The Fuelfed TFD14.2 Recap

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We conclude the 2014 driving season with another great TFD Series.

Most drivers watched the weekend’s forecast with baited anticipation as the media boasted another polar vortex was on it’s way. The media scare seemed to work, as 8 drivers backed out the day of the event. Regardless, stahlwart drivers that Fuelfed members are, started arriving at the designated meeting place early Saturday morning. It’s always fun to see who and what shows up. The TFD Series usually pulls quite a few 911s. TFD14.2 was no different. In fact, a curious traveller had to inquire what “PCA show” was happening as he had not seen so many “cool vintage 911s” actually being driven. Three minutes later, Pat became Fuelfed member #277 with his 1988 Carrera.

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Anyway, quick coffee, packet distributions and introductions and we were off with a straight shot northwest to the edge of what we call “Drivers Country”. Under sunny skies we had a leisurely brunch of some of the best authentic Swiss breaded veal with mushroom cream sauce over spaetzle anywhere. Then it was time for a quick drivers meeting, gas/oil check and run group break-outs. TFD14.2 was tuff, as the range of cars was interesting. A 1952 Lancia Aurelia to Citroen SM and an AMG C36 to an 911RSR. The 1962 turbo Beetle (yes turbo) and Ferrari 365 GTC/4 that had event participation challenges would have made the run groups that much more colorful.

Maybe next year.

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Stage 1 is the longest run and sets the tone with 1.5 hours of rolling hills, coolie bombing and long sweepers. Run groups arrive at different times with different stories, as everyone calms downs for a short rest and regroup. Some drivers actually notice the Frank Lloyd Wright grave stone and Talliesin in the distance.

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Stage 2 is a more technical run with narrow wooded, almost rally style terrain. And again, despite a completely new route, the county DNR had laid down more gravel over the summer in an effort to preserve the pavement. Drivers were forced to a crawling 15mph in some stretches.

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Stage 3 offers the best elevation changes and shows drivers the most diverse driving challenges. Stage 3 always seems to have “something odd” happen. TFD14.1 had a fan belt snap. TFD12.2 had a flock of peacocks congregating in the middle of the road. TFD14.2 had little black calves discussing udder differences over afternoon hay in the middle of County Rd. M.

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Stage 4 is a fight against daylight, but the run seems to be everyones favorite. Stage 4 is designed to be a continuous concert of rhythmic turns through 4 wooded coolies in a “brisk” run down to Old Man River. This the stage where all kinds of “things” get tested and drivers find their groove knowing that cold cocktails and benching racing awaits them in the tiny town of McGregor.

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Ah yes, the post-driving ceremonies are the icing on the event cake. Drivers have now been initiated in the Fuelfed driving bootcamp and have now bonded with their car like no other driving experience they’ve had before. Driver’s all now know a little more about themselves and a lot more about their cars. Let the bench-racing begin.

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The few short hours of lively beer-infused camaraderie go by quickly and it’s then time to check into the hotel where Hitesh is there to greet everyone with his sarcastic wit. “Remember you Corvette Club guys are not allowed to smoke cigars around the indoor pool anymore”, he warns. This year Steve decides to play with Hitesh, insisting he has to let his duffle bag of kittens out for their exercise. To which Hitesh responds; “Good, we’ll have something interesting to offer for breakfast tomorrow” and so it starts…

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Those members that drove 4 door saloons usually become taxis to & from the supper club. The Citroen and C36 were this years choice. Once there, new drivers quickly discover the world’s largest stuffed beaver chewing on a large log inside the glass case over-looking our 25 person table. New drivers then marvel over the Steelcase reclining naugahyde office chairs on wheels. Little do they know these chairs are a brilliant marketing maneuver that will allow them fully enjoy their 2lb. Porterhouse from any angle. The vintage pressed plywood salad bowls add the finishing touch.

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It’s then over to the Depot Bar for more cocktails along the edge of the Mississippi. Like Hitesh at the hotel, Jenna is waiting for the annual schitt-giving. It’s all in good fun as everyone gets a little jabbing. Even Jeff gets his via cell phone. Jenna proudly displays her collection of Fuelfed event stickers on the back-bar ala Seibkens.

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Back at the hotel, Nick & Mike host a late-night after-bar gathering in #107. Nick again, brought his bartending skills and mixed some of the best Manhattan’s this side of the Violet Hour. What about the cigars? Yes the Corvette Club is back in town and it’s time for late-night smokes. Out came the cigars, but no, the hot-humid pool was replaced with 30º degree night air discussing the rear views of the Aurelia, RSR, 993 turbo, R-Gruppe S & SM across the parking lot.

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Sunday comes quickly, as does the headache. Early morning goodbyes done and it’s a leisurely (ok brisk) drive east along the Wisconsin river with lunch in Sauk City. The realization that the driving season now officially over sets in. And a slow sadnesswashes over as the last few TFD drivers disappear into increasing traffic as we cross into Illinois.

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Polar vortex averted, let the Holidays begin!

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