Gingerman Raceway in western Michigan, about a 6 hour tow. I drove out there 2 years ago in my street/TT NA for an HPDE so this was only my second visit.
Track walk/ride on Friday evening was a helpful refresher. The track has been repaved since I was here, and last spring most records were reset on the fresh pavement. Curbing is grooved concrete, bumpy, but usable.
Friday morning warmup: went out on RC1s. 205/50/15 on 15x8 Kosei K4R, et20. Came in early with severe rear fender rub, wheels too aggressive for current non-rolled fenders. Swapped on the 9" 6uls with new R7 Hoosiers, they magically fit stock fenders with no rub. Proper et FTW.
Small problem in qualifying. I had clocked the rear brake line fitting wrong on the caliper during my brake downgrade last weekend. The lines were rubbing the inside of the wheel and the right rear line actually wore through and was just pumping fluid out every time I broke for a corner. I managed to throw together a good enough lap for pole position somehow. 9" wheels require a little more space to operate, obviously. Dumb mistake #1.
Race: I goofed on the start, AGAIN. I'll keep getting better at those though. Picked the wrong gear and went in 4th, too boggy and got walked immediately.
I dropped to second place after conceding the outside line to Neuman's BMW horsepower advantage. He was coming VERY quickly and I deemed it not worth the risk to throw my one move as I qualified 1.4 seconds up on him. That actually worked out pretty well, as he punched a pretty nice hole through slow traffic for the first few laps of the race. I got by him pretty early on after setting up a double move through the double-apex turn 2, exiting underneath him and holding him off by keeping the inside line through 3. Once I got by, I just started clicking off laps. I saw several 1:45 laps predicted on the SOLO, but there was always traffic somewhere. Every lap ended up being a 1:47 something.
I moved up 32 positions.
I got one clean lap the whole race and popped off a 1:45.09, new PTE record!
I took Kohler's 2015 1:47.xx record which he set on the brand new pavement, BUT he was on RC1s.
My car is still soft on prep, I just had a major tire advantage.
I won TT with a 1:46.xx but was unable to come within a second of his 1:44.xx hoosier tire'd TT record this weekend.
TT traffic was a mess all weekend. I was gridded(is that a word) in front of most D, C, 3 cars, but they wouldn't leave any gap behind me on the outlap and would all pass on the front straight under the waving green and ruin every single attempt at a flying lap. My fastest laps were all off the throttle from the T6 exit to T10b. Dumb. No mustang/vette/bmw guy wants to listen to an E Miata say "leave a gap on the outlap" Bull Hooey.
No warm up, straight into qualifying since we had two races. Qualified on pole again. Low 1:46 again.
Radar was showing incoming rain, but our schedule should have had us off track before the bad stuff started.
I opted to stay on slick tires(Hoosier R7s) while most of my competition went to wet tires. Dumb mistake #2
When I got to grid, I discovered that we were nearly 20 minutes behind schedule. It sprinkled for most of that 20 minutes while we all sat there waiting. As we rolled out the rain got heavier.
I started on pole and got a really good start this time, but it didn't matter. Nueman(BMW e36) was on Hoosier H2O rain tires and simply ran away. Conditions in the second half of the race got downright swampy. It completely went to crap.
I'm pretty happy to finish on the lead lap and pull out a second place finish while on slicks.
Race #3 on Saturday:
Dry, sunny, warm.
Started p2 based on the morning's rain race result.
Goofed the start again, fell to third.
Had a fun back and forth with Mike Weber in his B13 Sentra. Something happened to Nueman , as he was leading before suddenly dropping an anchor. Later I found him in the sand trap at T11. :(
Track felt quite a bit different after the morning rain compared to yesterday's race and I wasn't exactly able to back up my record. A 1:45.9 was my best lap. But I started 35th and finished 4th overall again.
Weekend tally looks pretty awesome.
PTE pole qualifier.
PTE lap record.
PTE pole qualifier.
Set up was the previously discussed
I was "encouraged" to add some cushion after my DQ last month, So I ran on a 133whp/2375 reclass. I added ~70lbs of ballast + a stock iron header, but went to a lightweight 1.6 clutch/fw and smaller brakes. Came in at 2399lbs after Saturday morning qual, over 2400lbs every other time. Probably making ~126ish through the stock header, down from the 131 through the racing beat, but no dyno, so no hard data.