Archive for the ‘Star Mazda’ Category

Week 9 – Mazda on the Phoenix Oval

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Star Mazda Race Results

Phoenix International Raceway

This week was the second of two trips to an oval for the Star Mazda season, at the excellent Phoenix oval. It’s still a little bit muted as it’s almost a full throttle race (can go full throttle for the first few laps, then very minor feathering required) but it’s still a race where you have to drive it very much like an oval race and not a road race. It requires a completely different approach and discipline.

I started 7th of 13 and kept out of trouble for the most part. I raced mid pack and one by one people collided and left the race. It was going really well until I picked up my mandatory 4x hit towards the end (just when I thought I was getting a clean oval race!)

In retrospect I might have been able to slow a bit more quickly, and harder. Generally when I see trouble ahead I don’t jump on either the brakes or throttle – I come off the gas and gently apply the brakes until I can assess the situation more. Usually I’m looking for either a clear path that I can aim for, or for more information (i.e. slow down severely!)

I was able to drag my car to the pits and reset (I’ve never driven a more damaged car… I almost picked up a ton of incident points just by nursing the car to the pits!).

The end of the race was fun. With 13 to go, and 5 on the lead lap, I took the risk and took 4 new tyres. The next under caution saw 3rd and 4th also dive into the pits for rubber (not sure why they didn’t go for new tyres when I did) but I found myself starting 3rd and racing 1st and 2nd who had old tyres. I was able to blast into 2nd easily enough but all I could do with 1st was maintain the 8/10ths gap to the lead. Slowly, as the laps unravelled, my tyres came into play and I started eating into his lead. Unfortunately just as I was pulling into his slipstream for a late late passing move we just ran out of laps so I had to settle for 2nd, 0.2 seconds behind. 128 points to my Mazda season.

In other news Logitech have posted a brand new G25 unit to me (it’s in transit right now) so hopefully I’ll have a working shifter again very soon. As well as a brand new wheel and pedal unit for spares!

Week 7 – Star Mazda @ Silverstone

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Star Mazda Race Results

I had quite an eventful race at Silverstone this week. Despite a fair amount of practice beforehand I was really quite slow and generally propped up the timing tables at most sessions I attended. I joined a race session that had two splits (11 drivers each) and I was sent to the top split.

I was gridded 10th of 11 (and that was only because the guy in 11th didn’t set a quali time!) and just assumed I’d be in for a hefty loss on the iRating and points for the week. I was kind of expecting to get about 15 points for coming in last which would have really hurt my season :(

Once the race got underway there was mayhem throughout the first few laps. So many cars spinning (including myself) and I soon found myself in 5th place with some much faster guys behind me. The race generally followed the pattern of ‘fast guy catches me and lunges into a very risky pass on me. Fast guys drives off into the distance. Fast guy spins (again) and restarts behind me’.

Unfortunately I picked up a phantom 4x when I was chasing someone and hit a lag patch… not what I needed when I already had incidents earlier in the race.

In the end I was able to finish 5th, actually gaining 8 iRating units and scoring 117 points. Considering how slow I actually was it was a massive success, even allowing for the pile of incidents I picked up!

Week 5 round up

Monday, March 9th, 2009

I missed out a weeks race reports (including my first oval win via Trucks @ Vegas!) but I’m back with some week 5 news. My shifter is still just about holding up which is just as well as I don’t know what I’d replace it with if it completely broke.

Star Mazda Race Results

Laguna Seca

The Mazda series was at Laguna Seca (I love the track!) so I really enjoyed this race. Only 11 racers in total but a huge strength of field (over 3800!).

It was a tough race though; I started 7th and spent the majority of the race with someone snapping at my heels, waiting for a mistake. I did well to keep my composure but made a huge error under braking with 2 to go and missed a braking mark, leading to a self spin. I recovered and held on for a 7th place finish, and 96 points. The opposition were just too strong.

Chevy Silverado Race Results

My Chevy Silverado

I was a bit hesitant about racing at Bristol as my last two races here were very mixed. The first race saw me collect 16 incident points and quit early, the second saw me achieve a clean race (0x). I joined the race and we had a full grid of 20 cars! It was going to be mayhem….

And it was – lots of yellow flags and I was doing really well to avoid getting any incidents as I worked my way through the wrecked cars. Late in the race I did manage to get caught in someones wreck and had to reset :(

Towards the end of the race with 20 to go I took four new tyres when the rest of the front runners gambled on keeping their old rubber…. the gamble paid off and I finished third after restarting 6th. I might have been able to steal a win if the race had carried on a few more laps.

The good result sees me move into third place in my division (3). I definitely won’t challenge for the division but could be in with a shout for a podium placing if I keep up my good form!

Skip Barber Race Results

I really love the Lowe’s road course and especially love racing the Skip Barber here. I had two great races involving some really tight racing back and forth down the main oval section. I was also pleased to make some sizable speed gains compared to last seasons visit. I raced twice and average 111 points for the week – a good result.

Next week the series goes to a new track (Sebring)… should be a nice new challenge!