2017 Season 4 Week 13 – Mazda MX-5 Cup

I’m going to run the Mazda for Week 13 again because I really like this car and I like the speediness of the races.  They are quick ones and they count towards SR and IR.  First up were Lime Rock and I can run sub 1 minute laps here and I am pretty good at this track.  I ran a couple of laps of practice and ended up 4th fastest in my session.  Then came the race, I qualified in 6th place as the 10 car.  I really just tried to avoid getting in any trouble and was pretty successful.  Had some cars spin out in front of me but I was able to avoid them.  I think I did get a 4x on the one through the uphill where the chicane is.  Anyway, I kept my foot in it and ended up finishing the race in 3rd.

2nd race of the week is at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  I got something like 3 laps of practice in before the race started.  It’s a Tuesday night and my normal work week schedule is crazy so I don’t always get on these, but I’m on it.  I then got to the race and qualified in 8th position.  I made quick work of the 5th and 6th place car and got around them pretty easily.  Once I was in 4th I was on the move to catch the next two cars.  In about 3 laps I was battling up with them for 2nd place.  The last lap came around and I made my move on the first turn.  I got on the inside of the 2nd place car and after the 3rd turn I was able to take the position.  It was then a matter of getting a good run onto the back stretch, which I was able to do, and hold them off.  This was quite difficult because of the draft but I managed to keep the position and finish 2nd.  The whole last lap is in the video below, right at the beginning.

I got home and jumped right into this race, the 3rd race of the week at Okayama International.  I got about 2 laps of practice in and then the race started.  I was the 2 car and qualified 4th.  The race was pretty uneventful except for the one lap that the 4th place car and I were mixing it up.  He pushed me out into the grass and we swapped places.  Then on the next turn he clipped me so I guess we were even.  He eventually dive bombed me and I let him go.  I managed to finish in 5th.

Race 4 was at Summit Point, the full course which I like a lot more than the Jefferson Circuit.  I got into the practice session with about 15 minutes left.  2nd lap I was the fastest one in the room!  After a couple of minutes, as the registered users came into the session, I fell to 5th fastest.  That was still pretty good.  Race time came and I was the 11 car in the top split!  Not too bad but that means everyone is good.  So I qualified in 14th and had a long way to go.  Not too much of an issue, I’m pretty good at this track and I managed to work my way up through the field into the 8th position.  I think I could have moved up farther but I had a racing incident which put me a little farther behind than I would have liked.  No problem though, I gained Iraiting and even some SR.

The next race was at Phoenix.  I usually run pretty well here but this time was an exception.  I got in the session with about 5 minutes of practice and ended up in the race as the 6 car.  I qualified 12th!  What a horrible qualifying lap!  Then the race started and I made my way up to 8th, maybe even a little higher but I was taken out by the car behind me, it may have just been a racing incident but I was spun out, either way.  I fell back to 15th or so then I was trying to get back up through this field and then spun myself out trying to get a run out of the turn I got spun in!  Now I was all the way in the back and was just trying to finish the race when the 10 car decided to punch me into the wall!  WTF!

I ran this race immediately after writing the above paragraph about the first go around.  I just couldn’t let that go and leave it like that.  I was the 11 car this time and qualified in 8th.  Seems a little better but the race did not go that great.  I was passed and moved back to 10th where I finished.  It was a completely clean race and all, but I did not finish well.

The next race was at Summit Point again, only this time it was the course that I don’t really like, the Jefferson Circuit.  I got about 5 minutes of practice in and then the race started.  I was the 18 car and I qualified in 12th position.  The race was pretty uneventful with me making it up into the top 10 and then dropping back into 11th.  I only got 1 off trace so SR should have been pretty good.  Might have even gained IR since I was the 18 car finishing 11th.

The last race of the week, Laguna Seca!  I haven’t really run this track too much since leaving the rookie series behind, but it is a good one.  I believe that I ran the Audi here a season or two ago.  Anyway, I jumped in the practice session with about 15 minutes left of practice.  I then got into the race where I was the 1 car.  I did my positive self talk and said that I am the best and I’ll do fine.  I did do fine in the race except for one incident with a crazy 16 car.  I was racing him clean; he got a good run off one of the turns on the back half of the track heading into the last turn.  He dove to the inside of me and I let him have the position, but he over shot his mark and ended up off track.  I then drove up the inside of him, giving him room but he drove down into me and then the guy behind him punted him into the wall!  That was for 6th position and I held onto it from there.

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