To start this off, I’ll start by saying that air temperatures were nearly 15 degrees higher than at the last race, and pretty much the entire field was 1-2 seconds slower. The entire week before the race it looked like it was going to rain, but we never had enough rain to affect the racetrack and give us and our AWD an advantage. Also, we did end up ordering drilled brake rotors to try, but they sent 2 left side rotors. So this weekend is still on the stock rotors and track pads. They still held up great.
Practice and Qualifying
Practice and qualifying both went smoothly! Dad and I did a practice session the wednesday before, and other than being a bit slower, the car felt good. No surprises with how it felt, and no surprise trips into the gravel! In qualifying I went Outlap – Hotlap – slow lap to get a gap again – hotlap – inlap. I qualified over a second slower than last weekend. Video Below. I qualified 18th.
After the starting few laps in race 1, I spent the rest of the race attempting to get past Wayne good in the martini BMW. My car was much faster under braking and in the corners, but every time i got past him, he just powered back past me after the corner. This video is a good example of how we apparently need a little more power in the car! I tried literally EVERYTHING to get past this guy! Inside of corners, outside of corners, slow corners, fast corners, you name it! Watch the video for some frustration! My fastest lap was 1.5 seconds faster than his, and when we were battling, we were lapping 4-5 seconds slower than my qualifying lap. I had way more pace, I just couldn’t make the pass stick.
The upside to this long battle is that it is more incredibly valuable experience for me driving incredibly close to competitors. I was pretty much literally on this guys bumper nearly the entire race. This is a skill I was worried about before starting this season, and I get very comfortable with driving incredibly close over the course of this race. I also got a lot of practice attempting and making overtakes, even if they didn’t stick. So I was still happy with how the race went.
And as a bonus, the black BMW was penalized for not leaving enough space for me on the last lap at the finish line, where I had to put 2 wheels on the dirt. So he was demoted to last and I finished ahead of him after all!
Race 1 result: 16th – 7 Championship points
Race 2 went great. I actually had a bad start, and after a missed shift at the end of lap 1, I was briefly last. But then I made 3 passes in the next two laps, including getting back past the black BMW that I couldn’t pass in race 1. I made the pass stick, then I got started to just put in qualifying lap after qualifying lap. Race 2 was 2 laps longer than race 1, but I was 20 seconds closer to the leader than in race 1. So that goes to show how much faster I was once I was lapping at my own pace in clear air. Lapping as fast as I could, even though I was on my own, proved to be well worth it. When a porsche spun out in front of me, I was close enough that I could pass him once he re entered the track. If i was even a couple seconds behind my actual position, he wouldve stayed in front of me. A couple other competitors retired with broken cars, and I was able to keep the porsche behind me (even though he qualified ahead of me!) and I ended up finishing 12th! That’s our best finish yet! Video Below. The race starts at about 4 minutes in as the start was aborted and a second pace lap was needed.
Race 2 Result: 12th – 11 championship points
For the Next Race:
Dad is working on a more substantial exhaust improvement – it should flow better, and weigh a fair bit less. So hopefully that gives a small boost in power so we aren’t just passed back after I make a good overtake in the corners or braking. we also won 2 free tires in a door prize! I don’t think they’ll get delivered before next race as they’re back ordered, but at some point we will get those on. Until then we will be using the spare set. Dad is also going to move the 15 pound fire extinguisher to the rear of the car – it’s currently in the passenger seat area. This has 2 benefits, it’ll move 15 pounds further back to aid our weight distribution, and it’ll free up the passenger space for a second seat! We don’t have enough to buy another race seat + harness + bracket right now, but it’s in the plan. Then we can take our sponsors as passengers!
Also: Hurrah! I’ve completed my first 6 races as a novice without incident or being called to the stewards over a driving infraction! I can now apply for my full racing license and get rid of my novice license!
Next race weekend is August 6 & 7, mark it in your calendars!
Full size Image gallery for download: