May 8, 2022 – Race Recap

Back again with only good news after our second race weekend (so our 3rd and 4th races) of the year.

Updates to the Car for this Race Weekend:
between last race weekend and this one we took the whole front end apart. We removed 61 pounds directly off the front axle – this was mostly in the form of the A/C compressor, heater core, all related piping and wiring, and all our windshield washer fluid tanks and headlight machine washers. We also replaced our rear windscreen with a 3mm thick lexan rear windscreen, with no defrost equipment. That was a further 15 pound weight reduction, all high center of gravity weight, so even though 15lbs isn’t much, it was removed from a good place. We also added camber plates on the front to increase negative camber – with another alignment, negative camber on the front wheels was increased from less than 1 degree to about 2.5. We also had to replace one tire as one was severely damaged after the first race weekend. It wasn’t normal wear, we aren’t sure what caused it. Probably ran over some debris. We also got better cameras in there to get better footage. We also got proper decals for our car numbers and driver and mechanic names, as well as a decal for the videos.

Dad had the front completely off in order to remove the final A/C and Heater core components.
I guess in the photo it just looks like a regular rear windshield. But no defrost equipment and made of lexan is a nice improvement.
It might be kind of tough to tell, but with the camber kits in and another alignment, we are at about 2.6 degrees of negative camber on the front, so the front wheel is angled much more than before. This helped with front grip and made the car treat it’s tires a lot better over the course of several laps.
Munday Media and Design got us some more official number decals so we didn’t have to use electrical tape this time.

Practice & Qualifying

We weren’t able to get the car on track to practice with the changes before the race weekend, so practice was the first time I drove it with the further weight reduction and setup changes. It was a very busy practice because I got put out right in the middle of the pack instead of the back. So I couldn’t really practice my corner drills at my own pace to figure it out. To add to that, 2 cars broke down during practice, so the session was cut short so the track workers could retrieve the cars parked along the circuit. The balance of the handling was changed drastically, but I didn’t get to really practice with it before qualifying.

This is under hard braking before T14 (the last section of the track around pit entry). Even with our stiff suspension the rear comes up a fair bit. We are making adjustments there.

For qualifying, my plan was again to go for 2 hot laps. I would just set a baseline time on the first one so I had something on the board, then go harder the second lap. For my first hotlap, I made 3-4 fairly significant mistakes, but still managed to do a 2:30.1, which was 1.3 seconds faster than my qualifying for the last race weekend. That was good enough for 13th! I significantly outqualified the other Audi TT there and there is still opportunity to do much better. So that felt good. I went harder the second hotlap, and I found the cars limit on the fastest corner on the track. I had a massive oversteer moment, caught the slide and brought it back under control, then it immediately oversteered again, I caught it again, but by that time I was on a trajectory right off the track. I went way into the dirt. After that I just did a cool down lap and brought it into the pits so dad could double check the car for damage. Luckily it was fine!

Here is the video of the outlap/hotlap/mistake + inlap:

Race 1
This is my last race where I start from the back because I was a novice! So I was due to start 19th. Two cars were late to the pre-grid and got penalized, so I was promoted to start 17th. Those cars qualified in the top 5, so I knew they would get past the back half of the grid without much issue. Both got past me in the first corner, they were much more experienced and nailed the start. The yellow car made an absolutely insane pass on the grass on the main straight – keep an eye out for that in the video. After that there was several other spins, where I made up a few places, then the spinners passed me back, then I made a couple actual overtakes under braking and around the outside. There was one grey BMW that was having rear brake issues and had absolutely no traction. He spun 3 times all together, the last time being right in front of me! That was on the last lap. I finished in P15 in the end.

Result: P15, 9 Championship points

Here is the video of race 1 in its entirety. For some reason I cant get the video here to start at the beginning. Slide it back to the start to watch the race start! Close call with the spinning BMW at 19:20.

Race 2
This time I got to start from P15 because my 3 races of starting from the back were over. I got overtaken by 1 car at the start to move back to P16. It was the same BMW that I got stuck behind last race weekend. in both races. This entire race I was in a pack of 5 cars all duking it out the entire race – all from P11 to P15 (one person ahead of us retired). For several laps I stuck around the back of this group of 5 and just watched and waited for an opportunity to strike. The opportunity finally came on lap 9 of 10, where I overtook 2 cars in 4 corners! One of those cars was the BMW I couldn’t pass last race weekend, so that was very satisfying. I also made it happen right around where I went off the track in qualifying, so I redeemed myself that way too. The second car I passed got me back on the last lap, and in the final few turns I almost passed the other audi TT for 13th, but couldn’t quite get it done. I finished within 0.2 seconds of him at the line! The red car that passed me back made an overtake on the grass at the line to make up one final position at the finish. Watch out for that too.

Result: P14, 10 Championship points

Here is the video for Race 2 in its entirety:
Highlight: 21:00 minutes (lap 9) where I make 2 passes in 4 corners! and the lap after that where I almost pass the other TT.

For Next Race:
– New lighter rims for the spare tire set. Currently our spare rims are 32 pounds heavier all together than our main set of rims.
– Lowering it a little, small adjustments to suspension to help improve balance further
– Better, drilled front brake rotors. I get a little bit of brake fade at the end of the races with this set up. It’s manageable and minor, but nothing needs repairing on the car so it’s a good time to make small upgrades. The current brakes have lots of life left so they will be spares.
– small weight losses and improvements under the car
– new spark plugs (we finally got a couple audi specific tools for the job, we couldn’t do it before now)

NEXT RACES: The weekend of June 11-12!

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