Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My First ProSolo Season is in the Books + Updates from Lincoln

Our Pit Setup for the Pro Finale and Solo Nationals
The whole team arrived in Lincoln safely last Friday. The ProSolo Finale was up first. This is the season-ending event where ProSolo National Champions will be crowned in each class. I needed to win to have a realistic shot at winning the title. Unfortunately, brake issues would keep this from happening (probably not just brakes, but I'll run with it being the brakes fault.....). I replaced the front hubs before my two test days in College Station in August, but I was getting severe pad knock-back during the first heat to the point where the pedal would basically go to the floor in each corner. I coned both runs on the right side during Heat 1 which put me back in 5th. I bled the system thoroughly before Heat 2 and ordered front hubs so that I could get fresh ones in the car and fix the pad knockback problem before Heat 3 on Sunday morning. The brake bleeding did not make much of an improvement so Heat 2 was basically a wash. I was able to clean up the right side which put me in 4th behind McCance, Madarash and Krauss.

I replaced the hubs Saturday night and also discovered that I had a master cylinder on the way out thanks to some diagnostic help form Mr. Madarash. Thanks Mark! It rained overnight but we luckily had dry running on Sunday for Heat 3. The pad knockback issue was fixed but the brakes were still inconsistent due to the MC problem which made it difficult to properly manage weight transfer with the middle pedal. Amazingly, I was not able to improve my times during Heat 3. I did manage a 45.8s red-light lap on the left side which would have kept me in 4th, but put me much closer to Krauss in 3rd. The Goodyear tires really like heat and running as the 2nd driver in Heat 1 gives me a big advantage. Being the first driver in Heats 2 and 3 really only gives me one shot at a good lap on each side because the tires are still coming in for the first lap on each side. I have struggled with improving my pace in Heats 2 and 3 all year and this weekend was no different.

My fourth place finish in the Finale put me in 3rd for the season in ESP. I was a bit disappointed to be so far back at the Finale but am happy to pick up 3rd in class for my first season of ProSolo competition.

3rd Place Trophy for the season in ESP

Sunday night while I was at the ProSolo banquet, my parents made a hero trek to Kansas City to get a new master cylinder for the car. With the help of Courtney Cormier, we got the new MC installed Monday morning in time to run two test and tune sessions. The car felt much better and my Dad and I are both optimistic coming into the Solo Nationals later this week.

I flew out of Omaha back to San Angelo Monday afternoon so I could work today and tomorrow. To cap a busy week, I fly back to Nebraska tomorrow for the 2013 Tire Rack SCCA Solo Nationals. With two good days, I think I have a chance to bring home my second jacket but there is stiff competition in ESP with a variety of cars so it will be very difficult. I will send out live timing and video links tomorrow so you can follow the ESP action live on Thursday and Friday!

Ali getting ready to hit the test track
In other news, Ali will be making her Solo Nationals debut this weekend. She is helping some friends meet numbers in STSL class by co-driving the championship winning Whitener CRX. She is doing great so far and learning a lot each day.

One final photo..........
Lane's car sure does look prettier with Orange and Blue!!!

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