Turn our Neighborhoods Blue for our Great Cops

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Blue Lights Matter!

With all the media attention these days on supposed police misconduct, we at Nort Northam Collection realize that there are eight hundred thousand dedicated police officers in the United States, and the vast majority of these local heroes work hard to protect us in our communities twenty-four hours a day. 

Social media has made singular events into national concerns, but our officers across the country are uneasy with incidents of ambush and even outright execution.  Some officers rightly feel that no one appreciates the service that they provide and feel alone and separated from their own communities. 

crime-police-lights-night-e1413428046236At Nort Northam Collection, we are friends of our protectors in blue, and we want them to realize it.  So Nort himself acquired three blue bulbs for his house in Winter Park – and now officers on patrol will see that at one address in Winter Park, someone cares. 

We need to spread the word and make all our neighborhoods across the country TURN BLUE in support of our local police, sheriff’s deputies and state police.  So here at Nort Northam Collection, we are giving away blue light bulbs for anyone who wants to show our police officers that we not only care, but we heartily support them.  

So get your blue lights and get them displayed outside your home!  Let’s make our neighborhoods blue!  If you can’t go by Nort’s, go to your local hardware or light bulb store and get blue! 

lbu_logoSpecial thanks to Light Bulbs Unlimited in Winter Park and Avron Satill for helping us with our stock of blue lights.  They are at 1100 West Fairbanks Avenue in Winter Park. 

Stop by Nort Northam Collection at 2600 West Fairbanks Avenue, Winter Park, FL  32789, next to Interstate 4 to get your blue light bulbs.

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VIR Yields Another Disappointment

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Virginia International Raceway is a great race course with a lot of history in sports car racing.  It has handed out its share of joy, but not for NortSport Racing this past weekend.  For the second race weekend in a row, there were no points towards the championship.

Through three practice sessions and qualifying, the car did well with only a few small glitches to work around.  But in the first sprint race, a seal in the transaxle decided to fail, putting oil on the tires – and Aaron Jones windshield close behind.transmission

That was the end of the weekend for NortSport.

Racing in any form, whether it be professional or amateur, requires dedication and preparation.  Experience is a cruel teacher, and it is said that wisdom comes from making mistakes.  While NortSport has had two disappointing race weekends – Watkins Glen and VIR – the NortSport group is optimistic that there is still hope for a repeat championship run this year.

SO…help Nort keep his chin up by emailing him with encouragement at NortNortham@Earthlink.net, or better yet, stop by the Nort Northam Collection at 2600 West Fairbanks Avenue in Winter Park and tell him to keep trying.  Two championships back to back would be awesome!

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VIR is NEXT!

Well, Watkins Glen was not something that we really want to talk about.  A DNF in the enduro wasn’t part of the plan.  But, an update is needed to be sure we are all on the same page.

After a little decompressing in North Carolina, Nort brought his wounded race car home for some much needed R&R – not rest and relaxation, but repair and replace.  Transmission toasted, starter issues, reference sensor wiring issues – all needing help.  It was not going to be an easy turn-around for VIR on the weekend of the 25th.

The transmission in the car was the “spare” gearbox, in the car until the primary could get rebuilt.  So changing them was already in the cards.  With the car on the lift, just turning the rear wheels resulted in noises that sounded like they were made in hell.  So first, the trans came out, but not before draining the oil and seeing what stories it could tell.  Well, it told us nothing – clean oil, no metal, and once disconnected from the drive tube, no noises.  The gearbox was NOT the culprit…it was fine.  Could it be the driveshaft?

The driveshaft tube was pulled back from the bell housing, and spinning it in its bearings showed that it was fine – not a peep, squeak or rattle.  So whatever was wrong was hiding inside the bell housing.  Yes, the clutch.

It seems that the inside part of the clutch disk had decided to remove itself from the outside part of the clutch disk.  With metal pieces going everywhere, the front reference sensor was damaged, which is why the engine would not run.  Mystery solved – or was it?

On Saturday during the second sprint race, Nort had to coast to the finish line on pit road since the engine died.  Investigation showed that the front reference sensor had a slice in it – yes, like a knife hit it.  So Jim Kneeland (Chief Engineer, Tire Technician and Window Washer) changed the reference sensor – and the car was ready for the Sunday enduro.  (Not so much.)

So Nort went out Sunday morning for the enduro, and all was well for fourteen minutes.  Then the car died, and it was over.  Seems that the clutch let go completely, damaging the new reference sensor and ending the race for him.

Now there is a new clutch, new harness for the reference sensors, new sensors, new starter, and ready for Virginia International Raceway!!

More coming soon!!

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“Well, at least it was Watkins Glen…”

It’s a long drive to Watkins Glen, NY, especially pulling a trailer with a race car.  But it’s The Glen – a wonderful place to visit, with or without a race car in a trailer.  As it turned out at the track, a nice place to visit was the high point of the weekend.

The Porsche Club goes to The Glen once a year.  The weather is normally pretty nice, even though some rain showers are always possible in the Finger Lakes Region.  Weather did threaten a bit, but the schedule of two sprint races on Saturday and the enduro on Sunday held true.

Circuit_Watkins_GlenSaturday – two sprint races.  In the first, Nort finished sixth, frustrated by slower cars and a track that made passing very difficult.  Not to worry – the second sprint would be better.  BUT…there was a problem with the brand-new starter that needed attention before the second race.  A borrowed starter went into the car, and Nort competed in the second sprint.

