Session 3, Chicago SCCA PDX 1080p 5/27/2011
Third of three sessions at Autobahn South course. Brake fade was pretty evident. Had a nice little moment. See if you can spot it. Ride along was one of my students that weekend, Instructor group, car 004.
Waterford Hills 2015 Vintage Formula Vee Highlights
Highlights from the three Formula Vee races at the Waterford Hills Road Racing Vintage weekend over July 25th & 26th, 2015. The WHRRI track seems made for Vees, the fastest laps for the top 7 drivers were less than a second apart and most of the new drivers to the track were within 2 seconds. The Saturday afternoon race starts off with everyone hanging tight togehter, you can see the entire field front and back from my 5th place spot as we navigate the early laps. Rod Bolhous in the Orange #189 AutoDynamics has a good start behind me and passes Guy Dennehy's #33 Lynx B on the first lap, but on lap 2 Guy gets the spot back on the back straight. On Lap 4 I'm still hanging with the top 4 cars but then make a mistake in turn 1 and while I'm able to recover I've lost all my momentum. I drive as hard as I can and in 5 laps catch back up with Mike Kitzmiller (#78 in 3rd) and Eric Coppock (#92 in 4th). I try to make something happen in turn 1 on the last lap but Eric has the corner and I have to yield. I did however set my personal best lap time ever at WHRRI with a 1:21.049, which was also the third fastest lap of the race. I'm not sure why I started from 6th place in the Sunday morning race (finished 5th and had the 3rd fastest lap time in the Saturday race, seems like one of those spots would have worked ;) ), but coming out of turn 1 I was in 5th. Guy and Rod are behind me again, but in turn 3 Rod gets his exit wrong, gets a couple of wheels on the grass and spins out causing some evasive action from Jerry Baker in the blue #18 Lynx B. Rod was able to recover and still finish 9th. By lap 2 Guy is all over me and it's pretty clear he's got the stronger motor. There are really only a couple of places for Vees to pass at WHRRI, turn 1 and the back straight leading into Archer's Corner, which is exactly where Guy passes me with a good draft. On Lap 7 Guy puts the same move on Mike Kitzmiller and moves up to 4th (although he almost loses it on the corner exit). Mike is now within striking distance so I time my pass at at Archer's on the last lap and finish in 5th. The Sunday afternoon feature race resulted in my first podium ever in the Lynx, helped in part but an unfortunate engine issue with Chuck Guysee's yellow #70 Kellison which saw him drop out of second place on the first lap. By lap 5 Guy, myself, Mike and rookie Scott Noppen are running nose to tail in 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th. I get a good run on Guy and take 2nd place in Archer's Corner on Lap 6. The last 4 laps are just a dogfight for positions. Scott passes Mike in Turn 1 for 4th on lap 7. I'm able to hold Guy off for a couple of laps but on lap 8 the's able to pass me at Archer's. Now I have Scott all over the back of me and he's pushing hard. I make the decision that I'm not going to force the issue for 2nd with Guy (unless he makes a mistake, of course) and potentially lose my first podium, so I drive the last two laps with my eyes more in my mirrors than looking front and I finish 3rd. The Vintage races at Waterford Hills is a really great event and if you get the chance you should definitely go, the racing is very close in all the different groups and it's one of the better spectating tracks in the Midwest.
VSCDA Blackhawk Formula Vee Sprint Race 6/20/2015
The Saturday Formula Vee Sprint race from the VSCDA Blackhawk Vintage Classic XXII on June 20th, 2015. This is more a novelty video for me, since this was my first race ever in the rain in the Lynx (actually first competitive race in any car in the rain). Rain had been threatening all afternoon but of course waited for the last race of the day, an open wheel class to boot. At first I thought it would hold off, but the second we started off on the formation lap the first rain drops started to fall. By the time the pace car swung into the pits the rain was steady, and by the end of lap 2 it was coming down really hard (you can't really see it in the video unless you look at the water coming off some of the other cars' tires - trust me, it got wet!). My primary goal for the race was to just finish, preferably without a spin or any contact incident. You'll see a few cars go off on the first lap (the rain was really deceptive) but after that you can see how cautious everyone is being. Our lap times reflected that, being on average about 30 seconds slower than our qualifying times in the dry. The first cars start sliding off the track around the 2:23 mark; look ahead down track at 2:35 and you'll see a car (or two?) go off into the weeds coming out of turn 5. Guy Dennehy makes a nice save coming out of turn 6 around the 6:58 mark. John Kennelly makes a nice pass between 3D and 4 at 8:23; he's far braver than I, as my entire strategy was to keep my distance and simply pickup any positions offered by other's misadventures (and picked up 4 spots that way). Also keep your eye on the rear view camera as well, there's plenty going on in the background. Hector MacDonald takes a few runs at Greg Smith starting around 3:40 in turn 1. Also note how many cars simply followed the pace car into the pits after the formation lap once the rain started coming down (probably a smart move!). The race was red flagged after three laps due to lightning in the area (sadly the camera didn't pick up any of that). The GoPro's do a good job in the rain, the visibility in the video is way better than what I could see out of my helmet (those popping noises you hear are the rain hitting the camera). I managed to go three years before my first rain race, I hope it's that long again before the next one :)
VSCDA AuGrattan XXIX Group A Sunday Feature Race
The Sunday Feature race for Group A, which in this race was all Formula Vees and a lone Formula Jr, at Grattan Raceway on Sunday August 16th. All the action for me happens in the first 20 seconds. As the field jockeys for position down the long straight at the start, it looks like Guy Dennehy #33 brakes hard and moves left to avoid the #17 car of Bill Styczynski. John Kennelly in the #7 tries to react but clips Guy's left rear tire, bouncing out in front of Preston Windom in the #71 who's already moving left to avoid the cars in front of him but doesn't appear to slow down. His front right tire hit's Kennelly's left rear square and launches the #71 up into the air. You can see in the slow-motion replay that Kennelly's tire is already flat when Windom's car lands hard and smacks Kennelly's wheel snapping the rear of the #7. Game over for those two cars, but the drivers were physically unscathed. I manage to avoid the entire mess and go chasing off after the lead cars. But my car was missing just a little grunt when it comes to the track's hills all weekend and the pack would pull away a little more after each rise. So for 14 laps I basically drove by myself, not fast enough to catch the leaders and missing the draft, but fast enough to stay out of the clutches of the cars behind. So this is a pretty short video :) I included lap two simply because it was my fastest of the race, but without anyone to draft down the straight even that was a full second of my best time in the second sprint race. Still, it was all good practice for trying to figure out that off-camber devil they call Turn 3.