Sunday, May 4, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again!!!

This was officially my second race weekend ever and first with the NASA South East group. I did run the 3 hour enduro at RA with Scott Mc but not the sprint races. I now have my four races (2 from last year at VIR) in my rookie booklet and off it goes for an actual comp license. Now on with the recap….

Friday: was going to be nice and relaxed. A leisurely ride to CMP, unload, hang out and crew for the enduro boys. I had been itching to do the enduro myself, as I have only been to CMP once and that was 3 or 4 years ago and I wanted the seat time. In the weeks leading up to the event I couldn’t find a driver willing to drive my non ABS car nor could I find anyone dumb enough to let me drive their car….and then there was Geeger.

JP and I talked Craig into doing the enduro with little effort as he already wanted to do it anyway. It was fun until we retired early so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings by winning the whole thing. It would have been awkward for the rest of the weekend you know? I’m pretty sure we were leading when we had to pull it behind the wall. We had a slow leak in the left rear tire that was getting worse every lap and shaking the car apart.

I drove the first stint and a couple of laps in I swore I flat spotted the front tires in one of the braking zones. This was the first time I’ve experienced a tire going down at speed on the track. It feels just like having a flat spotted tire that keeps getting worse.

Weather was great all day until the evening when the storm rolled in. We had a great lightning show for about an hour and then Al said….”Hey, I think it may start to rain soon.” And then a split second later the skies opened up and absolutely poured on us until Saturday night. Awesome. This meant that Casey, JP’s brother, would be sleeping in the BeerTech Motor Home with us instead of his tent. I can still hear the snoring. That was remedied for Sat night.

Saturday: Since I got zero sleep thanks to the Snore-a-saurus, I was wide awake as the rain poured down and filled my race car full of water. I enjoy driving in the rain but having a car with no ABS and no rain tires makes for interesting sessions. Practice, Q and race were all very wet and slippery. I changed tires three times for three sessions that day. talk about soaking wet. I Qualified 13th then finished 15th and a big thanks goes to Steve Foushee for selling me some rain tires that I had mounted for the race.

We had a rolling start and I didn’t start well. I dropped two spots right off the bat. I was running well besides the fact that I could not stop the car in any of the braking zones. I would start to brake, lock up, release, lock up, release, turn in, at every corner. It was interesting and manageable for a while until I went off in 14 once and lost two spots, oops. I got those two back but in 15th is where I stayed. It was a lot of fun though. Scott Gress and I had a great run for a while and I managed a last turn pass for 15th!

Sunday: Beautiful day once the sun came out. Qualifying was wet at 8:50 AM. Nice. Back to shaved tires I went and managed to qualify 10th. I had a decent start and a good race. Steve Foushee and I had a great race together for several laps, should be good video. Thanks to Steve for the clean, fun racing. I managed to finish 8th.

Over all a very good weekend for me on the track and as always, the Spec E30 community is amazing. What a great group of people and a fantastic bunch of racers as well. Its great to finally have all three Beer Tech cars back on track. Thanks to NASA-SE as well for again dealing with the weather and keeping things on schedule. I cant wait for Roebling and the IFU2. Maybe Canterbury can bring some chicken to cook up?

Brian Jones car #380

1 comment:

BeerTech 467 said...

Nice write up, B.

It's great to have you out there with us. It was a long time coming but we finally got all 3 of our BTR cars in a race. Looking forward to some good racing at RRR.

Till then— Be safe.