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Racing: 2011 Runoffs SRF in-car camera

UPDATE: Broken right rear shock was the handling culprit. D'oh. See more info below ("show more") - 2011 SCCA Runoffs. Class: SCCA Enterprises Spec Racer Ford (SRF) Driver: Denny Stripling Qualified 23rd, ran as high as 9th, finished 11th. Earned the Sunoco Hard Charger award. Rear-facing camera in upper left hand corner. Welcome to my Runoffs experience. I didn't qualify where I wanted due to missing half of the week, having mechanical issues during my two qualifying sessions, and subsequently over-driving my ill-handling car trying to make up for lost time. Nevertheless, making up 14 spots during the race was certainly exciting and enjoyable. Before the race I made a fuel pressure adjustment that turned out to be ill-advised as I felt like I had less straightaway speed than I had during qualifying the day before. I made significant changes to try and loosen the car up and it worked... too much in fact in the carousel which killed me on the longest straightaway. Overall a very fun weekend and some pretty entertaining video as a result. My brake pedal started to soften about a third of the way into the race so I had to push my braking zones way back (like an entire marker in some spots). Enjoy!


 


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Last to first - Gateway SCCA SRF Racing
Watch in HD! (camera was lower res, apologies) July 31, 2010, driver Denny Stripling in SRF #4, Dash race at Gateway International Raceway, or "When your car is more of a 'dance partner'". This was my first time at this track and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it, considering the fact it's a roval. (keep reading) This race was Saturday afternoon and start times were based on fastest lap from the earlier races. Multiple classes were combined (Spec Miata, IT, SRF, Showroom Stock, etc) for a field of 29 I believe. I started last with the fastest time of the day. Based on 18 laps (if I recall), I started about 3:30 behind the first car to go out, with all the other cars going out between he and I based on the gap they needed so that theoretically we'd all cross S/F at the checkered simultaneously. The SRF's were the last race group before this race so we only had about 20 minutes to cool down and get a drink before we had to report to the grid for the Dash. Cars, drivers, and especially tires were still hot and greasy. Ok maybe the drivers weren't "greasy" but you get my point. Ambient was well into the 90's with pretty good humidity. My car had a known shock issue (I've had them rebuilt since then and can really tell a difference) which lead to a fair amount of instability. The tires I ran were from 3 different sets, all throwaways and all beyond what I would have expected to be their competitive life. As the race goes on, you can see what a handful the car was (watch the white line on the steering wheel to track my steering input). A quick description of the track, based on how I would number the corners: - T1 coming off the oval, 5th gear in SRF, approximately 110MPH. On a flier I would turn the car left and then breathe the throttle a touch to get some front grip, then back on it. The transition to the infield is nasty (I flatspotted two fronts during the weekend trying to determine how deep you can get in there). Get on the binders right at the transition, modulate for the bump, then hard back on them and down into 3rd for T2. T2 - mid-3rd gear left hander. T3 - entrance to high speed esses. I had to breathe my car in 4th gear to get the nose to bite on entrance. On good tires, this would undoubtedly be flat out. T4 - RH exiting esses, the exit on the far left hand side is off camber so the car drifts a bit. T5 - flat out 4th gear LH to set up for T6 T6 - hard, quick brake, flick to 3rd, and hard back on the gas for the long open radius RH run to T7 T7 - no visible markers for reference, get on the brakes (left foot for me), get the car as square as possible as you've been turning right the entire time since T6, and head into 7. T7 was a nightmare for me all weekend from a grip perspective. It was a fight all the way through there every lap it seemed. T8 - LH onto the oval. Low 3rd gear, late apex, important corner setting you up for the run onto the oval which is flat out in an SRF. This was a great race and I really enjoyed the chance to pass so many cars in such a short period of time (several of them multiple times!). Thanks so much to the St Louis Region of the SCCA who put this event on, to the awesome corner workers who allow us to do what we love to do, and to the other excellent drivers in this race who were observant, intelligent, and courteous. A great event overall. Hope you enjoy!




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