Thursday, August 13, 2009

Team Cardiosport at Barber Motorsports Park: Race Day

The Barber race weekend in the Koni Challenge series was a challenging one for Cardiosport Racing. Initially, we were struggling (as everybody else was) with the drastic change in track grip level from the previous year. Throughout the weekend, we made setup changes between each session and gained time steadily. However, it was not enough and we were only able to qualify 15th in the 19 car field.

For the race, we chose a 1-stop fuel strategy because we were 2 seconds off the leader's pace. We wanted to minimize our overall time in the pits and maybe pick up a few positions from team's who opted for 2 pit stops. As it did last year, the race was all green with the driver's doing a great job of avoiding trouble. To make matters worse, we broke our rear anti-roll bar sometime during the first stint. We most likely cracked it by hitting the apex curbing hard in one of the high speed corners. Driver Gary Grigsby started to report developing understeer around lap 20 but we attributed it to tire wear. It easily could have been the ARB breakage though. Our pit stop on lap 42 went smoothly, but we could not recover from our lack of pace. We finished 2 laps down to the winner, #37 JBS Mustang, and in 15th place in the GS field.

Our next and last race of the season, will be at Virginia International Raceway on October 2-4. We will be conducting a test at VIR at the end of August so we hope to have a solid baseline setup dialed in before the race weekend. We need to avoid drastic setup fixes at the track! The race will be a 6-hour endurance race making it the longest race of the season. Fuel strategy will be at a premium, but we have high hopes for this race so wish the team luck.

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