Let’s take a look at some more observations from the last race.
Daniel & David
Two of my drivers in the last race, Daniel and David, have been out of racing for a couple years. Neither of them has much time in the Yaris. So they took a little while to get warmed up. Their average lap times dropped by 10 seconds overnight. They didn’t drive off track or get into any trouble.
- 4:17 Daniel Saturday
- 4:07 Daniel Sunday (3:57 fastest)
- 4:21 David Saturday
- 4:10 David Sunday (4:01 fastest)
Tiernan drove the first stint of the race, which is usually slowest as there are cars and drivers that get weeded out later. His improvement from one day to the next was 22 seconds. Tiernan hasn’t been racing that long, and he’s now at the point where he’s getting more confident dicing with other cars. In other words, he’s at the dangerous stage of driver development. He stayed out of the penalty box both days, although he probably should have been flagged on Saturday for contact. Averaging 3:59 through traffic in a Yaris is pretty good, and a 3:52 fast lap is respectable.
- 4:21 Tiernan Saturday
- 3:59 Tiernan Sunday (3:52 fastest)
Mike & Danny
Mike and Danny are both confident and fast. They also tend to pick up a black flag every race, and this was no exception. Danny got black flags both days, which turned his 2:54 and 2:50 average pace into 4:03 and 4:04 lap times. Mike had a black flag on Saturday but not Sunday, and this turned into a 20 second difference in lap times.
- 4:03 Danny Saturday
- 4:04 Danny Sunday (3:44 fastest)
- 4:15 Mike Saturday
- 3:55 Mike Sunday (3:45 fastest)
Black flags are very costly. Over the course of a stint, they can add 10-15 seconds to your average lap time. Mike and Danny are consistently fast drivers, capable of putting down 3:45 laps. But if you average up all lap their times, their pace is only 4:07 and 4:08. In addition to loss of laps, each time you show up in the penalty box, you lose favor with the judges. If we ever want to win one of these things, we’re going to have to run a clean race from start to finish.
Fun vs. Winning
My team has a lot of fun on track. We chase down BMWs with twice our power. We pass Miatas on the outside of corners. We dominate in the rain. We also tend to have a bit too much internal competition. Mike & Danny like to compare lap times. To be perfectly honest, I like comparing lap times. I like pushing myself, and I like being the fastest. But that kind of attitude doesn’t win endurance races. The really good teams stay out of trouble, they don’t make trouble. WE MAKE TROUBLE.
Is it more fun to race safe and win or race fast and fail? Don’t ask me, I don’t know what winning feels like.