Taken Out At Suzuka!

I’m trying to run 3 series this season and with my work schedule it can sometimes get a little difficult.  This week I was just tired and I worked a lot of hours.  However, I was able to get in the New Hampshire race in the evening after work on Friday.  Nothing like waiting till the last minute!  I jumped in practice with about 10 minutes to spare and I was 17th quickest.  In reality that doesn’t mean much since that is a hot lap with good tires.  As the tires fade away you lose much more time.  I find that with the National series I lose time on the back end with my tires being worn out.  Maybe if I just ran a more consistent lap I would do better.  I will try that in the future.  I ended up in the bottom split and qualified 8th as the 5 car.  I was able to keep up with these guys and even cracked the top 5 for a while and then my tires went away.  This caused me to lose time to the leaders and eventually get passed and put me back into 7th position.  There was a little bit of excitement with the 3 car crashing in front of me twice but I managed to avoid him both times.  I lost irating on this one due to the very low SOF, but it was clean so I’ll take it.

I got the Spec Racer Ford race in this week and it was at Road Atlanta.  I managed to practice for about 1/2 hour and was able to get a pretty good feel for the whole course.  I believe that earlier in the season we ran the short course and I pretty much had a good feel for that one as well.  I went into qualifying and ended up starting 10th.  I did not get a clean lap in and therefore had to start from the back.  The start went really well for me and I moved up 2-3 positions right away, then the disaster happened.  Someone spun out in the turn in front of me and I had nowhere to go.  I ended up hitting that guy and the guy to the right of me and then making it through the mess.  Unfortunately my car was really damaged and making right turns from here on out was a problem.  This did get me to 5th position but I was unable to hold onto it because I couldn’t keep the pace.  Can’t turn right very well and that really slowed me down on the main straight.  I could tell that was where I was losing all my time.  On the rest of the course I could do pretty well, but making that one tight right hander on the main straight was killing me.  I managed to scrape out an 8th place finish but I could’ve done much better if I could have avoided the wreck…

I had to try this again because I thought I was pretty good at this track.  I ran a couple of minutes of practice and then it was qualifying again.  I qualified 5th of 8 and I was the 6 car.  I was hanging with the leaders for a little while and then I got over zealous and ended up spinning coming out of the chicane.  I was going to pull out into traffic so I needed to wait for some cars to pass.  At this point I was 7th instead of 5th.  I managed to catch the 6th place car and pass him but I did not have enough time to catch the leaders, even though I was gaining a little on the 5th place car.  I did not have enough laps to get to him.  Oh well, this week is now over….

Got the Mazda race in today too!  This week it was at Suzuka and I managed to get my lap times down under 1 minute.  I was happy with this and when I went to qualify I managed to qualify towards the back.  This wasn’t too bad because everyone was in the 58’s which was where I was.  The racing at this track was intense, very close and fast!  I was doing pretty good and battling for 4th (maybe) with about 5 other cars.  We were going back and forth and I was holding my own.  Unfortunately for me, the 12 car took me out, I guess he either did it on purpose or just didn’t see me but he hit me and sent me into the wall.  This damaged my car so much I needed a tow.  So I went back out on track after the tow and repairs and found that left hand turns were very difficult.  I ended up crashing again.  I did another tow and more repairs but the car was toast.  I ended up getting disqualified for too many incident points…..First time that’s ever happend to me.

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