Moroso Motorsports Park December 31, 2006

SARRC Race 2 2:00 PM

Another split start.
 
on the grid
 
Our 1:47.6s puts us third on the grid, directly behind the pole car. The SPU class cars are 1, 2, 3.
 
View "Leaving the Grid" video (~1.5MB - *.wmv file)
roll out the grid
 

Stratos chooses the outside position. The advantage is that if he gets an excellent start he will be able to take the fastest line through the corner and pull cleanly away from the rest of the pack battling through the corner. The disadvantage is a poor start will put the second place qualifier on the inside of the corner.

This also sticks me where I do not want to be. On the outside for Turn 1.

 
View "Start race 2" video (~196KB - *.wmv file)
Start of race 2

 

Stratos does just what he needs to and gets a jump on the SPU Ford Focus lined up next to him. I anticipate his timing and am glued to his bumper as they wave the green flag. I pull nearly abreast of the second place car.

Three quarters of the way down the straight, The Focus has powered back ahead and 4th place qualifier is inching along side. I am stuck on the outside!

 

It gets ugly.

I have to brake far before anyone else.

Car #46 shoots by.

The car behind me, #07 dives inside.

And the car behind him #0, as well.

I start to turn in and a frustrated Porsche 914 (#38) makes a late dive. "If I am letting everybody by, why not him?"

 

The GTI #50 agrees with this philosophy and tries to sneak around the outside. That's not going to happen!

I accelerate out of the corner with the GTI right behind me. He thinks about a dive into Turn 4 but I anticipate, carrying extra speed into the corner. This is a slower line through the whole 3-4 corner but it leaves the GTI stuck on my bumper without a way to get past.

He is not in position to try again at Turn 5. The tires are still cold coming out of Turn 6. The car slips and slides. The GTI has better exit speed.

 

I stay outside. This will put me on the inside at the chicane. This is the point of maximum danger since he has a good run and has much better brakes.

Even at 300 amps, the Imp has a little more grunt and pulls back a few yards. I brake as late as I dare. The GTI is clearly alongside but on the outside. He can not turn in without taking us both out.

I must practically stop to make the chicane. The GTI was fully committed to out braking me so he, too, is not in a position to carry any momentum through the corner.

Full throttle around the exit of the chicane. I gain a little breathing space.

 
View "Out of the chicane" video (~1.4MB - *.wmv file)
The chicane
 

Through Turn 2, 3 and 4, the GTI seems to be gaining. He gains ground under braking but also he seems a little faster in the middle of the corner. My tires still do not seem up to full grip.

 

My exits are where I gain something back and we hold even down the straight-aways.

Approaching Turn 5, I see the second place SPU car. He is slowing and I slam by between turn 5 and 6. I am now running second place in my class. Sixth overall.

The car feels a little more stable through turn 6. This could be the extra camber and higher shock pressure James tried in the rear. It could be that since I have less power than I had in qualifying, I am not going into the corner with the same speed.

The GTI behind me is baulked by the slowing Ford Focus and I get a small breathing space. I notice the cone on the entrance berm to the chicane is gone again. Hmmmm, I can use that.

 
View "Leading the GTI" video (~568KB - *.wmv file)
down the straight ahead of the GTI
 

Next time around, I brake 200 feet earlier and aim to put the outside wheels next to the inside berm. This straightens the corner and allows me to carry more speed. My inside wheels go through the dirt and take a second to grip as I put them back on the pavement and load them on the exit of the chicane. It is a wild ride but clearly quicker. The GTI does not follow my path and the gap opens a little.

Car #46 has an off track excursion and drops from third place to fifth. I get along side him in Turn 10 but he easily out brakes me into Turn 2. I stay close but can not overtake.

 
View "Catching #46" video (~304KB - *.wmv file)
getting a run on #46
 

I work on the chicane. Putting the outside wheels on the inside of the inside berm really straightens the corner but the berm adds an extra bounce and more dirt on the tires. It is also likely to get me attention from the chief steward.

All this fun is not helping the car behind me. He is still braking late and trying to turn. Creative cornering by many cars has spread dirt all over the chicane and this does not help the traditional line. He drops back.

 

Lap 5 sees my fastest lap. A 1:52.009s. 4.4 seconds slower than qualifying but 2.5 seconds faster than yesterday. I keep the pressure on #46 and ease away from #50.

Lap 7 and the first flurry of Spec Racers appear behind me.

The track gets skinny and does a quick left right after the chicane. If the Spec racers try and pass me here, we will all lose time as we try and tippy-toe through the corner together. Two cars side by side on a one and a half car wide road. I drift towards to middle of the road to delay being overtaken until the brake zone of turn nine.

But this is the battle for the Spec Racer lead and there is no discouraging them. The Spec racers are all built and powered exactly alike so they need to make the most of every opportunity to gain an advantage. The lead car throws himself inside my car putting two wheels in the dirt while the second place car tries the same move to the outside.

Clearly we are all going through the corner together. The second place car knows he has to slow with his outside wheels in the dirt. I move a little more right conceding the inside of the corner to the lead Spec Racer. I stay hard right through 8B and 9 letting all three get on their way.

This allows the Production car ahead of me to pull away but the car behind me has also lost time letting the Spec racers by.

 
Imp at speed
 

The race continues with no position changes. The main excitement is provided by the Spec racers coming by.

One is right behind me coming out of turn 6. Having been impressed by their assertiveness, I point him immediately inside and stay outside. I pull behind him before the chicane and we both brake.

He comes in a little hot for the dirty road, missing the first apex and is in a poor position for the exit berm. He tries to go over but the berm is bigger than the spec racer's ground clearance. He bounces into the air and does a slow spin blocking the road directly in front of me.

I have plenty of time to watch the whole thing develop but full brakes are having little effect. The car settles. I release the brakes and turn the wheel. The tires grip and jerk me around the car?. The outside wheels are on the dirt but I can accelerate away.

 
dirt on the track
 

The dirt in the chicane almost catches out the lead car. He slides off but recovers.

The lead car laps me on the very last lap under braking in turn 2. I have no problem staying with him through the corners but he pulls away under power. We need more amps to stay with him. On the other hand, 30 miles into the race, my car feels just as quick as it did the first lap.

 
Race finish
 
The checker flag waves. Wow! I am tired. This is a good thing. The Imp is finally running enough miles to wear out the driver!
 

There are congratulations all around in Impound. The officials weight the cars and then ask if anyone has a protest to make, otherwise they can let us go. "I want to protest that car for being too quiet!" someone complains with a laugh. "And too fast", another adds.

"And wait till we get to full power", I think to myself.

 
Impound
 

They let us go. The Imp adds a second place to it's points total.

We use 28.758 kWhrs. With a pace lap and a cool down lap at .250 kWhrs per mile and 14 race laps, we calculate .877 kWhrs per mile.

 


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Dec 31, 2006  Qualifying 2 Moroso
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