The Glen National SCCA race
Watkins Glen, NY 7/9-10/05
Back at the Glen, but for the first time in my new GT3 cup car. I was paddocked with Oliver Zitzmann and Steve Bauer again, here are their FSCCA cars flanking mine (Oliver is walking behind Steve's) :
I had John Weisberg from Berg Racing on hand for support, which was very useful at this race with my new cool suit and for radios. He knows cup cars very well, having worked for Spencer Cox at Speedsport tuning. He was also at the Road Atlanta race as one of the mechanics for Farnbacher-Loles. Here is my car up on jack stands, he hates jacking up Cup Cars (he's spoiled by the air jacks but we had no nitrogen tanks). My Touareg is in the background.
Saturday morning was our 1st session, and was for qualifying. I started out slow to see how the newly lowered car would handle, and to see what gears would work and how the new track modifications would feel. I thought I was going pretty fast by the end but only got a 2:05 flat. Should be close to 2:00 as the fast PCA GT3 cups were doing that. But it was hot and Jim Goughary in his 350Z was the only GT2 car ahead, with a 2:03 flat which is close to the SCCA GT2 lap record. There were a bunch of GT2 cars including three or four other GT3 cup cars behind me in the 2:07s. I was 13th out of 54 cars.
Saturday afternoon we had some showers, track was wet/damp but drying. I went out on my dry tires but took it easy, using the session to get a rhythm for the track and shifting. I got only 2:14s I think while some of the GT3 cups were in the 2:07s - could be trouble in the race!
I decided to leave my old Mid Ohio tires on for the race as they still felt pretty good. I got my tires nice and warm on the pace lap, then was hoping to get a good start. I came through the last turn and started to squeeze the throttle, in 3rd gear, then got on it full just as the green flag came out!
Jim was beside me but I pulled away and beat him into the 1st turn. I had no slow cars ahead so I was able to carry a lot of speed up the hill and gain on Jim. My car seemed faster from turn 1 up the hill to the bus stop, where Jim would get a lot closer, I was braking too soon and hard. He would also gain on my in the off camber left-hander and the last turn, but I would always get ahead up the hill by carrying a lot of speed into turn 2 (slight lift) and full throttle up the hill. By doing so, and driving carefully other places, I was able to get a low 2:03 on the 6th of our 12 laps, and not be lapped by the fast GT1 cars who were running as fast as a 1:52! That was a new track record for GT1. The GT2 record was not broken, if I had put the new tires on I think I could have done it.
Finally John told me the checker was out so I carefully completed the last lap keeping my distance ahead of Jim and took my 2nd GT2 win.
I was disappointed that I was not faster, but the important thing was winning. The race was not the time to try late braking and carrying speed into the bus-stop or the fast lefthander, or the last turn. I am confident that next time there I can go faster in those three places and break the 2 minute mark. In my 911RS I would gain a few seconds each time I returned to the track, hope this is the case with the GT3 too!
Next is another SCCA National race at Lime Rock in two weeks,
will not have anyone there for track support.
return to Analog Man Racing