Tuesday, June 4, 2013

2013 Spring Nationals - ProSolo and Championship Tour Full Recap

It's been a week since I got back home from the SCCA Spring Nationals. I had another local event this past weekend, but now I am in the office watching the Isle of Man TT and it's time to write a few race recaps. 

We arrived in Lincoln on Thursday the 23rd. The Spring Nationals consists of a ProSolo on Friday and Saturday followed by a Championship Tour event on Sunday and Monday. I have changed the setup on the ESP Camaro since we were last in Lincoln, so we got the car unloaded quickly and I hit the test and tune course for a few dial in laps. The balance was better than last year so we didn't make any changes before Heat 1.

Dad telling me how to go fast!
Running the TNT Course

Dad launching on the left side course
The forecast basically called for a chance of showers and thunderstorms each day. This meant that every Heat was very important for the ProSolo because you never know when it will be your last dry session (your fastest time in any of the heats from the left and right courses make up your total time). We had 10 drivers in ESP and I finished 2nd behind John Hogan after the 1st Heat. I red-lit on my 2nd right side run by about 2 hundredths, but the raw time would be have been good enough for 1st....if it had rained after Heat 1 that would have been a massive disappointment. Luckily, we stayed dry for all of Friday. I was able to improve my time, but my position in class stayed the same. Mark Madarash moved into 1st and John Hogan dropped back to 3rd, just 0.028 behind me. 

Making damper changes

Saturday morning, we woke up to rain which meant no hope of fighting for the win. It stopped raining before our heat, but the course was still properly wet. We didn't dry/fly half way across the country to sit in the truck, so we kept the slicks on and had some fun in the wet conditions. It was a bit dicey in the deeper-water sections, but at least I know how the car feels on slicks in the wet (not so great....). It dried out during the afternoon and I spent all afternoon at the test and tune course trying to dial in the balance for the Lincoln surface. Thanks to Sam Strano and Junior Johnson for helping get some laps on the TNT course and continue to sort the car.

Sammy getting re-acquainted to his old ride

After the ProSolo 2nd place, I was really pushing to improve just one more position at the Tour! We had 14 drivers in ESP for the Tour. With a mixed forecast for Sunday and Monday, it was anyone's game. As you could read in my previous post, the Tour went well and I was able to come away with the win. It was my first SCCA National win since I won the A Stock Championship in 2011 so it was very satisfying to get the first win in the Camaro. After Sunday, I was a little over 4 tenths back from Mark Madarash so I still need to find some raw pace in the dry before the Solo Nationals in September. The car felt the best it ever has on the Lincoln concrete so we are moving in the right direction. 

Pushing the Camaro on the Sunday Tour Course

Tour Class Results: http://scca.cdn.racersites.com/prod/assets/results/Lincoln%20Champ%20Tour%20results1.pdf

Thanks to my Dad and Ali for the great photos!

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