April 17, 2022 – Race Recap

We were scurrying the last couple weeks to get the major performance parts and reliability maintenance done, and it proved to be hard work well worth it when it came time to get the car through tech inspection. The car passed tech with flying colours, the only change we needed to make was that we forgot to also put our race number on the hood of the car, as just on the doors wasn’t enough.

The car going on the scale at tech inspection. With me in it, it weighed 3040 pounds. That was less than expected, considering we still have more weight to take out of it.
For our car number, we chose #40g, the same number my Grandpa Bill used when he raced his self-built car in the 1950s.

Having done some testing earlier in the week, we knew that the car performed decently enough, so I spent the practice session doing about 6 laps of specific corner drills. My best lap was a 2:34.4.

There was 25 entrants in the GT27 races last weekend, but only 20 made it to the start line for the race. So practice and qualifying were still spaced out enough to be able to focus on my own driving and practice without fretting too much about getting in anyone’s way or finding clear space.

I kept qualifying to just two hot laps where I aimed to put the corner drills together for my best time yet. The first lap I pushed a little too hard and overshot a couple braking points, and got a mid-2:32. On my second lap I didn’t make the same mistakes, and though it still wasn’t a perfect lap, it was much smoother and I was much happier. I finished qualifying with a 2:31.446, which was good enough for 15th, and it was .1 of a second faster than the other Audi TT in that series. Quite the feat considering how much more experience he has had with that car! For reference, that is over 10 seconds faster than our best time last October during testing (that was on stock tires/brakes/suspension/seats). So dad and I were very very happy.

I didn’t have enough time to get out of the car in between the sessions, so I had to check the qualifying results on my phone from the driver’s seat.

Race #1: 8 Laps
Because I am brand new to the series, I only have a novice race license and because of that, my first 3 races are starting from the very back with the other novices, regardless of how well my qualifying went. There was one other novice on the track though, and I out qualified him, so I was due to start 19th. Someone else was very late to pre-grid, and was penalized for that by starting at the back, so I started 18th.

Pre-grid: where the GT27 competitors line up in the pits so when we enter the track before the race, we are already in the correct order.

Perhaps in my only real mistake of the weekend, I was far too conservative during my race start and in turn 1. Any contact is a serious penalty, especially for novice licenses, so I wanted to avoid an incident at all costs. I don’t regret my decision there, because I came out the other end of Turn 1 without issue, but I got overtaken by both the cars behind me. That was a good lesson for me on how to manage the rolling starts.

After that, it was nothing but a great race. On lap 2 or 3, I made an all power overtake on the long straight between T1 and T2. The audi had more speed on the straights than another competitor in a mini cooper and I moved back up to P19. Over the next few laps, there was several incidents and retirements involving other drivers, and I moved up 3 positions to P16 because others spun off track or retired their car. One of the spinners was a much faster car and caught up and passed me back leaving my P17. I caught up to the pack in front of me after that, and fought hard with a BMW for P16, but I couldn’t quite make an overtake. I was faster under braking and cornering, but he had a bit more power and each straight, he would pull far enough ahead that I couldn’t make a move in the corners.

Finishing position: 17th, 6 championship points

This was taken as I was passing a car that spun off. This is the car (a porsche 944) that eventually caught back up and overtook me.

Race #2: 10 Laps

I started race 2 in dead last, which was now P19 as one car couldn’t make it to start the second race, and the other novice driver had completed their 3 races and was no longer a novice, so they started in their qualifying position in P17. I did a better job on the start this time, and stuck close to the pack. after one lap, I made my first ever overtake under braking into T1. I got a better exit on the last corner in lap 1, and moved to the inside, braked later, and left room on the outside for the mini cooper. It was a clean move and it stuck! Then I was P18. Over the course of the race, 3 other cars retired or crashed, moving me up to P15. After that, I was back in a battle with the BMW driver for P14. For several laps I pressured him in the corners and braking, and sometimes he made mistakes, but nothing bad enough that I could capitalize. A more experienced driver might’ve been able to get past, but for my first race weekend, I was happy enough to be conservative on overtake attempts and gain experience getting close racing with a competitor. I finished the race in that position.

Finishing position: P15, 8 Championship points

This is the BMW that I had such a long and great battle with. He is a respectful and smart driver.


First off, the car performed beautifully. Dad did a great job preparing it. The brakes were strong enough and held on for all 8 and 10 laps (though we do have to bleed them again), it didn’t overheat, the tires held on well enough to continue to fight with the competitors right until the very end, and there were no new reliability concerns after checking the car after the races. I never made any contact with anyone or had any incidents, and I made actual, on-track passes in each race. Considering those points, It’s hard to say how our first race weekend could have been any better!

Total Championship points: 15

Our next steps on the car:
We have camber plates in the mail as we need to add camber on the front wheels to aid cornering ability. Our camber is set for street use, and adding more is a better idea for the racetrack. We also still have to remove the AC and Heater core and piping etc from under the hood. Dad presumes this is about 70 pounds, and it will pretty much all come off of the front axle, meaning we will improve our weight distribution. Right now, the car is very front biased, so taking weight off the front will improve balance. We also have a lexan rear windshield to install, that will reduce another 20+ lbs from the middle-rear of the car. Dad is also going to investigate the intake and see if we can get the engine breathing a little more freely. So if all goes well, for the May 8 Races our car should corner better, be lighter and better balanced, and perhaps have a little boost in power.

Tired after a long day of racing.
Enjoying the benefits of our post-race sponsorship at the Firehall Brewery in Oliver 🙂


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