Friday, May 20, 2011

NASA - Putnam Park - Day #2

Having won my class and set a new track record on Saturday before the rain set in; Sunday we woke up to more rain.  It wasn't a hard rain; more of a spray/mist that held out the entire day.  I mounted up the street tires - my 3yr old Dunlop Z1 StarSpecs - and went out for the first session in my #2 gridspot behind the 500hp TurnInConcepts (TIC) Subaru.  I made no suspension changes.  Putnam just blows in the wet; the pavement is like 13 years old and most of the turns are pure ice when wet.  I was figuring something under the 2:00 would be good! 

Like the TIC car, I was able to spin all 4 on the out lap in various spots testing out grip - which is very very rare for me.  The session was pretty much a follow-the-leader deal for about 3 laps before some of us all got daring enough to start passing.  I ran a few laps in the 1:54-55 range with a ton of skidding including a 2-turn combo through T9/10 when I was a full opposite lock for awhile.  I kept turning laps and kept saving the car in turns and was having fun until I was in the wrong spot for T8 and when I went for the brakes there was nothing.  So I had my first off-course excursion of the year.  I just went straight off as I could turn or brake at that point, through some grass, through a small gravel trap, through some more grass, up a few small hills - it literally felt like offroading and I was told I had the car airborne at least once.  I came back and jacked up the car and nothing looked broke.  There was dead grass everywhere; all over the front bumper, inside the wheel wells, jammed on the intercooler, on top of the LICP, all over the wrapped downpipe, etc.  The worst of it was the gravel knicked up the far right of my lower bumper; that's it.  Pretty lucky.

While my S1 time of 1:54.0 would have been good for 4th in grid, I had to start from the end of the pack because of the 4-wheels-off.  I new I'd have to pick my way through traffic and search for a descent lap.  On the straightaway on the 1st lap I think I passed 4-5 cars.  Ended up with a 1:51 in that session and the track actually seemed a little better as that was much less sideways!  Back up to 7th in grid which is much better to work with!

3 hr gap until the 3rd session.  Hoping for dry, I remounted the A6's.  Actually a lot of the guys were running A6's in the earlier sessions too - some on streets - some on fancy Hoosier wets!  The rain slowed to a mist and there was a racegroup in front of us so I knew the track would definitely be better than before at least.  I was gridded 7th overall; just behind the TTA leading Corvette.  I matched my pace with his for a few laps, got around him and ran a 1:34x - about 2.5 seconds ahead of the Corvette.  The time held out for 1st in class and I came away with the 2-day sweep in TTA!  Thx for AMS Performance for the ever incredible tune and Forgeline Motorsports for the new rims (see pic).

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