Thursday, July 5, 2012

Rumble at the Oak Tree!













Great weekend  Back to back podiums in the Saturday sprints.  1st and then 2nd.  It's been a few years since I've been there and getting the essess right took most of Friday.  A few HUGE moments during practice :D  That section of track has to be one of the trickiest I go to.  If you make that second turn in a tiny bit late or early you are just screwed.

So I had a few great battles in an event filled sprint 1.  This Australian guy came up from Texas and we had a lot of fun.  I showed him all my speed secrets in sprint 1 so in sprint 2 he was able to defend against my assault and take P1.  Makes for some good videos though!

Here are the videos!

Sprint 1

Sprint 2

I almost forgot the best part of the weekend!  I wan the OGracing Replay camera at the raffle!  I was going to get a new camera to mount backwards to keep track of all the people I pass :)  Hooray for me!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Watkins Glen

Great Saturday!  Sunday sucked!


Saturdays sprints went far better than expected.  I missed going to WGI last year so I was a little rusty and had no expectation of getting out of mid-pack.  Well, surprise surprise! Thanks to at least one competitor's mechanical woes I saw a 4th in Sprint 1 and a 3rd in Sprint 2.  In sprint 1 I let a D car go by me in T11 and that was really stupid because right behind him was the 4th place SPB.  That SPB followed the D car right on by me and I was unable to get the position back.  I really should have picked a better spot to let the D car go.   Lesson learned.

Sprint 2 was a truly fantastic race.  I got passed by #200 early in the race for 3rd but we did a lot of side by side and very close racing.  It was a huge thrill getting squeezed up the esses flat out.  What a rush!  I kept pestering #200 so he couldn't forget me.  I had a better line thru the toe that allowed me to really harass him from the toe thru T10 but in T11 he just sailed away.  Then it happened.  Lap after lap I chased him until he hit the curbing inside T11 a little too hard and upset the car.  He had to get off the gas and that's when I was able to get the run on him down the straight away.  Once I got by him he stayed glued to me for a while then he dropped back.  I thought that maybe he cooked his tires and so I relaxed a little and thought I'd cruise to a 3rd place finish.  Then he was there!  On the last lap he suddenly appeared going very very fast and it was on til the checker!  Truly some of the best racing I've been involved in.  Nose to tail and side by side at Watkins Glen.  What a ball.  Here's the vid:

Sprint 2

Then Sunday happened.  Lap three, in the rain, I pitted because I couldn't see out the windshield.  I should have called it a race at that point but I went back out and BAM!  The hood flies up on the back straight.

Hood!

All in all a great weekend of racing with far better results than I anticipated.  My best lap time was a 2:15.04 which is pretty quick.  Still a little off the track record but getting much closer :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Spring Showdown with NASA!

Great weekend!  Total SPB domination by the 611 Racing Team!  NASA is just a fun group to race with.  This event I entered the Time Trial as well.  That was interesting.  It made for a ton of track time.  Unfortunately I was much heavier than in SPB race trim but I ended up winning $100 Toyo bucks on Sunday!

The races were pretty fun.  My main competition broke on Saturday morning before the race even started so that left me to race with a rookie who had never been to Summit Point before.  He did a great job for his second race weekend.  For never having been to SP he wasn't too far off the pace.

I was pretty happy with my lap times as at a prior Audi Club DE I was slooooooow and I was starting to worry that maybe my recent alignment was bad or I was down on power or any other excuse besides the driver :).  It turns out that the limits you'll push in a race setting are exponentially higher than a DE.  That is for me anyway.  I saw may times in the mid to low 1:26's which if consistent is competitive.  It would be better to be consistent in the low 26's to high 25's.  I got a fantastic start in the Saturday Sprint!

I hold the current lap record for SPB at SP though :).  Turns out they are counting the new re-instated Spec Boxster class as all new.  Hooray for me!

Here are some videos of the weekend.

http://vimeo.com/41295465

http://vimeo.com/41295464


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Redemption!

