VIR Race!

Round 2 in the books. Saturday was raceday and started out awesome - but hot, especially for April. At around 10AM on the way to the track, we were at 75 and the weather was saying thunderstorms (70%) at 5PM - right in the middle of the race. I spent the day hanging out with friends and customers that came to cheer us on while the guys went over the final small details on the cars.

Sure enough, around race time, the sky started getting hazy. We can't change to rain tires once pre-grid is closed, which was about the time the sever weather warning came over the PA - 60 MPH winds and mixed hail. Nice. We went over the rain proceedure in a quick meeting and then rolled off the grid to do our parade and warmup laps and get the race going.

I got a good launch on the standing start but really couldn't find a hole to the right, so I took my chances on the left of PD Cunningham who slowly was moving to the track edge and me into the grass - not good for traction. I ended up moving back over and settling in, but dropping a spot to Seth in the process. The first few turns were wild with 2-3 wide and bumping for position, but no one was way out of shape and I even avoided any rubbing - not that it was my goal... Seth and PD got together slightly at the end of the back straight and loosened both of them up and I slipped by moving me up to 5th. Seth got a better run onto the front straight and I let him by going into T1 for the start of lap 2. Another lap or so went by and I reeled in Espenlaub who let me by going into T1 again under braking. Unfortunately, this shuffling put me about 10 car lengths behind of the front pack and out of the draft which was so critical. I managed to pick up a few feet on a couple of laps but there is no way the big frontal area can be as efficient as a pack of cars working together, so at some point I had to stop using up the tires, settle in to where I was having gotten some breathing room from Charles and PD behind me, and hope for some mistakes as I watched the battle in front of me.

Luckily for me, the mistakes came in the form of a couple of offs by Herr and Kleinubing - not something I would wish for karma's sake if nothing else, but I moved into 3rd on the second to last lap of the race. Seth and Kuno were really going at it and there was really no way for me to catch and plenty of room behind me, so I took an easy last lap or two and rolled the #36 car in safely in 3rd spot.

The podium celebrations was awesome - Seth's first in World Challenge and long overdue for him. For me, 3rd was kind of the old hat - I need to get it in gear and take the top step. Instead of heading out to celebrate, we hung out waiting for a surprise dyno of all the cars in the field. At about 10PM we were finally free to go and headed out of the track.

Round 3 is in UT in 3 weeks, followed the next week by 4 and 5 at Lime Rock the following week. I leave for One Lap of America this Friday, so I will have plenty of track time (and time stuck in a car) leading up ot these.