Skip Barber Season 3 2011 Road Atlanta Race

August 15 2011

I’ve just finished my one race for the week on Road Atlanta and it was both a disappointment and a success.  Firstly, I started 10th on the grid, in last place.  I didn’t set a qualifying time for this race and my rank was 9th; rank 10 started the last of the qualifiers.

By first corner I was into 8th and I gained another spot before the halfway point of the first lap.  By the end of lap two I was into fourth after two cars made contact, and I’d passed a few more.  I was holding 4th well, ever so slightly catching 3rd and pulling away from 5th when I thought I’d ‘drop the hammer’, to borrow a phrase from Col Trickett in Days of Thunder.  What a mistake.  I dropped it alright, right off the next corner and into into a wall.

I’d been so careful up to this point at lap 6.  I felt I was driving well within myself, braking early and getting on the accelerator later, trying to minimise the risk.  I’d also had 0 incidents.  I lost 2 laps in the tow back to the pits and the repair.  I came back out in second last, in front of the car ranked #7.  I was also just in front of the car I was chasing for 3rd and the car that was behind me.  I let them both through, as racing etiquette dictates but I didn’t let them out of my sight.

I followed the 5th placer closely for the rest of the race, breaking early to avoid him, as I was easily faster.

The lesson I learnt was don’t push hard.  It’s not worth the crashing.  At least my iRating has dropped, so I'll be in a slower group next time.


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