Barber was our first race in a new car. This weekend was the maiden voyage for our car. I built a NA car and swapped a VVT engine into the car. It makes good power and very fun driving a lighter car on harder tires that make 25+ more HP than our SM cars.. We installed the Penske shocks on it as well. So much for $500 cars etc than many envision. There are a lot of them, but to do well you need to build a very good car and prep it very well.. Everything and anything can fail in 8 hours straight. We did have a chuckle talking about our Champ car with Penske shocks and the amount of time and money we invested in this car
The conditions were terrible. Freezing cold and pouring rain for the entire weekend. If you wanted rain practice, we certainly got some.
Saturday could not have gone any better... The way Champ car works, they assign you a pit stall, then they use a random number App to pick the starting number. I believe it was 20 this time.. Meaning 20 was pole.. there were 48 cars and meant we were starting like 4-5 cars from DFL I started.. It felt like I passed 140 cars in my stint, I may have but only 39 for position. I came in in 5th place and had to rationalize with myself not to try and attack the last five positions after the final restart of my stint. I knew Todd Buras was going in next and is an amazing rain driver and the last thing we needed to do was damage the car or stick it in the gravel and give up 1 hour and 45 minutes of progress. Todd got in and went straight to the lead and pulled a 1 minute plus gap with no issues. Mike Novak was next, Mike had never seen the track before which was literally baptism by rain.. He held his own and brought the car in after his stint we were p2 and put Todd back in to finish it off. At the end, Todd was flying, running 6 seconds a lap plus faster than all on track. Several slow down, slow down radio calls. But no errors and we managed to win overall, not just our class. We were all extremely tired, soaking wet and cold... but really happy.
Sunday.. Not so much. All the teething issues we missed on Saturday.. We found several on Sunday. Nothing major. But we have a list of things to do before Sebring.
It was a lot of fun. It took two years of convincing by many on here that run Champ car for me to finally get involved. It was a lot of fun even in the miserable conditions. For those of you who haven't raced in these races, give it a try. The on track stuff is pure fun and a lot less stressful than Sm racing IMO. The team camaraderie is also an added benefit. We are all fortunate as there are so many talented drivers in SM. If you put a decent car together and have three mid pack SM drivers, you will have a VERY formidable team IMO. It's all about preparation, team work, strategy and a little racing luck.
For those of you who get facebook.. Pretty funny winning interview with three very tired,cold and wet drivers.