Friday, March 29, 2013

NASA Central @ Gateway Motorsports Park

Being only 80 miles from my doorstep, I rolled into Gateway Friday night to get acquainted with my ride for the weekend.  The owner gave me the 5min tour of the car and I tested the seat (he's taller than me and 40lbs heavier) and gave it the all clear.  The pedals and wheel would be a stretch; but doable.

After a morning detour through East STL because of a closed onramp, I arrived just in time for the 7:30am mandatory Driver's Meeting.  Being with NASA since 2008; most of the regions run very similar setups so it was all very familiar.  Qualifying was about 1.5 hrs away; followed by practice and the 35min race about 2:30pm.

 The car was all setup and ready.  The only question was how much weight (aka ballast) we'd have to add to the car to make minimum weight and be legal.  The plan was to weight after warmups and go from there.  So after about 6-8 laps of getting to know the car and no surprises - besides it's a Miata and it was loud and slow - and rolled over the scales and we added some ballast.  A 1:17.1 was the time.  With no setup changes, Qualifying later yielded a 1:15.1 and the PTE class pole by .1 out of 3 cars!  With the current PTE track record being 1:15.9, I felt pretty good about notching that in the race; assuming I can beat out the rest of the class as well. 
Min weight was 2330; and my after-Qualifying weight was 2345.  We added about 30+ lbs of ballast to the car to make up for the fuel we'd burn during the race.  Our strategy was to fill the coolsuit cooler (not being used; only in the 40's) with as many bags of bolts that could fit and top off the car with fuel. 

Friday, March 22, 2013

March 23-24 - Gateway Motorsports Park!

My first event of 2013 is this weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park in St Louis.  Gateway was recently reopened under new management and is technically my 'home' track and closest track (although I claim Autobahn now).

This weekend is the opening event for the NASA Central Region, and is a crossover with the Mid-South region.  It will probably be my only event with the 2 regions.  We'll be racing in a PTE Miata and we've got a 3-car PTE class so it should be plenty of fun.  I'll be gunning for the class win as well as the PTE track record of 1:15.9 set last year.  I do still own the NASA Midwest regional TTB record from 2010 of 1:08.7 in the Evo.

The forecast for Saturday shows 47 as a high with a chance of rain.  However, Saturday night there's a 90% chance of rain/snow mix heading into Sunday where's there's a good chance of snow.  I've heard up to 6" an hour N of the track.  We'll see....

Friday, March 1, 2013

April Racing Itinerary

April will bring my first ever Lemons race.  The race will be held in Michigan at Gingerman Raceway over April 20-21st.  The 2-day race will include nearly 15hrs of race action split between our team of 3-4 drivers.  Our Team - Little Lebowski Urban Achievers - will be piloting a 1986 Volvo 245.

There are a few details left to sort out.  Mainly whether we will have 3 or 4 drivers for the event; and how we split up the actual stints.  I'm pretty excited for the seattime, as the car has been a solid Lemon's entry for several years and we have a good chance of running at the front of the pack if all goes well.

This date conflicts with a NASA Midwest event at Autobahn Country Club; which I have been claiming as my home track for a few years as it's about 2 hrs from me.  I do hope to make another NASA event at Autobahn later in the year, as they have dates in July and September.