Thursday, April 3, 2014

NASA @ GMP - 3/30/14 (Day 2; races 2 & 3)

Day #2 was Sunday and forecasted some warmer weather as well as 2 races!  The morning started out cold and we'd discussed a setup change for the car to help it through the oval - this after the owner took it out for a session the previous day.  I'm all for changes, so I said let's give it a try!

Qualifying was up right away and the changes didn't seem to make things any worse.  However, everyone else got much quicker including 2 newbs that just finished Competition school the previous day.  I would be gridded 5th again (this should have made us realize the changes weren't good).  After the opening session with my student, the first race of the day was up.
Within a few laps, I was really starting to fight the car for grip.  The worst being in the oval where I had to back out of the throttle nearly every lap as it was literally pushing uphill.  At one point it pushed all the way through the marbles and nearly to the wall as I got it safely under control.  That was pretty much the story and I ended up 6th with a best lap of 1:14.6.  I had some good battles with another Miata though, so the race in itself was still fun and definitely challenging. 

I got with the owner and asked him to reverse the changes - and to even go the opposite direction with them!  I was anxious for race #3 and I had nothing to lose and the owner really wanted my opinion on helping to dial in the car on what were new springs and new tires for 2014.
I would be gridded in the front row for the final race around 3pm when the temps were finally much warmer.  I let the pole sitter set the pace which was insanely slow and I was in 2nd when the green finally dropped.  Unfortunately I missed 3rd gear and nearly got bumped on the start.  I lost a few positions there and had my work cut out for me.  I pushed the car hard and it eventually paid off.  Video of the entire race is below - where I ended up with a 1st Place Finish!  To add to that, I took back the track record with a best lap of 1:13.5.  Enjoy. 
So I ended up with a 2nd, 6th and 1st place finish, along with a new track record.  No rest for the weary... as I'm headed out again this weekend to Autobahn for a Chumpcar race...

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