Hallett Summer Shootout 2019
It’s crazy to think about how much has changed in a year. Hallett in 2018 was our first full race weekend with NASA where we both drove the car and both had our full competition licenses. In twelve months, we upgraded our car with a limited slip differential, data logging and collection, and an integrated on board camera. Oh, and we had radio communication this time, too. It made a major difference – we were able to track data in real time, make adjustments, and watch footage to get better on the next session.
All those things, plus a little more experience made for a really fun weekend. Dave took the lead on driving on Saturday and managed to grab a 2nd and 3rd place podium in his two races. He ended the day a little frustrated because a couple of the other cars were getting around 1 second faster on their best lap times and Dave just couldn’t find that last bit, but he stayed competitive, raced clean and was able to bring the car home in great shape for me to drive on Sunday.
Then the rain came. Sunday morning we had rain and lightning and it threw the whole day into a scramble. While we would normally race in the rain, lightning made it unsafe for the safety team to be out working corners so we waited. NASA Texas did a great job reorganizing to get as much track time as possible. It meant we had to stay later in the day, and I had no warm up, but luckily I had plenty of practice time on Friday so I jumped in to send it.
It was my first 45-minute race and it was humid and hot. While I’m still working toward being as competitive as some of the other drivers, I managed to get quicker and quicker, turning my fastest lap on the next to last lap of the race. And it was within two seconds of the faster guys. I left feeling good about my progress and knowing I can physically handle the demands of a hot, longer race and not lose focus.
We have rotors to change between now and our next race at the Texas Motor Speedway Roval. Should be interesting – it’s a new track for all of us, so there’s a big learning curve. And it’s in the middle of August so it’ll be nice and hot. Anyone who thinks racing drivers aren’t athletes have no idea what we put our bodies through while having to maintain major concentration. We’re looking forward to the challenge!
Until next time, see you at the track.
Photo Credit: Tim Turner @ Hallett Foto Shoppe