The race was going well but not quite well enough.  Towards the end of the race, the car started misfiring, then on the last lap it quit altogether – two turns from the finish.  Nort had no choice but to coast to pit lane, crossing start-finish in the pits.  He scored ninth in his class, and had a problem to deal with.

sensorOne of the areas of concern with any 924S/944 is something called a “reference sensor.”  There are two of these that are mounted on the bell housing behind the engine, watching the flywheel and telling the computer 1) that the engine is running and 2) what position the crankshaft is in at any given moment.  Well, it seems that somewhere along the way, one of the leads to the sensors got nicked, and it picked the last lap to fail.  Without a signal, the computer shut off the engine.  Done.

That repair took a bit of “doing” since it is a shielded cable that is very picky about interference from other sources.  Fixed, the car was ready for the ninety-minute enduro the next day.

Sunday morning, and gridded up for the enduro, ready to go.  Ninety minutes of staying out of trouble and passing some cars – easy.  Until…

transmissionTransmissions in Porsches are pretty durable pieces.  They tend to last a while without a lot of attention.  However, this one wanted some attention.  When it didn’t get the attention it wanted, it decided to quit.  Fourteen minutes into the enduro.  Done.

So the racing weekend was a bit disappointing – sixth, ninth, and DNF.

But it was Watkins Glen.

 

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Next Stop: Watkins Glen

The next race on the schedule is at Watkins Glen, New York on the weekend of June 3-5.  This historic track was the home of the Formula One Grand Prix of the United States between 1961 and 1980, and has been a favorite for almost every road racing series since 1956.  Initially the public roads in the Village of Watkins Glen provided great sports car racing, then moving to the dedicated race track.

Porsche Club Racing visits The Glen once a year in early June.  This event is always a big thing, on par with Sebring and Daytona International.  The track is full of history, given the long list of famous drivers who have competed there.  Watkins Glen International is a great example of how sports car racing evolved following World War II, and how it continues to evolve today.

This is not the first time that Nort Northam Racing has made the trek to the Finger Lakes Region of New York for the PCA Club Race.  Nort has raced here over fifteen times since 1986, and has shown a lot of success.  His experience includes IMSA, SVRA, HSR and PCA races, to name a few.

Preparation includes an alignment and changing fluids, along with the normal checks of bolts, etc.  Making sure that the car is corner balanced will top things off.  Washing the car to be sure that the Kelly Green is bright enough will make the weekend a lot of fun.

Watkins Glen is one of Nort’s favorite tracks, and his experience there shows that fact.  Watch this blog for more on Watkins Glen AND Virginia International Raceway this summer!

 

 

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Another Win at Road Atlanta!

Nort Northam Racing chalked another PCA SP2 Enduro win at Road Atlanta during the weekend of April 2-3, lapping the whole SP2 field except the second place car, which ended up almost a full lap behind.  Coupled with a solid second-place finish in the Saturday sprint race, the weekend was another successful step towards a repeat of his 2015 Championship season.

The weather in Atlanta wasn’t looking great for the weekend with a cold front moving through on Thursday night, bringing high winds, “sideways rain,” and reports of hail to the greater Atlanta area.  At the track, there was plenty of rain to soak the facility.  Road Atlanta is famous for running rivers of water across the track surface, even after the rain has stops  – and this weekend was no exception.

On the grid in Atlanta (Jim Kneeland photo)

Practice on Friday morning was wet, so it really wasn’t worth the risk to practice.  In mid-morning, the clouds parted and the sun came out, so a couple of laps to check out the car were in order.

Saturday morning was qualifying, and Nort put the Kelly Green 924S high in the field for SP2.  The afternoon sprint race was quite a race, but second was the best he could muster with all the traffic.  Sunday would be a different story.

It all came together in the Sunday morning enduro – ninety minutes that saw Nort ahead of everyone, then passing almost everyone again.  Finishing first, the second place car was only twenty seconds or so ahead at the line, but was himself just beginning the last lap.  Lapping the field is a great way to win a race.

Of course, none of this would be possible without Jim Kneeland, the professor behind the curtain, pulling the levers and pushing the buttons.  Getting the car ready for Atlanta including suspension work, alignments and a little wiring at the track to stay within the rules for 2016.  Without Jim, Nort would get lost getting to the grid on Saturday morning!

 

So two enduro wins and two sprint race seconds to start the 2016 season.  Great job to Nort and Jim!

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Nort Posts Win at Sebring 48 Hours

Nort Northam in his PCA Club Racing SP2 924S went to the opening race of the season at Sebring International Raceway.  This annual event opens the PCA racing season with a full slate of racing over three days.

Nort and trophies with car.jpgThe weekend started on Thursday night with the Awards Banquet for the 2015 PCA Club Racing season.  After a great year, Nort picked up his National Championship trophy for his class, SP2.  In addition to the National Championship, Nort also picked up the Southeast Division Championship for the 944 Cup at the same time – it was a great year.

Racing started on Friday with practice and qualifying.  Nort qualified second, with fellow Florida Citrus Region PCA members Fred Beasley in first and Aaron Jones behind in third.

nort and car ready to race.jpgOn Saturday there were two thirty-minute Sprint races.  In the first sprint race was held when the weather was dry, and it was a race to the finish between Nort and Fred.  Fred won by a scant ten feet!

Later in the day was the second sprint race, with Nort and Fred again battling it out for the lead.  With about ten minutes left, the rains came and Fred won again, with Nort in second.

Sunday was the ninety-minute enduro.  Even though the race ended under caution, Nort and his green 924S crossed the line in first place, scoring his first win of the 2016 season just a few days before his sixty-eighth birthday!

Special recognition goes to Jim Kneeland, the genius behind not only suspension setup but also at-track support.  Someone has to help get Nort find the grid!

The next race is at Road Atlanta on the first weekend in April.  Check back for more on Nort’s racing season.

 

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