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I actually really dug the track CW. The uphill blind stuff is now downhill off camber scary stuff. And as you warned Matt, we had a Boxter nail T1 tires, and another car go off into the woods at T2/3. Our own car took a rough ride over T10 and over the access road which took a splitter along with it.
I was really, really, really happy at being able to keep pace with pro shoes in GP2 cars during our opening stint. Unfortunately CW on Saturday one of them had to lap me before I figured out how to do it. Our car was fantastic. And then we blew chassis mount Saturday and an axle on Sunday. Really excited for COTA if our car stays together 8 hours...
Posted my response in the FB group... for the record, Gridlife has moved the instructor out of the right seat, and I would really, really like to see that become the norm. Instructors go out to corners and are assigned cars to watch. There is also alot of video analysis. I haven't run an event with them yet where they were doing things like that, but I really hope it takes off.
Didn't practice. Didn't test. Just kinda rolled out to have fun and experience a national event.
Go out for practice and... yeah we're slow. Right on the cusp for making the Miata shitshow. For Qually just figured I'd go drive what I had since I was expecting it to be the only dry session of the day and... yeah, we'll make the race but not in the first 45. Holding out for a dry second qually session and it looks like we're gonna get it... in between sessions I look over video with Andrew Carbonell, who put me at some ease that at least on video my driving didn't suck horribly. After talking to SM people by us we learned that ride height is adjustable (told you we're new to this) and we decide to try to settle the rear end some. First lap of second qually feels good. Get ready for flyer aaaaaand car dies. Fortunately, just a fuel return line and not the expensive stuff I was fearing.
So, Saturday morning, we can't decide what tires to run since it's track is wet but seems to be drying. We go slicks. It starts raining on grid. Sweet. qually session of about 40 cars, top 15 will make the show. I go out and put it 2nd fastest in the field in the first lap. Wet track seems to like me. Except that now every lap is 2 second faster than the previous one. Every lap has to count. Every lap I go from P3 to the cusp of not making it based off of who has put in a recent dryer lap. Obnoxiously, I'm now in a group of 3 cars. Fortunately we all play nice and as expected, the last lap is the one for the whole field. I had blown T1 but thankfully still solidly in the field at P5.
I go in for tech... had never had techs look at the car. Turns out my car is uh... a bit sub optimal. Random stuff out of compliance, non existent bump stops etc. Hey, we're new to this. I also learn that apparently everyone had dropped fuel pressure with the C9 race fuel for more power. You can adjust fuel pressure? Yeah, that's how our weekend is going. Either way, I'm happy to be in the big show. Like everyone else we spend the next few hours mulling tire choices. Finally decide to go with Slicks, as did the rest of the field.
So I probably don't need to tell anyone here how the start of the race went. In T1 I got sandwiched and took some contact on my right front fender which had that tire rubbing on fender the rest of the race (I couldn't tell. Miracle I didn't lose it). At T3 I went off track left to avoid the dead car in the middle of the track. All good! Settled into a race with some familiar faces from TX. Learned alot more about how to brake into these 2nd gear corners without ABS. Had my first experience with pedal knockback. I was dog slow in that field, but I felt like we had learned alot on the weekend and I figured some stuff out at COTA (for the record, not my favorite place in any car, but I consistently suck super hard there in my spec miata). So despite having the slowest best lap in the field... The car survived the weekend, we learned a bunch, and I got better. Can't ask for a ton more.
Grew up in NOLA and between high school buddies getting married and racing I'm there once every couple months. You'll be fine. Crime stays in crime ridden areas. Mostly gang violence crap. Between avoiding those areas (like has been said- you'll know when you're there) and not getting drunk and wandering around the French Quarter drunk by yourself you'll be fine. Track is in the relative boonies, and airport is in suburbia. I'll be in the 147 E30, possibly flying in as well Friday morning.