Second week of Season 3, I am going to try and run 4 series this season but even in the first week I was only able to get 3 in. My personal life is very hectic and I run most of my races at night. Sometimes I just can’t seem to stay up to run them. I’ll do the best I can this season, it’s all I can do.
I’ve decided to run the Skip Barber car first this week, and maybe it was not the best decision. This week the series was at Lime Rock Park, I know the track from the Mazda. I practiced well and had times under a minute but was sent to the top split for qualifying. I qualified in 15th out of 20 and that was only because the rest of the field didn’t qualify. I managed to race pretty well and maintained my position until the end where I was pushing it as hard as I could to get my times down and crashed in the uphill where the car gets light. I had a fast repair but I was now laps down. Ended up 17th out of 20, not a good start to the week….
The Global Mazda Cup was at Okayama International Raceway. I know this track pretty well but I don’t really like it. Some of the slow corners are really tricky; the good thing is that they are tricky for everyone! I hoped into the practice session with about 15 minutes to go just to get used to the car and track again. Then Qualifying started. I was the 1 car and I ended up qualifying 6th. At the start of the race, I got a really good start and moved up to 3rd in a hurry. There is a lot of drafting on this track so it is hard to break away from anyone. The racing is tight and exciting. The race was going really good and really clean until one of the guys that was racing hit my right rear and spun me. I was in 2nd at the time, and that moved me back to 5th. I had lost the draft and could no longer catch up to them because they were all racing together and running about 1/2 a second a lap faster than me. I finished the race in 5th.
Next up was the Xfinity race at Iowa Speedway. I ran a couple of practice laps on my own in the afternoon but did not realize that the race was at night. So when I hopped into qualifying I was pleasantly surprised to have a lot more grip. The race went pretty good, I qualified 12th and got passed by everyone at the start of the race. The first half of the race was riddled with cautions and we did a lot of pacing, I decided to pit most of the time because I was in the back and fresh tires are important at this track. I then managed to find myself in the top 5 at one point but that was due to pit strategy. I quickly fell back and followed the pit strategy of the other cars for the rest of the race. The last 20 laps were green and I managed to hold onto a top 10 finish! Iowa is tough!