This post will be updated daily from pre-race preparation through post-race analysis.
It’s the day before tech inspection. I’m looking at the weather forecast and it says that it will be 101° Saturday and 107° Sunday. It will be even hotter than that on track. It’s not safe to drive for more than 15′ in conditions like this, so coolshirts are a safety item for this race. I have two cold boxes, one large one that I made using a marine pump and ice chest, and the other is a small cold therapy unit I got on eBay. The small one will be used to keep the driver-on-deck cool while he’s all suited up.
Mission accomplished. We got into C class. Lots of people remarked on how much they liked our theme. I have to admit, it turned out just as I imagined. If you look closely, the syringe has a little Easter egg.
Here’s the photo that was featured on the Lemons FB page, which shows us at tech inspection in full personal protective gear.
We got a few black flags today. It’s hard to recover from that, but somehow we find ourselves in 2nd place in C class, just 2 laps behind the leader. I think we have a good chance of winning tomorrow for the following reasons.
- We no longer have a giant syringe sticking out of the car. That means we’ll go faster and we won’t be flagged when it flies off.
- I think the drivers have had their fill of black flags, earned or not.
- The A/C will not be on. Wait what? Yes, we drove the entire day with the A/C on. This was not on purpose! The race day ended on a red flag, and as I sat there in the car, I thought, “hey, I’ll turn the A/C on to stay cool… WTF, it’s already on!” We were wondering why our fuel burn rate was high and our lap times were a little off. Mystery solved!
We ended up running 225/45R15 RS-4s up front and 215/40R17 Federal RS-Pros in the rear. The combination works so well I want to drive it like that always.
It was a pretty exciting day for the most part. We had a back-and-forth battle with a Saab for first position. We started to see some strange behaviors coming from the engine lights. We had intermittent temperature warnings. Then a maintenance required light popped on and finally a check engine. No codes stored though. We were coming in to the pits constantly, so even though our lap times were a little better than the Saab, we were losing time. With about 2 hours left in the race, I got in for the final stint. We were 1 lap down, and I was going to drive the shit out of it and try for the win. As I went down the hill from T5 on my 2nd lap, a plume of steam erupted in front of me. I shut it down and waited for the tow truck.
Back in the pits, we found that the overflow filler tube had come off. So that was the source of the steam. But there was clearly more to the problem than that as the car would no longer start. The car had a lot of miles on it before it was ever a racecar, and has had a lot of race miles since. This was going to happen eventually. Still hurts.
Here’s some video from my stint.