GP3R- Trois Rivieres , Bill Heumann

I skipped writing about the NJMP race mostly because I didn't feel like writing about it. I was pretty down after that race. Even though we finished well enough, I was pretty unhappy with my performance there. The Friday crash that put me into the wall had broken some ribs. Upon inspection of the video, I could see the things I did wrong that helped cause the incident. It was a good lesson that it is smart to keep your mouth shut when you want to blame someone else for an incident, at least you get ALL of the facts. At any rate, all of that when coupled with the heat, my efforts to try to drive faster than the car could handle, and a plugged drink tube resulted in a poor drive on part. Fortunately the crew and Seth took up the slack for me.

After a month off, my ribs had mostly mended and with some help from my friends and family got my head screwed back on reasonably straight. I hope I don't get a repair bill for that one!

3R posed several challenges for BW as a team. To start with, James, Dave and I had never driven the course before. We got two practice sessions prior to the customary 15 minute qualifying session on Friday then we raced Saturday morning.

Another problem was that due to the unique configuration of the street course and limited space, the pits were not accessible from our paddock. After the second practice we, and several other teams, left our pit carts in the "unused area of pit lane" that we were we thought clearly directed to use if we didn't want to bring them back to the paddock. It seems like clarity was an error on where they were supposed to be though and we incurred a team penalty of 5 minutes deducted from our 15 minute qualifying session.

Another pressure was that the #81 needed to finish the race, preferably in the top ten. With no room for error, Seth and I needed to be fast but not make any mistakes. For me this meant that when qualifying came around I put down a 1:16.4. Even though my best time by a full second, it was only good enough for P14 out of field of about 20 cars. Dave, on the other hand blazed off with a 1:15.0 which earned him P2. He missed being P1 by .005 seconds! I think this may have been on purpose so he wouldn't have to endure any "pole sitter" jokes.

Starting on the outside worked well for me. I got my best start of the season and got a couple of cars in T1, a right turn. T2 and T3 are lefts with T3 being the famous, and oh so narrow, "Arch Turn" shown in this picture. These worked out well for me also and by the time we passed our wrecked #80 team car and #75 Honda, we were well into the top 10.

Here is a link to the in car video from #80!

From then on, I had a pretty solid race with some good lap times.

This picture gives an idea of the typical amount of run off room. This picture is the track out of T8 just before the brake zone for T9. I drove pretty well and put several laps around 1:16.2. I was able to pass the car off to Seth at a FCY. Somewhere in the top 10.

Our crew did a fantastic stop with fuel and right side tires in under 30 seconds and when he went back out he was P6. Seth drove as fast our car would allow without taking any chances and brought it home in fourth.

Here you can see that Seth really had a pretty easy race. He hardly looks like he broke a sweat....