OK, so that was probably the most bizarre weekend of racing I've ever seen (sounds like crazy stuff wasn't just isolated to Pitt). In a nutshell this was my recollection from the weekend:
- Warm, Sunny, Cold, Windy, Rainy, Snowy, Sleet
- Beautiful breezy test day
- Rain started 10 minutes before grid for Q1 (all cars on jack stands waiting to make the call to go dry or wet)
- Q1 was wet and very slick
- Race 1 - Two related incidents collected 7 cars in turn 3,4,5 of the first lap (3 could not race Sunday)
- Three laps of green, two double yellow, black, red, then checkered
- Group 6 Race - Mini hits a tow truck head on during a hot pull, destroys the car completely, tow truck runs over drivers foot of car being pulled out, crash jams the steering rack in the tow truck, tow truck loaded onto roll back
- Officials abandon group 7 race on Saturday and decide to run Sunday at 8am
- Group 7 didn't even complete the first lap before being red flagged, later restarted
- Track was wet before Q2 but not raining 10 minutes before grid (all cars on jack stands waiting to make the call to go dry or wet)
- Dry tires was the right call for Q2 - track was cold but very fast
- Race 2 - Dry start, set a new TR on lap 3, lap 4 I developed a vibration, pulled into pits and Rookey took over the lead
- A lap later Rookey slides off track while leading into the tire wall at turn 3 with snow blowing across the track
- Snow gets much harder and the track turns damp
- Leverone, Cefalo, V. Kicera podium
- Group 2 Race 2 - at the end of the race a car goes off in turn 19 and ignites the tire wall
- 3 fire departments show up to fight the fire
- Officials abandon the rest of the event.
Needless to say, the weekend didn't go as planned but we were lightning fast in every session wet and dry. In Q2 I cracked into the very high 2:02's and probably could have gone another 3-4 tenths faster had I stayed out. As you can see below, my LR hub failed when the flange completely separated. The only thing holding the wheel on was the a caliper. Luckily I slowed when the vibration got worse. The flange didn't fully separate until I entered pit road.
Interestingly enough, Rookey was behind me for the first few laps of Race 2 before I pulled in and ran over one second faster than he had run at any other point in the weekend - within two tenths of my lap record. It was the first time all weekend anyone was close enough to me to see my brake points, apex speeds, and lines. I think had my car not broken and he not gone off, it would have been a very close race to the finish. Congrats to Nick for getting the monkey off his back in SM Majors competition, Marc Cefalo on second place, and my dad for his first Majors podium in very tricky conditions and after repairing the car from Saturday!!!
Nice write up. you had it covered this weekend.
BTW i had the same rear hub failure. The best i can tell its due to installing the long studs.
I quit using long studs.