I managed to run all five series this week! I got both the oval races in as well as all the road races. I even managed to run the 2 GT3 series that i was running twice. I was just fed up with crashing all the time and i was focused on just finishing the races. I managed to do just that!
Starting this week off in the Street Stock, they are running at Phoenix International Raceway. I went into this race with about 15 minutes of practice. I managed to get my times down in the short amount of time to end up in the middle of the pack. I was the 2 car in the race and I qualified 3rd. This race was riddled with cautions and I think that is why I ended up finishing 5th. I was up with the leaders the entire time but we could not break away from the pack because of the large quantity of cautions. I think there were more caution laps then real ones. The last 10 laps or so went green and there was some really good racing going on. I got passed twice in those laps because I could not come up off the corners due to cars on the outside of me. Oh well, I will have to settle for 5th.
Next up was the Skip Barber Formula 2000 at Orkan Park. This was on the Gran Prix circuit and i’ve never run this track before. I hopped in the session with about 20 minutes of practice left and learned the track. My times were in the 1:18 range. Not too bad. I ended up in a room, which was probably the bottom split, where I was the 8 car. I qualified 7th. Anyway, I managed to avoid the melee and ran up front the entire race. I was in 2nd for a real long time but could not hold off the 3rd place car and I lost that position. I was kind of able to hand with them but eventually fell about 2 seconds back from him and about 5 seconds back from the leader. Not too bad a race considering what happened last week.
The K&N series was at the bullring this week, I got about 5 minutes of practice in before qualifying. I figured I’d be ok since the Street Stocks ran here the other week and I did pretty well there. I just have to remember to slow down more first and get a better run off the corner. I qualified 9th at the 14 car and felt pretty comfortable. In the first part of the race I was called out by the 13 for coming down on him but I thought he was driving it in pretty hard and I was just protecting my position. He fell back towards the end of the race anyway because he probably did not conserve the tires. As the race went on I notice my aggressiveness and starting slowing more for the corner, getting the car to rotate, and then powering out. That was working pretty well and I managed to pull off a 5th place finish!
My nemesis! The Audi GT3 car, every time I get in it I crash it. It may just be too much car for me. That doesn’t mean that I will not try and get better at it. This weed the Blancpain series was at Brands Hatch and I ran the full length of practice. All 30 minutes of it. I was not quite comfortable in the car at this track yet but I went for it anyway. I ended up qualifying 12th as the 12 car and managed to run almost half the race without incident. Then, while catching a lapped car, I got loose in the first turn and spun it around. I hit the inside wall and needed a tow. There was so much damage that I withdrew from the race because there was 22 minutes left with 22 minutes of repairs. Another GT3 race where my irating tanked!
It just so happened that after the IMSA race, there was another Blancpain race! The IMSA races are below…..I hoped in it with very little practice but I was pretty familiar with it since I just ran it. It was one big field and I was the 22 car, all the way at the bottom. I started in 20th position and raced clean the whole way. I was as high as 12th at one point but fell back to 14th where I finished. I finally finished a Blancpain race without incident. I am feeling better now about this endeavor.
Next up, the IMSA series at Sebring, I’ve run this track a couple of times in the Spec Racer Ford so I was somewhat familiar with it, but it’s been awhile. I ran about 5 minutes of practice and then jumped right in the race. Believe it or not, I ran an almost completely incident free race and finished 5th in my class. I did not take tires on the pit stop and only spun on the last lap trying to let the leaders by. I just lost my focus and ended up spinning into the wall. Other than that, I finally had a good race in the Audi!
I had to do it again because in know that I need the practice in the Audi. I ran the IMSA race because for some reason, I love that track. Well, I may not love it but I do ok at it. Anyway, at least I finish without wrecking the Audi. I got really no practice in and something happened where I could not qualify. I ended up starting the race in 22nd position, which was my car number. There was a huge wreck right at the start that we needed to get around and I managed to get through that without incident. Then there was the dive bombing Porsche driver who came up quick on the inside and almost wrecked another Audi and me. That other Audi managed to get ahead of me at that point. I followed him for a lap or so until he made a mistake on the last sweeper and got loose. I then got around him. Then I followed the crazy Porsche guy for awhile until I finally got a good enough run on him to have him let me go by. This put me in a pretty good spot. I managed to hang onto that spot and finish 9th in my class, 18th overall. So really I only gained 4 spots in all that commotion in the beginning. I still gained irating and moved up positions in the GT3 Audi. Not a bad race.