Monday, October 17, 2011

929 Evo - First trip to Road America!

Ah, the drag strip known as Road America!

Our final event on the NASA MW/GL calendar was a crossover event at Road America. I signed up about 30min before the deadline and decided to go and check out this new track since it was only 350 miles from me and super duper famous! As with any yearend event, I would be trying to use the last of my 2011 supplies of tires and brakes before the winter. I knew I didn't have much of a chance in my class on such a high HP track, but what the hell.

My top 2 competitors - who both eeked me out at Nationals - were there and both of them ran the Friday practice day. I'm pretty decent picking up new tracks and I'd played this on Forza so.... I went out for the first time Sat morning and ran 6 laps in the practice session with a best of 2:35. Not bad eh? It was long and straight with a LOT of braking; way more than I'd thought. My top speeds weren't as high as I'd thought but I figured they'd come up as I got more comfortable. I was 8th fastest out of 38. Lots of C6 & C6 Z06's here!

In sessions #2 and #3 I fought brake fade; badly. My pads were < 50% when I started the day and that makes them heat up soooo much faster. Plus I was probably overbraking as this was a new track to me. I ended up having to pump the brakes with my left foot down the Anyways, a best of 2:30.7 in the morning which slotted me in a respectable 3rd. Top speeds well above 140mph in 2 sections!

For the afternoon I switched out my pads (which were shot) to another set with about 50% as well. I was held up in session #4 by 2 C6 Vettes that wouldn't get the hell outta the way. Did 5 consecutive 2:32 laps behind those bastards; best of 2:31.8.

Session #5 (last of the day) I was lined up behind another C6 that braked waaay early. I was stuck behind him for 3 laps; probably within a car length in several corners; then he'd pull away and I'd catch him in the next braking zone. Rinse/repeat for nearly 3 laps... Getting frustrated I was going to try and dive-bomb him in the braking zone if I had to; but I couldn't get close enough. After watching him in the last few turns on the track from 'Canada Corner' through T14 I had figured my area to pounce. He braked way early for 'Canada Corner' which is about 138mph for me. So I caught him and he strayed a bit wide so I was nearly side-by-side but I had momemtum and the better outside line through T13 and T13A. He finally yielded for T13A as you have to setup on the outside and I was already there! I pitched it in a little sideways and kept it floored; slid to the outside got through T14 and was on the loooonnngg front straight. Then I see that yellow Vette pull out to pass. I screamed 'NOOOO'; all my hard work could be lost. I went deep into T1 and left room just in case but he braked way early and I was going to have a clean lap finally! I made the most of it with a 2:29.2. I took 2nd in the afternoon and that'd finish the competition year. That lap also was the 4th fastest out of 35 in TT. First place was a 2:26x - ran on stickered A6's. I ended up cording 5 They were a bit overdriven from Nationals I think; plus the carousel is hard on them. Top speed of 147.2 mph. Yes...still on the stock turbo!

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