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SCCA Polar Prix 2/14, 2/15


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#1
MPR22

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As usual I will give a race update this one will be more brief than usual as I am buried at work and I can only stand so much embarrassment. 

 

Saturday Qual: 

I was P3

I won by 7 seconds but was found non-compliant. 

 

Podium:

 

Bill Agha

Alex Bachoura

William Keeling  

 

 

Sunday

 

 

Sunday Qual

 

I put it on Pole.

Didn't have rain tires and was unable to compete with the H2O's.

 

 

 

Sunday Podium

 

Bachoura

Ferranti

Keeling

 

 

Huge congratulations to my friend Willie the Tard Keeling.  Two podiums, may be your best weekend.  

 

Congrats to Alex Bachoura, great weekend also 

Taylor is getting close to figuring out the 99.  He was very disappointed that he was not one of the "everyones"  that went 2 seconds faster in a 99.  

 

Thank you to Chris Haldeman for setting up the race car before he went off on his romantic weekend.  The best handling car I have ever been in by far.  

 

Thank you to my dad for putting me in great cars.  Anyone interested the car I was racing is for sale.  Talk to Chris Haldeman as it is in his possession and he  can tell you about the engine and maintenance.  


Edited by MPR22, 02-18-2015 01:44 PM.

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#2
Craig Berry

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Ross, Thanks for the update. Sorry bout your luck, but at least you had speed. Those Sat times are really quick.
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#3
Jim Drago

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As usual I will give a race update this one will be more brief than usual as I am buried at work and I can only stand so much embarrassment. 
 
Saturday Qual: 
 
Cool weather great sunshine perfect weather and track conditions for fast times in qualifying.  
 
Lets start the weekend of Michael's Miscues with I brought the wrong head unit for my Traqmate and would be without a data and lap timer for the weekend. I was racing my 99 as the VVT is getting updated to the new head rules from stock.  
 
I went out third behind Taylor Ferranti in his new 99 and Lee Thomas in his new VVT.  My usual qualifying partner was two back of me with his buddy Brett Gabriel between us and I felt like the ugly girl at the dance with nobody to dance with.  
 
I thought about leaving a big gap and leading the Gabriel and Wisler train but that seemed like the best way to end up with the third best time in of that trio. So went out behind Ferranti and Thomas hoping they would be on point and lead me to a pole.  Well lets just say about 2 laps in that plan wasn't working at all car kept shutting off in hard left hand turns and  Ferranti was a little off pace trying to figure out the handling characteristics of the 99 and I caught them almost immediately and then tried to let them gap me at the start finish to try again.  The Wisler and Gabriel duo were closing fast and by the end of lap two they smoked around me at the start finish line.  I fell in line behind them again trying to leave a little gap as we came around to finish lap 3. They were hot on Ferranti and Thomas by this time and I was praying they didn't pull in as I hadn't turned what felt like a half decent lap, (remember dumb ass doesn't have his lap timer). Once behind them the car quit acting up and Ferranti was starting to gain pace and we all circled the track and I was able to close the gap and cross the start finish just as they waived me around starting lap 5.  The lap felt ok and I was betting I made the top 6 but had no idea what kind of time i turned.
 
Gabriel     1:58.773
Wisler       1:58.834
Ross         1:58.972
Bachorua  1:59.085
Ferranti     1:59.226
Thomas     1:59.412
Keeling      1:59.482
Agha          1:59.678
 
Ok.  Not bad, 3rd and I like that position better than P2 or P4 for the start so I'm happy with my efforts.  
 
