Monday, May 19, 2008

Roebling Road Raceway BeerTech #380

RRR? Yeah…I was there. IFU2?...done.

I hated this track 4 years ago. I was there once for a DE during my first or second year of chasing the coveted HPDE championship. I was in my E36 M3 and this was before the track was resurfaced. I never did get comfortable on track and being new to HP driving didn’t like the various amounts of grip or lack thereof provided by the different surfaces.

I was excited to get back and try the new surface in my raze car. I kept hearing about what a great track it was to race on and after missing last years IFU I was chomping at the bit to try it out again.

I felt great once on track and after taking almost all of 2007 off from driving/racing, I felt like I was getting back to the level of confidence and comfort that I was used to.

Saturday- Practice was great, took it easy learning the line again and feeling out the track. Thanks to Mike Skeen for lots of good tips while we were walking the track on Friday, I was paying attention and able to remember what he said and apply it. That really sped up the process for me. I also learned quite a bit following R Patton around, nice work Robert, we had a lot of very close racing that was a hell of a lot of fun.

Qualifying was good, I qualified 9th and finished 9th in the sprint race. I was extremely happy with that performance. Had some great racing with Al Taylor and was able to hold him off at the end.

IFU. I started in the last spot of the 4th group and was moving up pretty quick, I caught lots of people and was running great until the restart. At the start stand it was Pantas, Lear, Skeen, Damion and I at the front. I had a good start and was holding my own coming out of 2 when Skeen and I had to quickly split Scott Lear, me to the inside Skeen to the outside.

Having successfully negotiated that situation, I promptly went wide in 4 and off track trying to keep the fast guys behind me. Oops. Oh well, I had good racing with Foushee for several laps and had great runs on him out of 9 but the car was starting to starve. I was getting starvation after turns 2 and 9 consistently with about ½ tank of fuel. I had a great run on Steve coming out of 9 on the last lap and would have passed him for the position but the car fell on its face and he was able to hold me off for 19th place.

Sunday: Wow, I thought I was feeling good during qualifying and my suspicions were confirmed when the times came out. 7th place. Uh oh, this means someone will be coming up quick! JP was right behind me as well as Travis and Geegar. I knew this was going to mean no mistakes to keep my hard earned spot. Oh yeah, Sasha was back there too but he was my whipping boy all weekend so he was more of a chicane for the others. Thanks for the help buddy.

I was holding my own for most of the race up front. I think I was up there until lap 2 or 3 when I went off for the first of my 3 offs. (Turns 6,7 and a good one in 9) I managed to turn my 7th position start into a solid 18th spot finish. Get some. I was bummed about not keeping it on track but I was still happy overall. I knew my comfort level was going to be pushed a little further and I needed that. Don’t worry, I’m coming. Give me some time to work on my race craft and consistency and chumps like Geiger and Wilson will be back where they belong…with Jim Robinson behind Beertech. That’s right, you just read that. ;)

Unfortunately I screwed up the AV portion of my weekend pretty good. I have no IFU footage, bummer, ½ of Sundays race and I think all of Saturdays race. I also didn’t have the image stabilizer on so the videos aren’t very good. Ill post what I have, hopefully some of it is good.

Thanks for reading teh blog. -Brian Jones BTR #380

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