This race was too much fun to not make a blog post about. This weeks 24 Heures du Fun was an unusual pair up of the VW Jetta at South Boston. With a fixed setup (for road racing!) the entire field was incredibly close, with mere tenths separating the fastest from the slowest.
In this race I led the field of 18 cars to take the green and enjoyed 50 amazing racing laps with my fellow competitors. Lots of side by side racing that went on for 4+ laps at a time, and some really cool passes on the outside.
This is a short highlight reel of some of the side by side action.
Racing in the Pro series has been a humbling experience for me (but an expected one). Instead of finishing in the top 25% (which is where I usually finished – not at the cutting edge, but usually in the second pack of racers) now I find myself racing to not finish last.
That’s fine, as I still enjoy the races. If there is someone battling with me the race just flies by, and if I’m lapping alone then I challenge myself to lap at 100% effort with the aim of netting up the laptimes within 0.2 – 0.3 tenths of a second apart.
However there is something else to consider when starting races from the very back – you have to drive turn 1 completely different to a ‘normal’ race. Most races featuring large grids have pileups on lap one, and you have to drive cautiously just waiting for them to happen. Sometimes, I’ll drive as cautiously as I can, and I’ll still get into a crash (just see my recent race at Laguna)
This week I did a little better, and managed to work through the mayhem at the start without incident. The only problem was that I was held up for SO long, that any chance of a close battle was completely dead and buried.
I finished 16th of 24 for 86 points. This week I rose six positions in the standings, from 87th to 81st. I wish more of the 250 would race!
This weeks Pro race was at Watkins Glen (my first official race there). I put in a ton of practice but could not get anywhere near the real pace I needed. It’s a 100 second lap, so I’d expect to be two or three seconds off the top pace, so I was pretty humbled when I found myself almost five seconds back per lap!
I qualified with the slowest time in the whole Pro series and seriously considered sitting this week out. (why risk a messy crash when you are guaranteed to score few points and lose up to 100 iRating units?) In the end I realised that the main thing is just to take part and try to feature in as many Pro events as possible.
In the end I had a pretty good race. Got in a really great race long battle with Adam Haufrect who was faster, and I finished 14th of 19 for 70 points and zero incidents (lost a little iR though, but that’s OK, my rating is inflated anyway). A pretty fantastic result. I was really pleased with my consistency – after the early laps I settled into a good even pace around 3 seconds behind Adam and reeled off this set of race laps (probably the most consistent I’ve ever been).