I had almost 0 practice going into last night’s races. I did find a 15 minute window to quickly set a gear ratio in SM, but I only turned about 3 total laps. So when it was time to race, I set off with the Jeremy Clarkson mindset, “How hard could it be?”
In the qualifying before the race, I turned a 15.1. I asked the room, and retro informed me that was about 3 seconds off pace, so I exited and tweaked gears slightly to try and get more speed up the hill. I found another 1-3 mph, but was only able to get a qualifying time of 15.7. So that worked well. That put me 12th… out of 12. My plan was to let everyone ball it up in the first turn and just take whatever positions I could get. You guys didn’t do that. Everyone played nice, so then I had to hustle. I kept coming up to corners on that first lap thinking, “Surely there is a mess on the other side,” only to see everyone playing nicely the entire first lap. My view of t1 on the second lap had everyone still racing clean, which was disappointing… up until I came out the back of the corner to find a smoke screen and roadblock. I did my best to make it through clean, which meant I only hit 2 cars and did a complete 360. Featuring engine damage and 2 wonky front tires, I limped up the hill in 2nd gear and found myself in about 6th? I had a slight mistake on the next lap and let a couple cars by and got going again with Quasi on my back bumper. In the second to last corner, he tapped my rear bumper and sent me for a loop. Kind enough to wait, we got going again in 11th and 12th, and that is where we finished That ended up working out well for me.
As the second race started it gave me inside position. When we launched I pulled on Quasi. Watching the replay I was fully in front, but in the car the proximity sensor was still saying he was beside me, so I was conservative in t1 to make sure I could hold my inside line and not run wide into him. He ended up getting a better run out of t1, so I slotted in behind him and tried to use the draft. As we got to the switchback at the top of the hill, I moved out from behind him so I would be sure to not hit him when he braked. I guess he missed his brake point or was too busy watch me; he went way wide and basically gave me the corner. Avettey/RSX and I took off and were 1-2 after that. Mad props for the great racing that came the rest of the race. Our cars were slightly faster at different spots on the track, and with a little drafting help we could overtake each other a couple times a lap. We did so with almost no contact (we banged doors once, but it didn’t disturb either car). It was nose to tail the rest of the race. On the last lap RSX got a bit sideways on the switchback and gave me some clearance. Then the glitch, I mean retro, came through. I know the finish was close, but I can’t really tell you if it was a good race or not because he looked like a smoking, jumping, warping Miata. I really had no idea where he was or was going to be until we finished. The replay reminds me of NickF40.
ET in a twitchy Lotus on a track with no practice? Once the rest of you didn’t completely wreck in the first corner and I looped it on the second lap, I decided to just park it.