Founded in 1973, VARA, the Vintage Auto Racing Association, is by far the largest vintage and historic auto racing and motorsports organization in the United States. On their website it states, "The primary objective of the sport of vintage and historic automobile racing is to promote the preservation of these cars in a racing format that emphasizes safety." Classic sports cars, sport racers, formula cars dating back to post WWII through the 1960's, and a sprinkling of cars from the 1970's and later, are all welcome.
K&N sponsored Madrid drove her hot pink FV1 to her fourth consecutive championship this year.
Madrid's daughter Dana and future Formula Vee racing star, son Chris, give the thumbs-up for mom's latest championship win.
You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone more fervent about VARA, or a more skilled racer than K&N sponsored Kim Madrid. The Rancho Cucamonga, California resident recently drove her hot pink Formula Vee car to a fourth consecutive FV1 championship. We caught up with Madrid and got her take on how 2010 went.
Madrid says this was the most hotly contested season for her so far, winning the title by a mere three points.
Talk a bit about how the season went for you - what was the highlight, and what would you rather forget?
"This season was the closest I have been challenged in points in many years. I did win the championship by three points, but it was tough. Bob Hatle, who normally drives a club Ford formula car (a newer version of a Formula Ford), bought a 1972 Caldwell D-13 Formula Vee, just to race against me in all the VARA races. We were an equal match, being that I have the same exact car. Most of our races had finishes were he won by .004 of a second, or vice versa, with me winning by the same amount of time."
"The highlight of this season was the Victory Lane Formula Vee Challenge Race at VARA's Oktoberfest event. We had a total of 18 Vees for that race. (One broke in practice though making it 17). The racing was very aggressive. There were drivers from the San Francisco SCCA region that came for this event. We had four different classes of Vees running. We even invited the modern Vees to join us. We did have one, and of course he did win the event overall."
"I finish third overall behind Bob, but it was a great race, with positions changing almost every lap. The moment I would like to forget would probably have to be the last race of the season at Willowsprings International Raceway, when I had absolutely nothing to challenge Bob at that race. He totally dominates at that track. My goals are to do many test sessions next season there to get faster."
Tell us about your plans for hosting the 2011 Formula Vee Challenge?
"Well, I have already started promoting this event for next year. My goal is to have at least 25 to 30 Vees running. I have been promoting even to the east coast to try and get the drivers that race in the SCCA run offs. I would like to get the big name sponsors such as K&N (again) to participate.
This will be the third annual special race, and I am going to win this race! The first year I was faced with an electrical issue, and this past year I was just out driven."
What's up with the "special" motor and transmission you're working on?
"2012 is the huge 50th reunion for Formula Vee. My engine builder, Dietmar Bauerle, from Quixote Racing in San Diego has decided to have me drive for him at Roebling Road race track in Georgia. We are going to be building a special motor that may not last a whole season, but it will be really fast for the one race weekend."
"We will have to get a long box transmission, being that that track is not as technical as tracks here on the west coast. That will give me a higher range before I run out of rpm's. Right now I have a short box transmission and that gives me more torque out of the corners, but I run out of rpm's in the straights. We are going to be lightening the car and motor parts, since the car is coming in at a heavy 890 pounds (car only), when we are required to weigh 825 pounds. We have a year and a half to get ready, but we have a lot of work ahead of us."
Are there any other projects that you'd care to talk about?
"The biggest project is that my 19-year-old son, Chris, is also racing this season in a formula Vee, and he totally has my race blood. And we have some work to do to get his car ready. He did have his first three races last season, and although he has a way to go before he catches me, he's not that far off the pace. We are going to make a good team as long as he stays behind me. LOL."
"The best thing is that we are in different classes. His car is a newer model, so that will put him in FV2, while I am in FV1. We kind of dominate with my husband running in the FV class also. The best thing is that we can all three come home winners in a weekend."
The 2011 VARA season resumes January 15 and 16 at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in Buttonwillow, California.
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