Home Forums Road Racing Grattan Raceway open test day

This topic contains 13 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Sean S 4 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #33341

    Robert Lawson

    I had no interest in doing this at the seasons end but got multiple request to look into it.

    This is all that is available for open weekend dates:

    October 18 or 19 and the 25th or 26th. The track will close for the season after these dates.

    Although the cost for that time of season is reduced so is the time to get interested participants paid in advance. I’m always open to “playing” but really have no motivation to follow through if there isn’t enough drivers to make it affordable.

    I have 5-7 guys that asked to get this started but a minimum number is right at 15. That would keep it under $200 per driver (or kart if you share a ride) and includes EMT and corner personnel.

    Let your thoughts be known or send me an e-mail.



  • #33408

    Robert Lawson

    Good to see the interest, keep the e-mails coming guys. At this rate we’ll have 15 in no time!!!

    It’s got me wound up now, checked into having my shattered pipe copied and will probably alter my spare to test. I was ready to call it a season but….ah what the heck!

    The 18th sounds the smartest choice to me, the sooner the better with the impending doom of Winter looming. Well see what the majority wants to do.

    More soon,


  • #33467

    Robert Lawson

    Maybe I should change the title of this thread to “International Test Day at Grattan Raceway”.

    Yes, we have interested participants from the Great White North of Canada!!!

    Super surprised at how many AND how quickly guys have shown interest in a late season test.

    We still have room for a couple more…..


  • #33615

    Robert Lawson

    I’m sure we’ll have more than 15 guys so the deposit will go out on Monday.

    The 18th will be secure and if no one rents Sunday that will be our rain date.

    As usual, the call to cancel will have to come by 7am Saturday. If it’s rrrning (not a type-O!) already and is forcast to continue then its a no brainer. If not, ya’ll better be there early if you want a vote in how to move forward.

    There is no refund but they always give us a chance to make it up if we call it off by the cut off time.

    JW has talked me into doing Lunch for ya’ll so that will be included as well. We have volunteers to do pick-up so all the angles are covered.

    I’ll be asking you to pre pay shortly, Big Daddy isn’t loaded and can not afford to take it in the rear boys!

    At 15 drivers were going to start at $170 each, if we get more I’ll hand you each a few bucks back at the track. No cost to spectate but Lunch is reserved for EMT’s, Corner Personnel, Drivers and Crew. (unless your from DKC and drop in!!!!! ;) )

    Got my spare pipe blasted and cut, need to fit it up and mark it so I can weld it together for the test.

    Looking forward to seeing ya’ll!


  • #34091

    Robert Lawson

    Its that time fellas!

    As I mentioned above I secured the date so it’s time to send a check or MO.

    Please include a note with driver or drivers name and kart classification. Need the names for the Track and kart formula helps to determine any massive difference is speeds. First and fore mostly we practice the SAFETY of all involved. This is OUR track day together as a group, each persons comfort level must be considered and respected.

    The total number of karts will be very limited so finding open space should be easy to find. We are not there to “race” one another, it is a TEST day. Testing is very much like a qualifying session, clear running fast laps. You’ll only be able to accurately compare data from other runs if you can simulate those runs.

    There will be plenty of time at the end of the day, when most if not all “testing” is done. Maybe we can talk JW into setting up his famous “handicap” run-off from past test days. Tons of fun packed into just 4-5 laps. The theory is to start karts off at predetermined intervals so each will finish at the same time! JW has been pretty close with this in the past and Mr. Howden was present at one event and did his inspired announcing of it as well. I have that on VHS tape and it was a pretty unique and fun way to end the day. I STILL think I was cheated out of a lap but we won’t get into that!!!! ;)

    If nothing else we can do a 2 x 2 rolling start (or 2!!!) with all of us starting together, that is always fun at the big circuits as well.

    To some this is a repetitive message but there will be some drivers attending in new-to-them rides and some new to Grattan altogether so for them…..it should be really exciting!

    Shoot me an e-mail and I’ll get you and address to send your entry.

    More soon,


  • #34604

    Robert Lawson

    I guess making a commitment scared a few guys away.

    Understandable I suppose if you take into consideration the way a standard race or event is handled. It’s been quite some time since we were able to even change classes in the same day at an event let alone be allowed to transfer an entry to the next day because of rain.

    This isn’t an “event” though. As I stated before if it is raining in the early AM or forecast to rain all day we can call it off and try again the next day. IF it were forecast to rain all weekend we would be allowed to reschedule for the last available weekend offered which is the 25th-26th. You will NEVER see that at a race event.

    So, its not exactly a “guarantee” so to speak but it is the next best option. If you paid in advance and didn’t show up for the scheduled date and it was rescheduled I’d still hold your spot on that day as a paid participant. You may not get on my Christmas card list but you would still be welcome. On the other hand, if you paid in advance and did not show up and we ran the day anyway you are out of luck!

    Looking at the long range forecast I don’t see anything in the way of us getting this done on the scheduled day. We should still be seeing temps in the 60’s. To have this course exclusively to yourself with 14 others is a unique opportunity and will probably never happen again.

