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Hoosier Super Tour - VIR Spring Sprints


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#21
Jim Drago

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As a dress rehearsal for the runoffs I see lots of issues L

 

i was really looking forward to it.. now not so much.    The track is surprisingly hard to pass cleanly. IMo, several of the cars could have been pulled without caution and black flagging the sessions.. 


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#22
Richard Astacio

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i was really looking forward to it.. now not so much.    The track is surprisingly hard to pass cleanly. IMo, several of the cars could have been pulled without caution and black flagging the sessions.. 

 

Perhaps due to the conditions they didn't want to do hot pulls? Up here in the NorthEast they do hot pulls with not issues. 


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#23
Jim Drago

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Perhaps due to the conditions they didn't want to do hot pulls? Up here in the NorthEast they do hot pulls with not issues. 

probably so.. and I while i felt they could have done more hot tows.. I certainly understand not wanting to get out in those conditions as you could get hit anywhere. 


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#24
John Nesbitt

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probably so.. and I while i felt they could have done more hot tows.. I certainly understand not wanting to get out in those conditions as you could get hit anywhere. 

 

 

EV at VIR is a track operation.  They do not do hot pulls any longer, due to previous incidents under Yellow.  This is a real challenge for race operations given the length of track.

 

The rain just makes it worse.  Lots of 'small' stuff (cars off) that could otherwise be yanked with a hot pull.  The other factor, of course, is that VIR has a lot of grass/dirt on which to leave the track, most of it sloping away from the track surface, so cars can get a long way off track.  When it rains, any kind of pull becomes difficult.



#25
mdavis

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So was running H2Os over SMW a big advantage?

FWIW I ran the SMW for the first time and they seemed good.  Started in the back due to the qualifying issues previously described and drove to the middle on Saturday and rain racing is generally not my forte.  That being said grip wasn't the big issue- it was complete lack of visibility.  It was probably worse for us further back than in Danny's video as we didn't ever have clear track.


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#26
Tyler Kicera

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To clarify Q1 for those not involved, the entire field entered the racing surface from pit lane and not directly from the grid like we did for Q2.  The field proceeded around the track, many people scrubbing tires and not being overly aggressive.  Everyone crossed the SF line to begin the first full lap on the racing surface and were all brought back down pit road before anyone could complete a full lap.  Some missed the BFA and did get a full lap, but I believe their times were taken away.  Like Danny, I too made the wrong call, went with wets and suffered a similar fate in hog pen.  The entire field went back out after cleanup and was brought down pit lane for another BFA before anyone crossed the SF line.  Officials threw the checkered flag with the field sitting on pit lane.  A total of zero full laps on the racing surface were turned.     

 

Despite acknowledging the facts about Q1 in the drivers meeting and saying officials would grid us for Q2 based on practice times, that was somehow forgotten.  Q2 took place during a monsoon, and a vast majority of Q1 "out lap" times stood except for those of us who had offs.  Although considerably slower, on their own, at least Q2 results (order) were somewhat more in line with what you'd expect the grid to look like.  Despite the circumstances, officials gridded Race 1 based on combined Q1 and Q2 times, yielding a very mixed up grid.  This was a HUGE risk given the conditions and we all got VERY lucky.  Hands down the scariest race of my life starting in 51st.  Well in advance of the race, I voiced my opinion to Steve Pence who claimed under the current GCR, there was nothing he could do to address the situation.  I even asked if we could gather the group and discuss options and he refused to entertain that.  While I recognize this particular situation is extremely rare, the precedent this sets for the Runoffs is one that encourages people to treat the out lap as a flying lap.  We can all imagine the kinds of bad things that could happen should we find ourselves in a similar weather situation in October ( I wouldn't count on it being any better ).  

 

As for my weekend, I drove my a$$ off in the wet and dry to do the best I could playing catch up - 51st to 12th and 19th to 4th.  I got close on Sunday, but my weekend was essentially ruined in Q1.  


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#27
Jim Drago

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Quick race report for anyone who is interested.......

 

  • We were quick immediately in the first session of Test day, running a 2:15.0 without a draft. Car was that good. Had fun running with Michael Ross and Tyler Kicera on test day.
  • Was quickest in the practice session on Friday by about a second
  • In Friday's Q1, I went out on wets, realized the track was dry, and decided to come in to change tires, but at the last minute decided to stay out, and of course like an idiot I went off in Hogpen, and then we went FCY. So the only lap I recorded was my out-lap putting me 23rd on the grid. 
  • Saturdays Q2 was in the rain and was able to get in my one lap before the FCY, several seconds faster than the field, but not fast enough to move me up on the grid
  • Started Saturdays Race 1 from 22nd, in the rain, passed 14 cars before we got to Hogpen, got the FCY, restarted in 8th and drove through the field to almost catch Brian Henderson who held on for the win.
  • My Saturday race times moved me up to 8th on the grid for Sunday’s race. 
  • In Sunday's Race 2, I moved up to 4th with passes in T1 and T3, and got to Rob Hines’s bumper but we went FCY before we completed lap 1. On the restart I got caught off guard, lost some ground but I stayed behind Rob and pushed him past Nick Bruni and Brian Henderson the next lap going into Turn 1 and took the lead. I hit my marks cleanly while they were running two wide behind me and built up a bit of a lead but expected the train to swallow me up as they always do at VIR. My lap times were slow, in the 2:17’s and I couldn’t get to 5th on the uphill esses, but I realized everyone was suffering in the humid conditions. Despite my slow lap times, I was pulling away, lap after lap which seldom happens at VIR and had built up a decent lead where they no longer in my draft, when the 2nd FCY came out. DOH!!!! Was expecting to get destroyed on the restart but held my lead into T1, got away when they went two wide, and built up a lead again, but now Preston was behind Bruni and I knew they would catch me. With one and half laps to go they had me, but then Preston tried a pass on Bruni in South Bend and that allowed me to get away again. With one lap to go they were all over me, we were bumper to bumper through the uphill esses, but I had a really great run through Oak Tree and held a slight lead, and I was expecting to get freight trained on the back straight. Nick came alongside me but couldn’t complete the pass. We barely touched as we went side by side through the top of Roller Coaster but a good run out of Hog Pen allowed me to hang on for the win ahead of Preston and Nick. Possibly one of my most rewarding results.

