What is a “Safety Fast” Funkana?

At GOF Central 2011, MGs will have a chance to actually get out of 2nd gear in a competitive event on an actual race track! Yes, you actually may hear squealing tires!

The course is a roughly ¼ mile asphalt oval track, (view track) with some interesting ‘tweaks’ added to make the event interesting and safe. It can be driven alone, or with a navigator; your choice. The fastest time wins.  Horsepower does give an edge, which is why there will be two classes, one for MGs up to and including 1955, and another for MGs 1956 and later.

In addition, each class will be divided into “rookies” and “vets,” as picked by the driver at the event registration. However, other skills do affect your time as well. Registration is near the water tower.

A typical scenario:

Let’s take your MG through the course.

You notice the starter holding a checkered flag, waving you to the start/finish line. The flag drops, the clock starts, and you are off, quickly moving into 2nd gear as you immediately enter the pylon balloons and round the first turn. You maintain speed, even hit the brakes, swerving either left or right to weave through them, break one, and time (10 seconds) is added to your run. They seem to go on forever down the back stretch. Finally, you apply the brakes as you enter a “garage” at the 3rd corner. You back out of the garage, and continue backwards, (avoiding pylons) and back into another garage near the 4th turn. You pull out forward, hit 2nd gear, swerve through more pylons on the home stretch, and slam on the brakes at the finish line.

Expect some tire noise! The two foot wide finish line is where your front tires must be stopped to stop the clock. Go too far? Back up and stop!

Now you can relax a little; the timer is off. Let your heart slow down a bit, the fast stuff is over, but other skills now come into play. That is why it is a “Funkhana.”

Look over your shoulder, back up, and parallel park next to a designated curb. One chance to back in only—no pulling forward, no time limit. Anything within 6 inches of the curb (both tires) is “no penalty.” For additional inches away, (farthest tire) add one second per inch or partial inch. Hit the curb, add ten seconds to your time. Prewar and right-hand drive cars have a definite advantage here! Once parked, you will be handed 3 “pub” darts. Toss these at a bullseye target marked 1-10.  Your dart score is converted into seconds off your time.

You are done! Pull forward and exit to the right, park somewhere and watch the rest of the field compete.

Volunteers needed for this event include:

  • Starter/finisher with checkered flag , will also do initial registration (1 sheet per car).
  • Timer and scorekeeper, Will also judge parallel parking and darts.
  • Person in middle of oval to reset “busted” balloons. (Must be agile!)
  • “Recruiters” at the car display area to promote the event and bring in contestants.