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Discussion Starter #1
This past weekend I made my first race. This was at Circuit Grand Bayou south of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We ran 4 sessions in the morning for practice and then qualifying and the race after lunch. Since I am new I am required to start at the back of the field. My plan was to make it through while gaining Experience running in traffic. I decided that I would not attempt any passes and would allow all traffic to get by.

That was a great plan until the green dropped. I made my first pass in turn 1. I then set in behind all the miata's. I still have the Nito 555 street tires (245) so normally I can't stay with the miata's in the tight sections but in traffic I was able to stay with them. I knew where I wanted to make my pass so I fell in line for half a lap. I blew the turn leading to the place where I wanted to pass so I fell in for another lap. This time I fell back a couple cars but I was comfortable making the pass. I made the pass on the inside of T1 at around 105. I knew this was going to screw me for T2 but I planned to keep the wheel straight at T2 and drop 2 in the grass if needed to keep my speed up. This is exacly what happened and it worked great except I barely hit my oilpan On something while doing this. I busted the oil pan, lesson learned. I saw the oil smoke right away and pulled into the grass and proceded to the nearest corner station and parked behind the tire wall so the race could continue.

Next race is July 16. I hope to have better tires for this one. I learned my lesson to stay on the course (although no one else was). I had a great time even considering the DNF.
 

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This past weekend I made my first race. This was at Circuit Grand Bayou south of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We ran 4 sessions in the morning for practice and then qualifying and the race after lunch. Since I am new I am required to start at the back of the field. My plan was to make it through while gaining Experience running in traffic. I decided that I would not attempt any passes and would allow all traffic to get by.

That was a great plan until the green dropped. I made my first pass in turn 1. I then set in behind all the miata's. I still have the Nito 555 street tires (245) so normally I can't stay with the miata's in the tight sections but in traffic I was able to stay with them. I knew where I wanted to make my pass so I fell in line for half a lap. I blew the turn leading to the place where I wanted to pass so I fell in for another lap. This time I fell back a couple cars but I was comfortable making the pass. I made the pass on the inside of T1 at around 105. I knew this was going to screw me for T2 but I planned to keep the wheel straight at T2 and drop 2 in the grass if needed to keep my speed up. This is exacly what happened and it worked great except I barely hit my oilpan On something while doing this. I busted the oil pan, lesson learned. I saw the oil smoke right away and pulled into the grass and proceded to the nearest corner station and parked behind the tire wall so the race could continue.

Next race is July 16. I hope to have better tires for this one. I learned my lesson to stay on the course (although no one else was). I had a great time even considering the DNF.
Yeah, the Miata's have much better ground clearance - they CAN race in the grass, but I'd stick to the pavement ;).

First wheel-to-wheel race - congrats, glad an oil pan was the only casualty. What class are you running in?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Probably because of the 100 degree weather only 12 cars came to race. As such they split us into two classes, the GT cars (3) and the rest of us. The GT cars were running about 6 seconds per lap faster than the rest of us.
 

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Congrats on your first race. It took me a year to get used to race starts. Eventually they became my favorite part of the race. Crazy sh*t happens at the start of a race and it can be intense.

As far as off roading is concerned I learned the same lession. I didn't gash an oil pan but I did break exhaust pipes and transmission case bolts driving in the grass. Now I stay on the pavement....much safer

What racing organization are you running with? Staring new drivers at the back of the pack is an interesting idea. In the SCCA race starts are part of a drivers school. New drivers always start where they qualify but the option to start at the back of the pack is available to anyone that wants it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks.

The race series is put on by the track owners and is not associated with the normal organizations. They do accept NASA or SCCA licenses though. I do not have a license so after reviewing my driving they agreed to allow me to race but start at the rear. This summer series does not draw alot of cars so they felt it would be a good start for me. After the summer they will review my performance to decide if they will sign off for me to attain a license.
 

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It would be great if this driving experience could help you get an SCCA or NASA license. That might save you some money.
 

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It could possibly get you a driver school waived but I highly doubt it at this point, if you have several years and 10+ completed races under your belt without incident then you have a better chance of getting a SCCA driver school waived. It really all depends on the chief instructor and his opinion of your previous experience.

