Video: E30 at Buttonwillow – How to chase down a higher horsepower car.

Last time out at the track, we shook down the E30 and managed to break some stuff.  But more importantly, we hung out with some all-around great people and skilled drivers.

Running into an old friend was one highlight of the weekend.  My friend Greg K. parked his Lotus Elise in a garage right across from our crew and we hit it off right away, like no time had passed.

We were running similar lap times throughout the day, with both of us having a hard time with front end grip.  My excuse was that I was still shaking down a new car that needed front camber in a bad way.  For him, suspension settings had gotten monkeyed with since the last time out and he was struggling to find the sweet spot again.  The net result was that neither of us was running our best, but that’s sometimes part of the game.

Greg offered to give Intern Ben a ride, incurring a 130 lb weight penalty.  So we started a session with the goal of me trying to catch up and hopefully get past – while he tried to put distance between us.  There are some specific challenges to chasing down a higher power car, and I’m used to the challenge from the seat of my own Lotus.  It was a pleasant twist for me to be in a chase where the Lotus was the high-power machine.

The video tells the story – and offers some tips if you’re out to chase down a higher power car for yourself.  Have patience and plan ahead!

What it doesn’t show is that one lap later, my transmission gave up on me.  Nice driving, Greg – I had to break my car to keep up!

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Regional Results Highlights!

Howdy, y’all!

Since I’ve been remiss in posting – we’ve had four more races since we last talked.  And we’ve added four more wins.

This brings our season record up to a 2nd place finish in our first event at Willow Springs at the beginning of the year, and a sweep of 1st places since then. (Seven of them!)

It’s fair to say that we’ve got the Southern California regional championship all locked up.  Not bad for my first ever full season, if I do say so myself.  And there’s no way I could have gotten here without all the friends who have helped and encouraged me on the way.  You ALL know who you are.

But as for the updates:

We’ve had some crazy stuff in the last couple of events – nearly keeping up with the TT1 Corvettes at Auto Club Speedway was one heck of a highlight.  Me and the little Lotus dived into oval at full speed, with no braking or lift, and hung on for dear life.   When the tail of your car breaks loose, then catches, then breaks loose and catches again – many times in a moment – all at 140 mph… well, let’s say I was puckered up!

And the next event – two days at Buttonwillow Raceway Park!  Epic Elise v. Elise battles (warriors shall sing our tales in Valhalla!) pushed me to a new track record (over a second faster! woohoo!) – which I then threw away by stupidly pushing too hard (awww!) in the ‘bus stop’ several laps later.  The epic-ness would continue the next session – and end as I watched my close friend somehow survive unscathed from a ball of fiberglass and aluminum and dust that was once a Storm Titanium Elise.  In a way that only racers will understand, it was a glorious day as well as a tragic one.  We’ve all been there.  And we all hope that it won’t be us the next time.

But tomorrow – qualifying!  Western States Championships – here we come!