Saturday Race:
 
I am very excited to race, car felt good in qual and based on the tire pressures I knew we could make it better. Also changed the fuel pump out hoping that would get rid of the hesitations.   In P3 you can't see the starter stand because P2 is above and in front of you on the banking.  I missed the start by a tick and had an immediate gap form between me and Gabriel and Bachoura was already a car length in front of me.  Then the Ferranti rocket got behind me and pushed me right back up to Gabriel and then pushed us all the way back to were we should be.  Gabriel and Wisler were side by side going into 1 with Bachoura right there holding the outside line and keeping Gabriel tight to the inside.  I worked a little wider and then cut back under to the apex of 2 as Gabriel finally got enough of a nose in front of Wisler to track out which allowed me to come under and pull even on the outside going into the brake zone of 3.  2 wide through 3 and 4 left me with the inside at 5 and 6 and I was able to sueeze through and get a great run out of the the exit of 6.  Here comes the boring part.  I put my freaking head down and just ran DE laps the rest of the race as the everyone else jockeyed for position.  Without the traqmate I was trying to keep track in my head what lap i was on but when i got to about 7 i was just guessing.  i told my dad to wave a towel at me when i was starting lap 9 and I just kept hitting my marks and slowly pulling away.  I think the gap was about 3 second when I saw my dad wave the towel and I felt confident that I could manage that gap for another two laps.  So back to hitting marks and keeping it clean.  I come onto the front straight and see the checkered flag.  I'm like well that was better than i hoped for and cruised to the finish line with a big ass smile on my face and a lot of waiving to the corner workers.  I finally looked in my rear view mirror and saw Bill Agha's yellor Minion and none of the red cars that were chasing me earlier.  As i was tooling around Bill was still coming hard towards me and I was like did I freaking imagine the checkered flag or something.   The corner workers were waiving so I became more relaxed and just managed our gap just in case.  As i came back out onto the front straight the starter is waiving the checkered flag again.  I'm like WTF but i saw Bill pull in behind me and just prayed i was not crazy.  
 
Pull into impound, go up on the scales, and then the drama begins.  Official says pull over by the building and stay in the car.  I ask, am I under weight? He just told me to go over by the building and wouldn't say anything else.  I was a bit stunned as I had weighed after qual and was 26 lbs over with 3.5 gallons of gasoline in the tank. I had run extra in qual because i notice the hesitation in practice and thought i needed a little more fuel.  Confident i solved the problem with the fuel pump i went back to my usual 1 gallon of base fuel and added what i need for the race.  By my calcs i was going to be 7-8 lbs over weight when i finished the race.  I was thirsty and was allowed a bottle of water to drink.  Go back on the scales and they say i'm 8 lbs under.  WTF.  That was impossible.  Get back on 2 more times and best we could get was 7 lbs under.  Talk about taking the wind out of your sails.  Now i am dealing with officials and the SOM, who is the nicest guy and he is just beside himself about the problem.  I don't know how we got this weight that wrong but now I'm resigned to whatever fate I have.  He didn't dq me but moved me to last of the finishers.  I go back to our scales and weigh and we are 3lbs over.  Not 7 under.  I measured them against each other earlier after qual and they were dead nuts on.  I burned a little more fuel than I thought i would because when we changed out the fuel pump the factory regulator was left in place and we were running 58lbs of pressure versus the 51 I tuned the car to.  Also running out front i got no draft.  So that might have been the difference in the weight i got on our scales.  But not sure how the official scales changed so much during the day.  
 
A tainted end to the best race I have ever run.  
 
Podium:
 
Bill Agha
Alex Bachoura
William Keeling  
 
 
Ask someone else about how the field got so shuffled behind me.  
 
 
Sunday
 
So I drove 2 hours home to go watch my daughter play volleyball and spend Valentines Day with my family.  I have great dinner but I am exhausted from the long day that started at 5 am and i go to bed early.  I was in no hurry to get up and my dad offered to drive me back to the track the next day.  About half way to the track I remembered someone said that it might rain on Sunday.  I looked at the weather forecast and it said it could rain late in the day more likely after our race.  I left the rain tires in the garage and dad offered to drop me off and go back for them but I wasn't too worried about he rain.  (foreshadowing).
 