What a great weekend! It's a very long drive to get there so if you are thinking about making the trip I would suggest you choose your travel partner carefully. Very carefully.

On to the racing! Practice was good. I felt like like remembered the track pretty well. This is the first time I've been able to chase other Spec Boxsters which is great. I was over breaking a few turns for sure so my best lap time came in qualifying by chasing two other SPB's. My time of 2:34.1 gridded me 4th for the first sprint. The other two SPB's were gridded right in front of me which set up a very fun race where we were able to compete against each other from the green flag rather than work thru traffic.

Sprint 1 was awesome! I had a great start that put me up to 2nd. After that I didn't drive defensively enough and eventually found myself back in P4. Lesson learned!

Sprint 2 provided some big moments. Most notably Russell got beside me in T2-T3 and almost wiped us both out. Lot's of corrective steering input on that one!

On to the enduro. The enduro was a blast. Sebring is a war on your body. 90 minutes of those bumps are just brutal. How the pros do it for hours at a time I do not know. Maybe the paycheck makes it easier? Anyway, on lap 2 I thought I smelled coolant. That's a bad thing. I really don't want to be the guy that leaks coolant all over the race track so I pitted to see if anything was leaking. While I normally wouldn't run coolant I'm in a little bit of a conundrum with living in a freezing environment and traveling to a southern track where it was 80 degrees. So I pit and Charlie looks at my radiator, notorious for cracking, and says I'm good and to keep racing. I kept an eye on my temps and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. That set up a crazy drive from 70th place back thru the field to eventually finish P2 in class and 25th overall. The best part may have been while I was in the pit the course went double yellow. Unfortunately (or fortunately) the lead SPB had a pretty big shunt and retired which allowed me to catch up to the back of the field and then I remembered why I put a radio in the car. I was dead last and the field came to a complete stop just past turn 16. I wasn't sure if something else had happened or what so I stopped the car with everyone else and all of a sudden I hear Mark yell GREEN GREEN GREEN and off I went. I passed 15 cars in one lap trying to get back to the front of my class. It was a fun drive for sure.

Big thanks to Charlie Murphy and Intersport for getting my car there and the support. Thanks to OG's own Mark Francis for being the radio man during the races. If you don't have a radio or a radio man you need one :)

Here are the videos. Pictures coming soon.



Thursday, October 20, 2011

I WON!

I WON!

I really did! It was a GREAT weekend. I started out with some goals. I wanted to see at least one lap time under 1:27. I had been able to get a low 1:27 at the August DE with PCA and I was hoping that racing with other Spec Boxsters I'd get a little quicker. Racing always makes you faster.

Turns out I was able to get down to a 1:25.948! Very happy about that. The track record is a 1:24.8. The next fastest lap times are 1:25.8, and 1:25.948 and 1:25.97. That makes my lap time the 3rd fastest Spec Boxster at Summit Point. Pretty stoked!

Friday was fun with the practice starts. I was in the low 1:26's on Friday so I was feeling pretty good about my chances for the weekend. Saturday morning was just horrible. It was raining hard. Really hard in the afternoon. It was cold too. Not much fun at all. We raced anyway. This is the first time I have ever driven this car in the rain. Toyo R888 are a handful in the rain to say the least. All the other classes were out there on Hoosier Wets and just FLYING past me. My competitor was 5 seconds faster than me in the rain. Not a very impressive performance on my part. I just couldn't get on the gas with out nearly spinning. The video is pretty funny. Then the window fogged up. Just not a very fun day. In sprint one my competition spun out of T9 on lap 1 so all I had to do was get to the checker. Not as easy as it sounds. I came in DFL because I had to pit (who pits in a 25 minute sprint!!!) so my buddy Jeff could defog the window for me. That lasted about 3 laps then it fogged up again.

