Going in to my first F4 Championship Weekend, I was very excited and nervous. The weekend started slow and I was a bit overwhelmed. I had a good pace going in. I struggled getting up to speed but knew I just had to keep my nose clean in race 1. In race 2 I started in P2, providing me a great opportunity for a strong finish. I tried to stay up front but didn't get a good lap time, meaning I would have to start mid-pack again for race 3. Going in to race 3 I tried to keep my nose clean and finished P9 bringing home some points. Overall the weekend was a great learning experience and the rest of the season looks very promising. I can't thank Jeremy and all the JDX boys enough for all there effort. It's going to be a good year.
These last 10 Days have been truly amazing. In these last 10 days I have driven so many different cars and gained so much experience. On Thursday, October 20th I flew to Detroit for the Racing 4 Detroit event with Buhl Sport. I gave rides to guests at the event in the GRC Lites car. It was my first time in the car and it was amazing! It was truly a great experience. I’m grateful for the opportunity to get some seat time and feel out the car.
That night I flew to VIR for my first ever endurance race, in the 13 hour at VIR in a Mazda Miata. It was the first time I was able to experience pit stops, driver changes, and doing a stint for more than 30 minutes in a car. I also was able to do it with 3 of my best friends, Jonathan Sugianto, Charles Streicher, and Clay Magouyrk. Unfortunately, the race didn’t go as planned and in the 4th stint we had a fuel leak causing our race to be over. But overall I gained so much experience in the short time and hoping to do it again soon.
Later that week I got an opportunity to test the new F4 car at High Plains Raceway with JDX Racing. I tested the car for two days and learned even more. It was the first time I was on slicks in an open wheel car with a lot more grip than anything I have ever driven. The experience was great and learned so much. I looked at data for the first time and could feel a few setup changes.
These last 10 days have been absolutely awesome and I can’t thank Buhl sport, Clay Magouyrk, and JDX Racing for making all this possible. Stay tuned for more updates on my career as I will be trying to put a full time ride together for next year.
Rounds 11&12 took us to Autobahn Country Club. I was doubling up so I had a total of 16 sessions that weekend. Going into the weekend I really studied the track, as it is a very technical and I wanted to be prepared. In practice 1 I finished the session in P1. In practice 2 I finished the session in P2. This was a great start to the weekend.
In race 1 I started p4 and was battling with an aggressive driver and he almost came down on my nose multiple times. When he finally did come down on my nose, it was on a corner that I wasn't expecting and spun me around -- I ended up finishing 7th.
In Race 2 I started 3rd and ran there the whole race, finishing in 3rd. I started 5th in Race 3 due to the bad race lap time in Race 1. In this race the top six couldn't be separated. I was sitting sixth just waiting to make my move. I didn't want to get in the thick of things as the overly aggressive driver was causing drama ahead. With 5 laps to go the aggressive driver collided with 1st, causing both of them to spin. This also caused 4th place to spin as he was trying to avoid them. It was a crazy lap, but a very nice Scooby snack coming home in 3rd again.
In race 4 I decided to switch cars because I had been in the same car for the whole weekend. Looking back on it, I should have changed cars a lot earlier as I didn't realize how bad my car was set up. In the final race I started 3rd again and drove my way to the front. I passed 2nd then had a 5 second gap to the leader. In 6 laps I got closer and closer utill I was right along his gearbox when his motor let go. I took the lead but still had 2nd right on my tail. With 7 laps to go I was able to hold him off and score the race win -- finally getting back on the top step of the podium.
Rounds 9&10 were at Roebling Road. It is a very technical track with very low grip, making it very easy to over drive. The only good place to pass on the track is on turn one, but turns 7&8 are the most important because they lead to the front straight down to turn one. All weekend I was struggling in the last two corners. As qualifying rolled around I had some things I wanted to try, but was still lacking speed through turns 7&8.
In race 1 I started 4th and ran there the whole time. I was able to keep with the lead pack but wasn't able to gain any positions because I couldn't figure out the last corners. Going into race two my dad suggested raising the nose of my car up to help eliminate some of my oversteer on the corners - this seemed to help a lot.
In Race 2 I started 4th and was able to go around the outside and out brake 2nd and 3rd in turn 1, passing them and almost claiming first. Unfortunately, as the race went on I still couldn't get a run to make a pass and I got passed by one car per lap. Though I was just as fast as any of my competitors, the most important section of the track was the only one that tripped me up. I was still able to claim two top fives -- continuing my streak of finishing in the top five every race this season.
Rounds 7&8 of the Skip Barber Series took us to Thompson Speedway. Going into the first practice session it was pouring rain and the track was unfamiliar. I slowly worked my way up faster and faster -- ending both practice session P1. In qualifying I took P3 - Just off pole by 2 tenths.
During the race I got the jump trying to pass 1st, but as I was alongside him on the exit he began to track out, leaving me no room and forcing me to back out. In doing so, 3rd place got a run and passed me. At the next corner I went down the inside but he didn't know I was there so he started turning in and caused me to try and back out but it was too late and spun. After spinning I got super lucky and a caution was thrown so I could rejoin and catch the back of the pack.
At the restart I got a huge run and made it up to 7th after one lap. Unfortunately I got ran into under the brakes, pushing me wide and losing the gap to the leaders. I still pushed hard and was able to grab two positions to finish 5th. At the beginning of the second race I started 4th and the top 3 went three wide. This allowed 6th to get a huge run and make it 4 wide going into 1. I choose to go with 6th place and try to follow him up the inside. The door started closing, which caused contact and one car to have radiator damage. I kept pushing even though my car was down on power as well. I tried to make the best of it, keeping up with the top guys and finishing in 4th.
Overall it was a good weekend as far as my driving goes. I found a lot speed in my driving but unfortunately had bad luck in the races. I’m glad I was able to run with the front guys not being a draft track.