PCA Club Race – NJMP Thunderbolt August 23-25, 2013

(cross posted from Dorkiphus.net)

Great weather, great compadres, and great racing. This has (so far) been a wonderful weekend.

Several of us have done very well. Evan, Hunt, Ryan, Clarke, and I believe Nadir have all been on the podium. Steve W got a 3rd place for the day even though he had to retire early from the 2nd race (DNF due to broken stub axle–which hefixed┬áright after the race as several of us watched in amazement at his skills and also his collection of parts and tools!).

After a surprisingly poor showing in the Friday practices (even for me – old tires and hadn’t been here in a while but still didn’t expect to have the slowest or second-to-slowest times in a class of 14!), the races were a different story. I had a taste of this with new tires during qualifying Friday, but I got a great start in the first sprint race (video to be posted when I get a faster Internet connection) and held on against an aggressive Russell, who was in turn being pushed by Frank. My goal for the weekend was to finish in the top half (still “mid-pack,” but the top, rather than bottom, half of that “mid-pack”), and I accomplished that with 7th out of 14! The second race was similar except that I didn’t get as good a start, so I did the hounding (and finally passed, but my video conked out before I got around that seemingly very w-i-d-e Carrera #777). Another 7th. But position aside (I know it might not sound great, but I was very proud of it as it shows improvement), this was the best and most fun racing in which I’ve ever been involved. Truly nose-to-tail for many laps on a track that is very technically challenging to race on. I developed blisters on both hands – I think I just might have been holding the wheel too tight.

One little issue (fixed) – during the 2nd race, I took the track-out a bit wide (there are three levels of curbing there with a very punishing 3rd level – and my outside wheels were a bit outside of that on the grass). The crenellated concrete knocked one of the bolts off my sway bar mount in the 3rd lap of the race. Fortunately, it was on the driver’s side so mostly affected left-hand turns, of which there are only 3 on this track. I was still able to catch (and pass) #777.

Video:

SPRINT 1 (3 parts):

 

SPRINT 2 (skip ahead to 7:14 for start of race – also, this is only the first half of race. Lost video before I finally passed Russell…)