Archive for the ‘Phoenix Oval’ 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 9 – Trucks back to Phoenix for the second time

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Chevy Silverado Race Results

My Chevy Silverado Phoenix International Raceway

Given the sorry state of my shifter (which Logitech appear to be willing to replace) the only options to race at the moment are ovals and so I joined a race at Phoenix this week. I had a great result here earlier in the season (133 points).

This race was a bit tougher. I had the same sort of pace as before but a stronger grid had me racing for 9th – 10th for the majority of the race. My pit stall was in a bit of a tricky spot in pit lane and I managed to make a fantastic error and overshoot the box entirely!

Still, the race was good and I was doing a good job of saving tyres until late in the run when I could use them up to take spots.

I even thought I was going to finish the race incident free until I picked up my mandatory 4x hit on the very last lap from a wreck ahead that I couldn’t slow down enough for. The fact it was on the last lap really hurt my result so I only finished 10th for just 63 points.

This hurts my chances at finishing second in my division but there are still three more racing weeks to try and improve. Back to Bristol next week…

Week 3 – Mazdas at Lime Rock? No thanks!

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

I started the week with every intention to get a race in all three series but as I describe below it was not to be…

Star Mazda Race Results

Lime Rock Park

Star Mazda at Lime Rock Park you say? No thanks!

Tried a few practice sessions and quickly decided to avoid this combination. I don’t like it in the Skip Barber, so sure as hell would have struggled with the Star Mazda.

I took the safe option and decided to let this week be a drop week. Probably the best choice.

Chevy Silverado Race Results

My Chevy Silverado Phoenix International Raceway

Had a great race at Phoenix. Using a setup by Tyler Hudson I enjoyed a really memorable race where I slowly but surely used pit strategy to crawl my way to the front. I gambled on a two tyre stop with around 20 to go and managed to hold on for a strong second place finish. 133 points!

Skip Barber Race Results

Summit Point Raceway

I always seem to get a good result at Summit Point Full so I tend to look forward to racing here. I qualified second and had the best start I’ve ever had. Actually it was so very nearly a jump start as I set off before I’d even seen a green light (a complete mistake) but amazingly, my start actually coincided with the green light and somehow fortune was on my side and I made a cracking getaway!

I didn’t have the pace to win though, and fell back into second, pressing on for a strong finish. Halfway through the race my G25 shifter broke and started giving me upshifts instead of downshifts about 30% of the time (not fun!). I had to nurse my ailing car to the finish for a strong second place, and 135 points.

Now I have to figure out how to replace this sorry shifter without breaking the bank!