Well up here north of the 49th racing season has come to an end and with it the close of the most competitive class of road racing we have, so lets recap.
A little back story as I haven't posted much throughout the season just the last weekend of epic fail.
Built the car over the course of 2015 with working in Saudi Arabia most of the year it had zero shake down time and barely enough parts to be a proper spec car.
Race Weekend #1
The first race started off just as tumultuous as the 3rd event with a 3 way battle into the first corner of the first lap with 3 rookies all not having a clue what the hell was going on..
A clipped tire wall spun me into the path of the closely following #65 car which then was hammered on by a late starting #9 (all this action is hidden behind a concrete wall so blind turn 1)
Needless to say it was a pretty shitty way to start the season.
The damage wasn't to serious, busted brake lines, rear up right, rear arms, body panels, and of course all the pride and confidence.
Worked on it most of the night but just didn't have the spares to get back out the second day, not to mention pretty disheartened with the car I had now compared to what I spent all winter building.
We have 4 weeks between races so plenty of time to get it back to together and ready for event #2 at least.
Race Weekend #2 went smoothly, car was decent, breaking into the top 10 which was goal #1 (also just finishing every race) Race pace was still about 2s a lap too slow to get into the lead pack at 1:33.0
Race Weekend #3 was the hub failure weekend. I came with to me what felt like a new car. Ride height adjusted to add some shock travel and some forgiveness to the curbs. Corner balanced within 0.2% after lowering the drivers floor pan according to the new rules. Fuel pressure regulator was installed to pull some fuel out of the top end and of course I was on the new 6UL Spec Miata wheels with fresh SM7's.
Best lap was a 1:32.269 (4th fastest lap time of the day). My times were much better but didn't get into that lead pack with a poor showing in a rain soaked qualifying and getting too sideways on corner exits in both early and later stages of the races but I now knew I had it in myself and the car to get up near the front!
It was cold, no thermostat and ~7°C
Of course then the hub failed and I missed the 2 races that matter. The final race had me battling with a couple of the lead pack guys and IIRC I finished P5, a new personal best!
Mixed ST-PT-SM class race
Race Weekend #4
Not much left to adjust as everything felt very put together in the final race of the last event so I decided to just recheck the ride heights and corner weights, everything still looked fine so this event would be just about driving as hard as I could with what I had.
Got a late start to quali with just catching myself before leaving the pregrid with an untorqued LF! I had about 5 laps to get out there and set a decent time now, so I pushed hard.
And it paid off well! Granted the gap back to 6th did leave me quite a bit of breathing room if I messed up.
Race #1 I got a great start ran side by side with the second place car but had to yield as my clutch was starting to slip :(
Still I set a new PB and scored my first podium! (as well as a very respectable lap time!) But it was bitter sweet, the P2 car pulled off mistakenly when given a warning for contact so in reality I had only earned P4. I really wanted to get on the podium from my performance not someone else's mistake.
The car finally was dialed in proper, tire pressures accounting for the final tenths gained.
Race #2 was an unbelievable battle, I got stuck behind an avid racer and he defended with everything he had.
Video from his car, mine is still in the editing phase, we talked after and I gave a jokingly aggressive warning that in the last race if I had to deal with that again I would be pushing him out of my way
Luckily for me I got away quickly in Race #3 in the second corner and was finally in the hunt for a podium!
1st in the distance, but 2nd not too far ahead, if only my clutch had more in it.
Pushing the car as hard as I could, as shown here with a slight wall slide from not lifting when the car started to get loose on me. I managed to secure 3rd then had to hold off long enough with a slipping clutch that the pressure would cause the chase car to slide off the track and with 3 laps to go the gap I had was enough to coast to a podium!
Its a great feeling being one of the fastest, and after the year I had this was worth every pain staking set back. Can't wait to get back in this car and do it all over again.
-Even had on my lucky shirt-