Star Mazda Road America Season 2 2012

Decent enough speed but terrible mistakes on the opening lap of both races cost me.
May 21 2012

This weeks race was held at Road America, a long fast circuit that I found pretty difficult to get my car to behave in the braking zones.  Ultimately, my fastest quali time was a 2:05.2, while my fastest practice time was a 2:04.9, both not assisted by tow, which is a big factor at Road America, thanks to the three long straights.

Road America
The turns that gave me the most trouble were turns 5, 8, and 14.  Turn 9, the Carousel is tricky and you need to roll off the throttle almost completely before getting back on, otherwise you understeer too much.  Turn 14 was hard to be consistently quick through and it was vital to be quick through it because it sets up the longest straight on the track.  I'd swing out wide and roll through, off throttle, before taking an early apex and gassing it up as hard and early as a could once the car was straight.

Turn 12, Canada Corner is interesting.  Most people on the forums are braking at about the 3 marker.  I was pulling up between 2 and 3, which is where one of the fastest guys stop - but he was lapping 2 seconds a lap faster than me nearly (low 2:03's).

My races were disasters.  I started 5th and 3rd respectively and both times gained 2 places off the start line.  I seem to start much better than the others around me.  I noticed this last week. My first race, at silverstone wasn't much good because I took off like I did in the Skip Barber and floored the throttle.  All I got was wheelspin.  In the Star Mazda I slip the cluch at about 5,000 rpm and ride it a bit to minimise wheelspin.  Seems to work well as I've made up two places every time.  Race 1 (Sunday 2:30pm) I crashed out at turn 3.  I took a cautious line and Andrew Richardson was on my right, but there wasn't a spotter call.  I turned in to take the apex and plain ran him off the road.  Race 2 (Sunday 4:30pm) I moved from 3rd to first then back to 3rd by the first corner, not wanting to cause problems, and I was on the inside.  Someone came up the inside of me at turn 5 and the same thing happened.  I turned in and he was there too and I spun, then Andrew Richardson againhit me and took us both out.

I did have a race 3 (Sunday 6:30pm) but it didn't count toward championship points. Pity, because I won it from pole and set an average race time of 2:06.8, with 0 incidents. An effort that would have won me race 2 by over 15 seconds and would have me placed 3rd in race 1, giving me an average of 120 points.  That would have put me 17th in the world. Instead I'm in 53rd place.  Oh well that's the pain of racing I guess.

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