Sorry to see so much carnage over the weekend, and also SCCA and VIR have a lot of work to do to be sorted for the Runoffs. Fortunately, they got to see all their shortcomings this weekend so I anticipate they will have it dialed in by that time.

 

Huge Shoutout to the Henderson family - father and son going TOP 5 at a Spec Miata Hoosier Super Tour is pretty damn awesome - doubt that has happened before

 

Here is the sketchy Race 1 run in zero visibility conditions. Pucker Factor Maximized!

Watched this today.. nothing crazy exciting or daring, just consistent, smooth and confident!  :thumbsup: I have to up my visibility game big time or the camera makes your visibility far better than mine.  I was absolutely very hesitant and tentative, you simply cant race like that.  I didn't run any anti fog, need to start for sure.  Nice run


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#28
lillyweld

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I didn't run any anti fog, need to start for sure.

 

Is there an anti-fog solution out there that actually works?


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#29
Richard Astacio

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I have to up my visibility game big time or the camera makes your visibility far better than mine.  I was absolutely very hesitant and tentative, you simply cant race like that.  I didn't run any anti fog, need to start for sure.  Nice run

 

Kind of hard to see when you have a bunch of cars ahead of you.... :tipsy: Next time just make pretend Goring is behind you.. :hugegrin:

 

I gave some Anti-fog wipes to a few guys in our tent..It helped out for sure! 


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#30
Danny Steyn

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Watched this today.. nothing crazy exciting or daring, just consistent, smooth and confident!  :thumbsup: I have to up my visibility game big time or the camera makes your visibility far better than mine.  I was absolutely very hesitant and tentative, you simply cant race like that.  I didn't run any anti fog, need to start for sure.  Nice run

 

Thanks Jim, was a good weekend for us for sure. We just got lucky the way the cards got dealt


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#31
Tyler Kicera

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Watched this today.. nothing crazy exciting or daring, just consistent, smooth and confident! :thumbsup: I have to up my visibility game big time or the camera makes your visibility far better than mine. I was absolutely very hesitant and tentative, you simply cant race like that. I didn't run any anti fog, need to start for sure. Nice run


I was surprised watching my POV footage from Saturday how much better the visibility appeared versus what I saw with my own eyes. In that lighting condition, my hero7 must just process the image contrast and lighting differently...it doesn’t make it look near as scary as it was.
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#32
Steve Scheifler

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Despite the tiny apertures (compared to “real” cameras) GREATLY limiting their light gathering ability, modern digital sensors and software do an amazing job, to the point where without any tweaking by the user the default logic really does stretch the old adage that pictures don’t lie. Then you display it on a screen that PRODUCES light (rather than just reflect it) and things just don’t seem to match what you know to have been reality.

Nice drive BTW! But if that was an intentional bump on the silver & yellow car while dodging the spinners in the first couple turns you probably need some help!
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#33
Steve Scheifler

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Note: My comments were not very clear, probably need some post-processing of their own. Camera/video stuff was just me rambling in generic terms about Tyler’s observations on video vs real life. It’s a subject I’ve been discussing elsewhere in a different context. The nice drive and crack about that little bump were of course for Danny’s video.
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#34
Danny Steyn

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Nice drive BTW! But if that was an intentional bump on the silver & yellow car while dodging the spinners in the first couple turns you probably need some help!

 

Thanks for the kind words, and yes Steve, the bump was intentional. I had Drago on my left, and couldn't move over to the left to pass Tobin with Jim there. So I didn't want to waste my momentum, so gave Tobin a push, allowing me to clear Jim before going to my left to pass Tobin, and of course the bump also let Tobin know I was coming through


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#35
CDM

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To add to the visibility discussion, here's my video starting DFL from Saturday

(Due to the crank angle sensor acting up it wouldn't idle and i ended up missing grid... then it randomly started working again and I barely made the pace lap. Unfortunate as i qualified P4 (the strat of dry tires and going fast out of the gate worked well) and enjoy rain racing, however maybe it was fortunate after all as i missed the crash/madness at T1 Lap 1 in the top 5).

 

But yeah you can see at the start I can't see anything, visibility was like 20 ft! Good thing ole steve bertok was on the radio calling out slow car left slow car left for that car at 4:27. Also funny to note from that start: i almost miss the bend on the straight as i lose sight of the flag stand, pit wall, other cars, or really any visual markers at all! My passes on the grass at 4:58 and 5:25 are also highlights. Other than those, on last lap 15:40 a car locks up and goes straight on off T1 and the finish is pretty good too as I get a run out of hog pen and pass the car ahead by a tenth or so at the line.

 

 


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