those chaps are unfortunately forever young. It is the rest of us who have aged. Speeds may have been slower but the danger was exponentially higher no matter what one was driving. It was more than just a little different then when the late Paul Newman who cut his teeth racing B510’s was asked, what would he rather been awarded an Oscar or an SCCA championship. His laconic reply was something to the effect and without out mentioning which one, “one is a popularity contest”, my words here, in other words even then it meant nothing and “the other is clearly earned”. With all of the yellow flags, the full track cautions and their duration in the endurance races (the ones not for accidents, debris on the track or the occasional stray feline) are we somehow leveling the field and ending up with participation podium finishes for popular teams? One could only wonder what PLN* would have thought?