SEMA 2018

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SEMA 2018

PR. Attending the 2018 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV last month was a great experience. Not only did I meet with sponsors but I met a lot of great people at the event. Very excited about 2019, it’s going to be a great year

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About SEMA:
The SEMA Show is the premier automotive specialty products trade event in the world. (Not open to the public) It draws the industry’s brightest minds and hottest products to one place, the Las Vegas Convention Center. In addition, the SEMA Show provides attendees with educational seminars, product demonstrations, special events, networking opportunities and more.

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Race Report - IMSA Prototype Challenge @ VIR

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Race Report - IMSA Prototype Challenge @ VIR

PR. After testing the previous week, we returned to Virginia International Raceway for the IMSA Prototype Challenge weekend with optimism. During the test days we focused on car setup and adjustments that were needed after Barber.

https://imsaphoto.photoshelter.com

For the practice session, I focused on the setup and becoming comfortable with the setup and adjustments. Switching to sticker set to scrub in a few laps, I was able to get another 4/10th of good qualifying time and felt confident about the race.

Saturday's forecast showed a possibility of rain. About 70% of races were dry but it still made for inconsistent track conditions. Max started with a dry setup and had a good stint. He was battling for 3rd when the rain started, causing everyone to come in and change to a wet setup.

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As I went out for my stint, nerves were high not just from the rain but also from the possibility of a podium if conditions stayed consistent. The car felt good and I was finding speed and confidence until the windshield wipers malfunctioned, smearing rubber across the glass. During this time there was a caution but when the flag came back out, there was no class split - to pass after this would be difficult in good conditions. As the rubber started to build up, left-hand turns became blind turns. Even though there was visibility for right-hand turns, it was critical that I needed to utilize my muscle memory of the track and adjust my focus to stay safe.

While we didn't get the podium we were hoping for, our sister car finished in first place. Ultimately, it was a solid and productive weekend and gained some great experience from all the various conditions.

Next Up... We're still working to obtain sponsorship so we can finish the season at Road Atlanta in the 21st Annual Petit Le Mans.

https://imsaphoto.photoshelter.com

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This Weekend: Michelin GT Challenge at VIR

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This Weekend: Michelin GT Challenge at VIR

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PR. Headed to Virginia International Raceway for Round 5 of the IMSA Prototype Challenge.  I'll be driving for ESM with my teammate, Max Hanratty.

Schedule:

  • Thursday – 2 test sessions
  • Friday – 2 practice sessions and qualifying
  • Saturday – 5:45pm-7:40pm – Round 5 of the IMSA Prototype Challenge

Detailed Schedule here.
IMSA.tv here.

Feeling pretty good about the upcoming weekend and more confident in the car after our recent test sessions.  During Sebring, we experienced a mechanical failure and had less time to focus on setup as a result.  At Barber, we continued the adjustments which improved the setup.  We had test sessions in July that went well – the car is feeling well balanced, more predictable and I’m feeling more confident going into this weekend.

This weekend is significant for me because of events that happened three years ago.  I won my first open-wheel race at Laguna Seca.

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Race Report - IMSA Prototype Challenge at Sebring International

PR. 

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Going into Sebring, it was my second time in the LMP3 car. I had high expectations for my performance.  The other drivers ranged from gentleman, pro and young and reasonably fast drivers. Most importantly, the car felt great during the test.

My pace during the first practice session was strong.  The car was great and I able to find more and more speed as the session progressed. I finished the session 4 tenths behind Pato O’ Ward, who was in P1.  I was very pleased with the result and felt confident about my next time in the car.  My teammate would be driving during the second practice session and qualified the car - I wouldn’t get in the car until my stint in the race.

After my teammate qualified the car in P4, we were confident that we'd end on the podium. However, we still needed 4 to 5 tenths a lap to keep up with the Norma’s (the other chassis) pace. We decided to go for the win rather than play it safe and made some pretty big changes at the car, looking to gain that half a second.

My teammate did a great job during the first half of the race and handed the car off to me in P3, with a significant gap behind him. Because one of the Norma’s had a problem, our sister car was sitting P2. The data from practice meant that I was about a second a lap faster, so I was pushing hard. During my stint, from the moment I left the pits the car was unbelievably unpredictable and just wanted to spin me. I couldn’t brake deep, couldn’t get back to power and at turn in the car would snap, oversteer or just understeer like crazy. It was so crazy I was 2 and a half seconds off my practice lap. Along with spinning and going off on the exit of turn 1.

Every corner was killing my confidence. It was the first time I was scared and I just wanted to get out of the car.

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Long story short after looking like a wanker falling to P8 and spinning. We brought the car back to the tent and when we jacked it up the RR corner on the car just fell to the ground.  After looking at the suspension the bolt that holds an A  arm to the rocker was completely missing and was just sliding around in the socket. (Sebring bumps strike again) I went from being a wanker to a hero for somehow not crashing the car.

Overall was a great learning experience and so many new variables I had to deal with. It wasn’t the results I wanted either but the team and everyone there were impressed by my pace.  Really looking forward to Barber and a track that is not insanely bumpy.  

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