Sunday Qual
 
I was very confident after Saturdays drive that i would put the car on pole with or without help so i went and lined up early to get the 1 spot on grid.  Wisler fell in behind me and Thomas and Ferranti were next.  I went out and warmed up the tires pretty aggressively but the sun wasn't out and track was cool and damp.  After the first lap i knew the tires were not coming in as fast as they did the day before and I hadn't found my fuel pressure problem yet so i was still 2-3 hp down. Wisler and Thomas were smoking on the front straight and I new I was just wasting my time leading so i pulled down and let them by as my tires were still not quite right.  I let them pull away a bit as Ferranti had dropped back to work with others and it was just the 3 of us running out front.  I let the gap get to about 8 car lengths heading out onto the front straight and they just pushed away from me another 3-4.  I wasn't to worried as i felt i had pace on them from turn 1-7 and could catch up.  Well i caught them about turn 4 and just prayed they would keep a decent lap going as i this was my only shot at making turning a flyer.  The tires were perfect and i was confident i could exit 15 well enough to draft them all the way to SF line.  Did what I wanted nutted 15 and had a good run on them but being a little down on power on let me stay in their draft.  Crossed the line and Wisler waived us by and I was hopeful i had done enough to get the pole.  Come into the pits and dad is all smiles so i know I have done well.  
 
Ross        1:59.446
Bachoura 1:59.509
Ferranti    1:59.610
Agha         1:59.814
Gabriel      1:59.878
Snow          2:00.000
Keeling       2.00.013
Thomas     2.00.047 
Wisler        2.00.076
 
Happy we got the pole and the car was still on rails.  We had figured out what the fuel pressure issue was while talking before qual so we set about to fixing that and I was comfortable that I would have a chance to win if the rain stayed away long enough. 
 
Lunch break it was a little misty and but not enough to warrant rains.  Group 1, the same, group 2 some sprinkles maybe even a light rain, group 3 goes out and it starts to rain fairly hard.  Man am i kicking myself at this point, the spray coming off their tires does not give me the warm fuzzys.  I disconnect the rear bar and hope the wings and things can dry the track as it stops raining about half way though their session.  I go to grid with about 8 to go and dad tells me everyone is on rains.  Not good, H2O's vs Slicks in the damp is no contest. I tell the Bachoura and Ferranti give me some room on the pace lap as I am going to do my best Danny Steyn impression and see what kind of grip there is, if it is horrible I tell them i will pull off on pit road and let them race.  Grip in turn 1, 2 and 3 is pretty good, my confidence is growing, i'm trying hard to warm up the tires to the get the under steer out of the front. Go through turn 4 about mid track and proceed to loop it and spin off inside.  Stall the car as the the entire field stops to watch me sitting there staring back at them facing the wrong way.  I tried to waive Bachoura on but his halo kept me in his blind spot so i furiously tried to get the car running.  Crank it back up and go back in chase of the pace car just trying to keep it on the black at this point.  Pick up the pace car at turn 7 as he stopped and as we came onto front straight i pulled into the hot pits to let the field by.  Off they went and i was in chase mode hoping that maybe the track might dry enough to let me catch some of them and if not i could practice this drifting thing that is all the rage.  Well i pass the rookies in turn 2 and the field doesn't look like it is going too fast so I get braver and run pure rain line and try to see what I can do.  I get to turn 7 and go back to mid track instead of the rim shot and get a good look at the corner workers as the reached for their radios to report that i am going off on the outside. HA,  I recovered and went about my business. Then came 8 and 9.  OMG what slippery pair of turns in the wet.  I tried every line i could think of over the next 9 laps just to keep from scaring myself, the corner workers and fellow competitors.  This was the one place i was crippled without the rains.  I worked my way up to 11th and was close to making the pass for 10th and or 9th a few times but then I would get to 8/9 and have to retreat.  Best i could do was 2:19 with the leader running a 2:14.  
 
So frustrated that i wasn't prepared with the rains.  I am pretty good in the wet and felt on the H2O's i would have had a good chance of winning.
 
Lessons learned.  The victory more often than not goes to those that prepare and pay attention to details.  Without a doubt one of the best and worst race weekends I have ever experienced.  
 
Sunday Podium
 
Bachoura
Ferranti
Keeling
 
 
So now that i have just typed this and looked up the results a huge congratulations to my friend Willie the Tard Keeling.  Two podiums, may be your best weekend.  
 
Congrats to Alex Bachoura, great weekend also 
Taylor is getting close to figuring out the 99.  He was very disappointed that he was not one of the "everyones"  that went 2 seconds faster in a 99.  
 