    I do not generally do this but I will accept same-day at the gate entries. They will be at an elevated rate of $200 per driver and will be on a cash basis only.

    If anything changes you will be updated here.


  • #34842

    Robert Lawson

    Still looking for a few more…….

    I tried to cut a deal for just a 1/2 day but Sam was not interested.

    We have 2 more weeks to go so I’m not giving up just yet.

  • #34957

    Robert Lawson

    After speaking with one of the guys it was brought to my attention that I made a bit of a mistake.

    *To those waiting/watching the weather*

    Accepting entry at the track will only be possible if we are actually there! In a nut shell, if we don’t get the minimum number required to pay the rental before 10-16-14 I’ll cancel and there will be no test day to take part in.

    If we were within 2 entries I’d take that chance and take it upon myself to be responsible to pay the bit we are short.

    The weather in the past week or so must have had some effect as this thing just went backward from the initial requests. But, were a full 5 short now and that is far more than I want to spend to test for Daytona.

    I’ll wait until Thursday (10-16) to make a call.


  • #35146

    Robert Lawson

    Belding MI. weather as of right now, for 10-18-14:

    Sun and Clouds, Highs in the mid 50’s. Chance of R: 20%

  • #35215

    Robert Lawson

    Good to see the interest picked back up, I was getting worried it was going to crash out!

    I went through the motions of R&R on the kart in hope of us still getting this in. Just a gear change and mounting fronts and I’m ready to go.

    Sam called today, he mentioned someone contacting him about race fuel. He is having the tanks pumped out this week but did say he would hold a couple cans of 110. If you’ll need race gas I suggest calling the office and letting him know. They have a machine, leave a message to be sure he holds it for you.

    Sam: 616-691-7221

  • #35399

    Robert Lawson

    Well it’s certainly not going to be a scorcher on Saturday but I’m confident we’ll get this thing in.

    Latest forecast is AM clouds/PM Sun, Precip @ 20%, Chance of a morning shower and a high of 48.

    The last time we did an October test it was so cold at 6:30 am that when I came out of the trailer and that air hit me I almost wet my pants! Crystal clear and 36 that morning, it took until 10 am before I bothered to take any runs but it went well that day. It was forecast to be 45 and with the sun it got into the mid 50’s.

    I love Grattan, it truly is a living organism! History has proven that the local forecast means very little on those grounds. It will be slick, the natural spring may be pumping water up through the track at T10, and with the wind the jump will be a test of balls. Should make for some great video!!!!

    Looking forward to the JW handicap race at the end of the day too.

    Rich and I will be there by 7PM Friday and the gate will be open until 11pm or so. Not chancing it in the trailer this time, the 2nd floor of the tower is heated and will make a sweet bungalow for comfy sleeping. Plenty of space up there if anyone wants to crash.

    Safe trip fellas, see ya’ll Saturday!


  • #35568

    Robert Lawson

    Once again we were last to leave yesterday and didn’t get home until after 9pm.

    I have an early run uploading to You Tube now and should be up in just a bit.

    The “Bungalow” in the scoring room of the Tower was just fabulous! Toasty warm up there and made changing into driving gear super comfy too! Thanks to the Management at Grattan for hooking us up with that!!!!!

    Got started a little late because of some moisture in a few corners. Curt ran the blower and I was out there with a broom trying to help the breeze dry things out. Especially on that dreaded sealer.

    We did a rolling start play race at the end of the day that got me hustling the kart pretty good. I was trying to stay with and eventually run down Tommy Barth in his TM CIK shifter which produced some super laps times for the weather and conditions. We ran 8-10 laps or so then pulled off. Unfortunately my inexperience with the Go Pro (I prefer the VIO cam) had me select the wrong filming format and the race video started and stopped before I ever got into the kart. Think I held the record button down too long and it shot a short???

    I must thank all the guys that participated, and a spectator or 2!!! We were a few guys short of the number we wanted and they came through and helped me soften the loss. Thanks to all of you!!!

    The Management went over and above with Lunch. I supplied the Dogs and Chips. THEY cooked it for us so it would be ready at the break, provided an entire spread to go with it, all in a heated garage + set up tables and chairs for us all to relax and eat together! I appreciate them renting us their “backyard” for the day and being good hosts to boot!!!!!

    The video will be up soon.


  • #35574

    Robert Lawson

    Here is the video.

    The 2GB cards just don’t do it for time. They are left overs from the Original non HD GoPro I have. Somehow forgot the 16GB cards which is why I couldn’t film with the VIO cam.

    The trees looks sweet!



  • #35577

    Sean S


    Thank you very much for the invite to this closed testing event. It was my first time at Grattan and it was an amazing experience. Even though it was a bit on the chill side, the weather held out and it was perfect Fall karting. The mini race at the end was a blast and I was finally able to see how fast your kart really was… as you rip past me, lapping me like I was standing still. Also tell the track crew that I will be available for grass cutting next season :) I want to thank the corner workers, cooks, racers/crew who showed up, anyone else I may be forgetting and especially Robert for putting it all out there and making this event possible. I hope there is still a possibility for this to happen again. See you guys next season!


    Tony Kart / Leopard

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