Latent Speed

27 06 2008

Things continue to progress for me through the season. Events 3 and 4 have come to a close and I’ve remembered a few more ways of extracting speed from the corners. That’s a little saying I have for people who are still getting used to the sport; “You can extract speed from various parts of the course but you can never really force speed into it.” It’s a reference to the finesse that fast driving requires.

After 2 educational wet events I felt much more re-educated on how to drive the car, what it likes to do and what it doesn’t. Additionally I’d learned that the new tires would require me to drive the car much harder than I thought it was able to be driven if I wanted to keep up with the top competition this year.

Points event #3 was again held at UK stadium and this time we enjoyed lovely dry weather. Another nice plus was that it wasn’t as hot as it would be further into the summer. It also marked the 2nd event that Mike W., one of the first people I’ve brought into the sport, would participate in. He’s driving an old, roughly stock RX-7 FC. It has a street port which puts him into SM2. With everything else about the car being stock he won’t have an easy time but at that level it’s not a great loss, there are some learning curves you may as well hop over without worrying much about whether you’re competitive within your class or not.

I also want to give a shout-out to my friends Mike C. and Chris L. for rolling up in their cars. Chris drives a truck and helped us out with hauling our stuff and also some folding chairs and a cooler of ice water.
Meanwhile Mike brought a digital video camera and filmed some of our runs from the sidelines. Thanks for the support, I really appreciate it!

This event went much better than the previous two. I ran in the middle of the pack for most of the day and on the last run I nailed one corner I kept forgetting to change my entry to which moved me up several positions into 3rd place for a trophy finish. I was about 2 and a half tenths from 2nd and a full second from the first place car. The first place driver and car are both well sorted, but I hope to give chase to them towards the end of the season. For now I’m going to focus on running even with Ryan who finished 2nd. He’s doing great in STS and is well on his way to the 2nd place year-end points trophy. Hopefully we’ll enjoy some friendly competition through the rest of the season too, but he already has enough points to make it very difficult to aim for second. I’m currently working on moving past the previous two events to aim for the 3rd place YEP trophy.

In any case, event 3 went well and as always I drive better and my car behaves best on slightly wider and longer courses than our region tends to run. Ones where line choice will play a bigger part in lap times. It may give the 240, which is at least around 250 pounds heavier (if not more) than the Hondas a bit more wiggle room to make the turns.

Event number 4 on the other hand was a little disappointing. I ran fairly well in it and maintained a pretty firm grip on the 3rd place position until the last run. This time I was the one getting bumped down a spot by someone pulling an excellent final time. So I finished 4th at that event.

The current points standings are:

Eric in his 89 Civic Si with 338 pts

Ryan D in an 86 Prelude with 288 pts

Micheal A with 254 pts

Ryan Z with 251 pts

And yours truly with 188 pts

Currently in 5th but things may be changing up quickly. There are 4 points events remaining for the 2008 season and only a driver’s best 5 are counted for the YEP unless there is a tie. Hence Eric and Ryan D already have enough good finishes to secure the 1st and 2nd place trophies as long as they keep competing. I have one good finish of 3rd towards the 3rd place trophy and as long as I can keep finishing in that place or better (which would be pretty difficult, but I want that trophy) the other drivers previous points are scattered enough that my best 5 at the end of the year have a chance to take 3rd place.

The next event is the 6th at EKU’s Alumni Stadium. It’s a bigger, wider course so I plan to make good progress there. Don’t miss it!

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