Cinco de COTA – May 4 & 5, 2019
What more can we say than we FINALLY got to race on a Formula 1 track? 3.4 miles and 20 turns of racing bliss. We’ve been to every US Grand Prix except for one. We’ve watched our friends at Fast Track Racing and Classic BMW race there in the Pirelli World Challenge and the Blancpain GT World Challenge several times.
We travelled down to Austin excited, but also a little nervous. Our tires had 2 race weekends on them and we didn’t get to complete the oil cooler installation we had hoped to before the race – not ideal, but we simply ran out of time to get all of the parts and install them with enough time to test and make sure nothing leaked. We decided we’d watch the oil temp on our AIM Solo 2 and just send it.
I drove Saturday (with my Star Wars themed helmet – hooray for timing) and had only one race. Qualified 4th and we’d heard that races can get a little NASCAR at COTA, so I was fine to be further back to watch for the traffic ahead of me. And traffic did not disappoint on that first lap. There were a few battles for position going into the esses that allowed me to gain and then the 2nd lap, the lead car went off track at the bottom of Turn 3. The safety truck had to pull him back to the pits, so we immediately knew he had a race ending problem. I managed to finish in 3rd with no contact for the entire race.
On Sunday, Dave had two races, but no warm up time. He managed to show up and qualify 1st in class. The car that broke on Saturday couldn’t continue, but we still had a few drivers in the field who would fight hard for position. He managed to get a 2nd place and a win in warmer conditions and feeling like the car was down on power for the last race. Oil temps were higher, tires were greasy, but he drove hard and brought it home.
It was a warm, exhausting weekend but there’s nothing else we’d rather be doing. It’ll be a quick turnaround to get ready for Hallett in June. We’ll try to do some of the easier things to check on the car’s power issue in the last race – new spark plugs, check the intake for vacuum leaks, etc. And of course, work to get that cooler installed before we run out of time again. Oh, and a new set of tires are on their way.
Can’t wait to see how we do in Hallett compared to last year. More experience, a limited slip diff, a second baffle in the fuel tank, telemetry, and radios. How did we ever do this without all that stuff before?
Until then, we’ll see you at the finish line!