Thursday, September 15, 2011

NASA Nationals - Day 2 - Friday

Entering Friday (Day 2 of 4) I was in 2nd of 14, but there was a long way to go.  After the politics from the previous day with the rear of the grid, the front of the grid returned the favor with an insanely slow outlap.  I was actually going about 20mph into the carousel as the front guys were trying to get the cars in the rear to bunch up tight.  Needless to say that screwed everyone's first lap.

Finally when we got up to speed, on the quick R-L transition between T9 and T10 I actually had my Traqmate come off the windshield suction cup and fly out my passenger window!  Actually this wasn't the first time this had happened, as last year it happened in T7 at Autobahn; only it flew out the drivers side window there!

Friday also brought about probably one of the top 5 scariest moments of my short racing career.  I had let a TTS Lotus past me on the outlap, knowing him from Regional events in that he was slightly faster than me I figured I'd be nice and not hold him up - the car in front of me did the same.  Well, he didn't return the favor so well!  On the first flying lap, the Lotus went into a corner too hot and lost it, spinning and staying on the track.  If you're familiar with Mid Ohio, you know how many blind corners and hills are there and how dangerous a situation like this can be.  This occurred at the top of 'Thunder Valley' which is T12.  This is a corner I usually pitch the car into sideways and drift all the way to the exit on the right - which is coincidentally where the Lotus was still spinning when I came up the hill.  Now fortunately for both of us, I overbraked the entry so I was well under control and not drifting or sideways and I was able to react!  Only I had no idea which way to swerve as he was still spinning!  Changing my mind from R to L; I swerved Left to avoid and the Lotus actually rolled backwards towards the middle of the track just as I'm trying to scoot by.  Whew; by unscathed!

Once the session was over the Lotus was moved onto his racegroup, so we'd have to catch up on dramatics and apologies later to be sure!  I did have an official come over and deliver my Traqmate to me!  I'm thankful I label stuff...  And yeah; it still works...

Best lap of the day for me was a 1:33.9.  I'd end the day in 3rd place of 14.  Once the grid worked its way out from fast to slow, things were a little better in the afternoon session.  I still had a difficult time setting tire pressures.  They kept coming up way higher than I'm used to.  Perhaps I was overdriving the car; or the fact I was doing all 100% hot laps for 6 laps - but that's not entirely uncommon.

Here's a pic of the gridding area for one of the GTS (German Tourning Series) qualifying races as seen from our paddock area -->

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