Thank you to Chris Haldeman for setting up the race car before he went off on his romantic weekend.  The best handling car I have ever been in by far.  
 
Thank you to my dad for putting me in great cars.  Anyone interested the car I was racing is for sale.  Talk to Chris Haldeman as it is in his possession and he  can tell you about the engine and maintenance.  
 
I think Taylor Ferranti has my embarrassing spin on video and he has my permission to show everyone out there that I am not Danny Steyn.



hey Jamz... You expect me to read all of that :)

and clearly we have a different definition of brief ;)

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#4
tferranti

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Haha, great write up Ross.  If you read enough Mazdaracers you know that switching from an NA car to a 99 that you magically pick up 2 seconds!

 

Good opening weekend for myself in the 99, no big issues, pretty consistent pace, and learned a lot.  The 99 is different to drive than my old twitchy NA1.8 but I will come around.  Not driving much over the last 2 years was visible but large clumps of rust fell off all weekend.

 

I ran alone in both qualifying sessions but we can see from the trio of 58's how important a good draft is at TWS.  

 

Big congrats to Alex and Ross.

 

See everyone in NOLA.


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#5
Jim Drago

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Haha, great write up Ross.  If you read enough Mazdaracers you know that switching from an NA car to a 99 that you magically pick up 2 seconds!

 

Taylor
You must $#%# as you didn't pick up anything :)

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Hoosier Super Tour points Champion - Hoosier Super Tour points Champion ARRC Champion - Won the ARRC Race in a Spec Miata Series Champ - Won a points based series in a Spec Miata BFG Supertour Winner - Majors Winner - Circuit of the Americas Winner - We have a Winnah! - Won their 1st race... Congratulations! June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner June Sprints winner  - June Sprints winner SCCA National Champion - Won SCCA Runoffs at Road America SCCA National Champion - Won SCCA Runoffs at Road America

#6
Pat Ross

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To me the most impressive thing about Michael's weekend was his consistency.

 

His laps on Saturday were: 

 

Lap 1:  2:03.554  (starting 3rd and passing 1st and 2nd place)

Lap 2:  1:59.948

Lap 3:  2:00.181

Lap 4:  2:00.284

Lap 5:  2:00.375

Lap 6:  2:00.210

Lap 7:  2:00.353

Lap 8:  2:00.313

Lap 9:  2:00.455

Lap 10:  2:01.434

 

He said that he was slow on lap 10 because he coasted across the finish line.

 

Sunday when we were about 1/3 the way from Houston to TWS we talked about going back home to get the rain tires and decided it wasn't worth the effort.  Wrong.

 

Pat



#7
Pat Ross

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What Taylor failed to mention about Sunday was that during the race he was on old used up rain tires and those that finished in front of him were on sticker Hoosier Wets.  For those that don't know Taylor, he can wheel.

 

Like us, he was saving his new rain tires for NOLA.

 

Pat


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#8
mdavis

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That's an awfully long "short" race report that I did not have time to read.  I wish when I was "buried" at work I had that much time!  Good driving as I said this weekend.

 

I do have some fun Sunday video of Ross in the mud on the pace lap and with zero visibility from mid-pack at the start going  T 1-4.  Maybe I'll post that sometime.

 

Congrats to Alex on the Sunday drive.  The Saturday dust-up in T1-2 wasn't great (except for me who moved up 4 places!) but cruising home in the rain like that counts for something.

 

Finally.. I know this is the wrong thread but the top 11 lap times on Saturday's dry race were all within a second.   That's with eight 99's (Agha, Bachoura, Keeling, Linder, Gabriel, Wisler, Ferranti, Ross) , 2 VVT's (Thomas, Davis) , and one 1.6 (Carter)…. all on a 2.9 mile track.

 

So remind me why exactly there are multiple threads on this board dedicated to parity?


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#9
MPR22

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My editor had his way with my novel, the edited post is now available above.


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#10
Tom Hampton

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My editor had his way with my novel, the edited post is now available above.

Does that mean we are going to have to start an mrpps in order to preserve original unedited content?

If we can spent 21579 pages discussing 1.6 parity, surely we can handle a short story for a race report! I know which one I'd rather read and discuss.

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