Thursday, January 10, 2008

I lost something at Roebling

With the start of the 2008 season fast approaching, I wanted to weigh in on the last Spec E30 race of 2007 for BearTech. Roebling Road may be one of the further tracks for us to haul (350+ miles), but it's worth every bump South Carolinas I-95 has to offer. The track was resurfaced last fall and that has earned it the BeerTech seal of approval. The votes were split after our last trip down there in 2005 (or was it '04?) for an HPDE with the Dark Side/ Sand Piper PCA. While RRR may not have been the best lapping track, it is one hell of a great place to race.

As JP has pretty much covered... this was a great race weekend for all. And while many of the racers were heard to say "this was the best race ever", those words couldn't have been more true for anyone more than they were for me.

I left for the track a day ahead of JP to get some extra track time in Friday's test-n-tune with Seat-Time. Things didn't get off to a very good start, due to RRR management not letting anyone in until the last minute, no schedule available from Seat-Time and the solo group being sent out on track 2 minutes after the drivers meeting.

Not that I'd complain... but REALLY? Even with one missed session, I was able to get in more than enough time on track that I had a much higher comfort level, going into Saturdays race.

It's been a while... so I'll spare you all the hazy details. But in a nutshell... Saturday was OK.

OK... until the Factory 3 IFU Challenge. (read JP's account for the real details)

Starting up front and having the opportunity to race side by side in a way that I hadn't really been able to do... helped me figure a lot of things out.

One of those things was that the guys I'm out there racing with are really good drivers.

Another was that I can race closer to them anywhere on the track... straight aways, braking zones, turns...

And while all those guys were saying "the IFU race way the most fun they had ever had"... The most fun I ever had on a race track was to be the next day. The Sunday race.

As JP has pointed out (thanks JP)... my Sunday qualifying was less than spectacular. Sure, it was on par with all my other back-of-the-pack postings. And I guess there may have been higher expectations after the IFU? But it wasn't from a lack of coffee or the extra beers the night before... I just didn't want to be overly confident. I wanted to make sure my last race of the season wasn't going to be like my first race of the season.

Never to be.

I don't know when or where it happened? But somewhere at Roebling Road I lost that "turn 10" monkey that had been on my back all season long, and I found my confidence.

I didn't give away any track. I mixed it up. I stayed in close a fought for positions—every turn of every lap.

I know I'm no Skeen. I didn't start in the back and work my way to the front in the 2nd lap. But I finished better than I start. Not just in that last race, but in my rookie season.

I can't wait for CMP.

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