I "thought" I had enough experience to have a school waived but Im very glad I signed up for the double school. I learned alot in those two days.
 

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Are you going to be racing in the july 16th event? On the website it says 'Summer Series
Lapping & RACE 2', did you happen to notice if the lapping part was only for the racers or were they letting non-racers participate in the lapping?

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Mark, Yes, I do plan on racing on the 16. For some reason I was thinking the race was this weekend so I am glad you asked. At summer race #1 the way it worked was a normal open track event open to everyone in the morning. After luunch there may have been one more session (I don't remember for sure) then the racers had qualifying and then the race and we were all loaded up on the trailers by around 4:30.

I will probably miss the first one or two sessions in the morning. I have to get up around 3:30 to make it to those and I am thinking of sleeping till around 4:45 and then leaving.
 

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Scott, I won't be able to make the lapping day/race on Saturday...my f250 has been acting up and yesterday it threw a check engine light...I have to get this thing diagnosed before I use it to haul my car 100+ miles :)

Good luck!

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Dang, I was looking forward to hanging out with you. I ditched the 245 Nitto 555's for a square 275 NT01 setup on some lighter wheels so it should be fun. I could stay with the pack (lose 1/2 a car) through most turns with the old tires, but I needed the whole track (sometimes a little more).
 

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I've been itching to get back on the track, too.... try to get some in-car video :)
...and I'm sure you'll be way faster on those tires!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well my second race has gone by now. I started dead last and finished in second. The first couple laps were dry then it rained for a few laps then it stopped and probably the last 5 laps were back to a dry track. I had made it up to fifth by the time the rain started. I kept cool during the rain and just played follow the leader, made one wet pass on a car that lost it in a turn. I was in ssecond by the last 3 laps with a guy all over my bumper. I concentrated on holding him off as I was really happy with second. I ended up putting some space between us so I went after first on the last lap he was about 6 car lengths ahead at that point. I got to his bumper but that was as far as I coils get. I needed him to mess up to have a chance at passing but he kept it together. I am really pleased though with second place. Some guys were discussing picking up two seconds from switching from koni's to moton's on this track (supposedly this has been proven on multiple cars) so maybe I can make a good improvement when I upgrade my monroe's to some real shocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks Mark, I was pretty excited. I don't have any video, all I have is a real cheap helmet camera but I have not tried it in the car.

I was running 275 nt01's on a 17x9.5 wheel that is offset to push the tires to the outside edge of the fenders more than normal. As you would expect the tires made a huge improvement in my car. Even when I needed to stick the nose to the inside of someone I could crank the wheel ALOT. When doing this the car would feel really bad but it would stick pretty well and go where it was pointed. This obviously overdrives the tires pretty hard but sometimes I think it is worthwhile. If I had enough wheel rate to control the body roll this car would scoot around quite well by my standards.
 

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Scott, I saw the post on the cgb forum, congrats on your awesome finish! It's nice to see a stang beat up on some of the european stuff :)

When are you going to know if you won rookie of the year?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I really appreciate that Mark.

I qualified outside pole and took the lead on the first lap. Sparks was ALL over me. He drives for Turner Motorsports so I was comfortable with him being that close. I left him some room and he got by. I had one opportunity to pass back but I did not as I could not. Have held him off for the whole race and probably would have ended up sideways.

I don't know on rookie of The year. I am guessing that we will continue accruing points through the normal season.

Race 1 is in a couple weekends, are you coming out got the open track?
 

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Saturdays are really busy for me so I'm really only able to do sunday events...there's an open lapping/solo-one day scheduled for oct 9th... if I'm able to do anything before that, I'll let you know.

You really need to get an in-car camera setup ;)

Are you going to run in the regular series now?

Again, congrats!
Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I would like an in-car but it is not in the budget at this point as I am concentrating my funds on improving the car.

Yes, I will be running the regular season starting on the 3. BTW the rules are now posted and they reference NASA...

Now just to get this funny looking dual a-arm setup installed...
 
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