Sprint 2 was equally as miserable. This time I was armed with an ice scraper with a towel wrapped around it. A Jeff special. Every time I came down the front straight I would clean the window. Just no fun at all. I did win sprint 2 since no one else gridded up to race :)

I do think that 90 minutes in the rain helped me learn the car. Sunday was fantastic. Really great day. Sprint 3 saw a real challenge from my competition. I got a hell of a start. A few laps in he was right behind me as I was caught behind a slower D class car. It's not always easy to get around a car no matter how much slower they are. Thankfully, there was a local yellow in T1 that prevented P2 from making any pass attempts there and then it happened, I made the raciest move I've ever made! I dove to the inside of the chute and with inches to spare I out braked the D car and got ahead of him. P2 was never able to get around the D car so that pass won the race for me. My confidence in the brakes and the handling on this car went up dramatically over the weekend. I would not have tried that move in the 911. I'm liking this car! After the pass I really concentrated on just driving as fast as I could to put distance between me and P2. In previous races I would look backwards more than forwards. I was always trying to drive defensively which is sloooooow. With the cars being so equal I realized that no one is passing me if I just drive hard and hit my marks. I still have some work to do on consistency but I had enough of a margin that P2 never got a good shot at me. I placed 4th overall in that race.

The enduro was a hoot. This car is so much easier to drive. It's still work to drive fast but with power steering it takes less effort than the old car. 60 minutes is a walk in the park compared to the 911. I won the enduro too. The other Spec Boxster didn't get a lot of practice time (it wasn't his car so he drove fairly conservatively) so he struggled and the other two decided not to do the enduro at all.

This was the first time we used radios also. They are invaluable. I was able to call Jeff about my window and he was able to let us know how many laps were left. Calling the green flag is crucial if your class is towards the back of the group. Love the radios!

Overall it was a great weekend even though Saturday was miserable. I got much more comfortable in the car and my times came down dramatically.

Next up SEBRING!!!!! This year I'll try not to crash :)

Videos:




Another perspective of Sprint 3 My car is the dark blue Boxster with the light blue/white stripe.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Rolex Weekend

Holy Crap it was hot! Real hot! Africa hot! You get the picture. It was hot. Loads of fun though. The track temps were well north of 120 degrees which made tire management critical. I ran a staggered set up which was a mistake. With the narrower front tire I heated them up too fast. That octopus, while fun, is a tire eater. The thunderbolt track is made for this car. I was one of two cars in the field on Toyos. Everyone else was on Hoosiers. I was astonished at how the SPB would keep up with the Hoosier cars in the Octopus. We are so light that a track of mostly turns is a blast.

Next week I'm going to play with a square set up. I've adjusted my front sway bar and fitted the wider front tires. I'll either spin immediately or it'll be great.

Here is a video from the weekend. It was a crazy start and the first few laps were intense until my tires went away:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

HYPERFEST!!!!!





OK, first weekend of racing with the new car. The car has some issues but nothing keeping me off the track. Took it to Piper Motorsport to be checked over and get some little things taken care of.

The first thing I learned on track was the THIS IS NOT THE 911! I drove it exactly the same way I drove the 911. That really won't work with this car. I need to brake much later and keep braking into the turn taking advantage of the ABS. I cannot take my foot off the gas as this has considerably less power. Momentum is the key. I also need a coach :)

Saturday was awful. Really bad. Sunday was great! I just need track time to work on these things and learn to drive a Boxster. One thing I was a little worried about was the power steering. It's so easy and doesn't give you near the feedback of the 911 that I was concerned I may not react quickly enough to directional changes since the wheel doesn't react at all. It was all good though. The power steering was really nice during the 40 minute enduro. Usually I'm looking for the checker after 30 minutes but at 40 minutes I could have gone another 40.

Anyhoo, I ended on a high as the Sunday race was a huge improvement over Saturday. My laptimes came down about 2.5 seconds! I do have a long way to go but that's the fun!

Next up Rolex Grand-Am weekend at Thunderbolt!

Here are some vids from the weekend: