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My first SCCA race weekend! Driving a Spec Racer Ford Gen3

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SARRC race weekend May 18th at PBIR (Palm Beach International Raceway) 2 mile, 10 turn circuit.

I drove a SRF Gen3 from #duanemeyermotorsports and prior to this weekend, I had only driven the Gen2 at PIR (Portland) with #prodrive and MSR Houston for my competition license...so I took Fridays test day to heart and began to run the car through six, 30 min sessions to get a good feel for it. Needless to say I was exhausted at the end of the day, but I kinda had a handle on things... drove back home (90 min drive) and passed out.
Saturday morning came, drove back up to Palm Beach and got mentally ready for my first ever qualifying 20 min session... I did okay, but was at the back of the pack. Slowest time out of 7 SRFs which included 4 Gen2s (slower cars)...
I had my work cut out for me for the race... I was slow even though I have a faster car..
So I spent a few hours looking over video of my qualifying run, and Duane Neyer was kind enough to give me tips on where I was slowing down, Basically I was braking to early to hard, my turn ins were to soon and he drilled down that if I am not on the brake I am imidiatlly in the throttle... easier said than done for this newbee.
It was time to suit up, strap down and line up.
I started in position 7 in the Spec racer Ford group (there was a second production car group behind us)...
As I sat in the car contemplating how I could shave off time on my run I honestly didn’t think I was going to get past 4 SRF Gen 2 guys (not with the time I had laid down)... even though my car was faster the other 4 had many years experience, and I on the other hand had a total of 3 hours and 20 mins! No excuses! Time to race!
So we went out to the course and warmed up the tires and brakes for the start.
Green flag waved and we were off!
My plan was set into motion... first, to keep up and second to come up with strategies so I don't look like a fool.
I took the first 2 laps to study their brake points and lines and once I figured it out I was able to get right up to them where I knew on the long straight I could take them... took 3 more laps and left the Gen2 pack in my rear view mirror...The Gen3 folks were long gone, but all was not lost, I was to have a great time battling against a GTI (go figure! I drive a GTI ;-) )
There was also a Mazda which was way to fast for me to have any fun with, but he never left my sights, the GTI track car (I believe a Mk5) was another story... last three laps we fought it out... I had him on the turns (but was not as experience to know how to pass him) he had me on the straights... loved every second of it!
All in all, I learned a lot in my first race... and now I had to apply it for the next two races... which will be tougher, and mistakes where made... stay tuned for the next two race videos... to see me miss a shift at the start (rookie mistake) and my stunt driving maneuver lap 9...
Second race (Sunday) was a 20 lap race (5 more laps than Saturday) in the late morning, and we finished the day with a short 12 lap race.
Like they say... you never forget your first time... what a blast! And I can't wait till the next race weekend!
Sebring here I come ;-)
Category
Sebring Raceway

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