Sunday, May 9, 2010

Nelson Ledges - Day Eight (Part Three)

Sorry for the time delay on the update!  It is going down to the wire as we last updated the epic battle.   After the morning session, we had gone up by 10 points over Woody and Neil in the SSGT1 Small Bore class.  This was due to the Porsche Cayman coming between the two of us.  It provided us some very limited breathing room in the event we did not win the afternoon session outright.  If we did win in the afternoon the first in class would be ours (assuming we could stay on top of the Cayman).  Second best would leave us still 5 points ahead of the M Coupe with one event remaining.  If the M Coupe were to beat us at the dry skid Saturday, we would be tied.  The tie breaker is the total time of all events - the least amount of time between the two tied competitors determines the winner.  We hope it does not go that far and that the Cayman does not play the spoiler.

So here we go - I am strapped in and ready to drive the afternoon event.  I am feeling a little apprehensive about the session and I am not sure why.  I did very well in the morning, but I think Woody may have simply bobbled the M Coupe at the start line and accidentally tripped the timing beam.  I'd like to think the pressure was getting to him.  I would like to take the afternoon win and not have to worry about the dry skid pad.

As I head out of pit lane, I think of Brian's words from the morning.  Be aggressive.  I also say to myself, this is the last event.  We have traveled over 4,000 miles at this point and completed many fast track laps and not balled up the car or hurt it in any way - let's not do it now at the last event!  Again, the session is over quickly and feel good about the run.  I did have one moment on the last lap where I pushed just a bit much and dropped two wheels off at track out.  It did get my heart racing a touch as it is a place where there is not much run off that is flat.  Approximately 4-5 feet from track edge is a rather severe (by run off areas) drop off in the terrain of 2-3 feet.  At 90 + miles an hour that could get hairy in a hurry.  Experience set in and I did not panic or jerk the wheel to bring the car back on track immediately.  I dropped the speed by 10 miles an hour and then smoothly came back to the racing surface and then put the peddle back down.  It did cost me some time.  Hopefully not too much.

Woody is in the run group after me.  As Woody is coming off track, Brian arrives and tells me the not so good news.  I was 3 seconds slower in the afternoon and Woody was 12 seconds faster than he was in the morning.  The net is that Woody ran my time from the morning and I was 3 seconds off that pace.  The question is where is the Cayman? If they come between us, we are right back to tied.  If not, we go in to Saturday with a 5 point lead intact.

The gents running the Cayman arrive back to their paddock space and the news for them is not good.  The car went in to limp mode during their session and caused them to lose significant time as they came to a complete stop on track, shut off the car and then restarted it clearing the fault.  We benefit from their problem unfortunately.

The final results for the event place Woody at 20th fastest and me at 22nd fastest.  We depart Nelson Ledges with a 5 point lead in the class and 14th overall with Woody and Neil 15th overall.

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