1 post tagged daytona
For the previous 4 years I worked at least 12-14 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single f*cking day of the year. I was dead ass broke and had sold everything I owned to start a business in 2005. Luckily I had an awesome girlfriend who let me move in with her! The business grew and became stable enough that in 2010 I started having a “normal” life again. After doing a couple open-track days in a street car for the first time in 7+ years, I decided to go racing in 2011.
With the help of some friends I found an old World Challenge Porsche and some great guys to help me run it. Things moved quickly and I upgraded to a 2009 Porsche GT3 Cup car before my first official race.
My goal wasn’t to buy a fast car and kick my friends asses or to buy my way into “pro” races so I could scratch them off a bucket list. I wanted to see how fast I could be and just how fast the people were that I had watched on TV. Turns out, they’re STUPID fast and it makes me want to drop kittens and puppies covered in Splenda into a gas powered blender.
By the end of 2011 I was entered into the 50th Anniversary of the Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 28-29, 2012 — 10 months after my first race. In those 10 months pigs were flying through a freezing cold Hell and the events listed below took place.
Here’s the vitals for 2011, my first calendar year of auto racing:
- 21 races.
- 27 test days. (not including race days)
- 12 class wins. (7 overall)
- 9 class poles. (6 overall)
- 3 track/class records. (Laguna Seca, Thunderhill, Buttonwillow)
- 5 times 4-wheels off. (1 race, 2 test days. Includes straight lining bus stop and T1 at Daytona test)
- 3 car-to-car contacts : IMSA race — same car, same lap. 1st his fault accidental, 2nd his fault on purpose, 3rd was me paying him back.
- 2 penalties : paddock entry w/ Pirelli Cup in qualifying, pit lane speed w/ IMSA in practice.
- 1 spin. (test day)
- 7 tracks : Thunderhill, Infineon, Laguna Seca, Daytona, Barber Motorsports Park, Fontana, Buttonwillow.
- 7 cars : 2001 Porsche GT3 Cup World Challenge, 2009 Porsche GT3 Cup IMSA, 2011 Porsche GT3 Cup IMSA, GMS Spec E30, AM Performance Grand-Am Continental Tire GS Nissan 370Z, Stevenson Motorsports Grand-Am Continental Tire GS Camaro, #64 TRG Grand-Am Rolex GT Porsche GT3 Cup.
- Jan 29: Thunderhill test day. Drove JvO’s old 996 Flying Lizard Porsche GT3 World Challenge car for first time. First laps in a real GT race car. Ran 1:54 over the top in damp conditions across 2 sessions.
- Mar 11-13: Thunderhill. SCCA Licensing School in 996 World Challenge car.
- Mar 26-27: Buttonwillow SCCA Regional. First SCCA race. First time driving 2009 Porsche GT3 Cup. Overall pole Saturday, finish race 4th overall after it starts raining during the race and I go off twice. Pole Sunday and overall win. Config #1CW GT1 lap record. Novice permit signed off. woot!
- Apr 8-10: Fontana Pirelli Cup race. First Pirelli Cup race. First time at fontana and on an oval. wow! I get crushed on Saturday and finish 12th. Sunday I improve and finish 5th. Much to be learned!
- Apr 16-17: Thunderhill NASA / PRC race. First NASA/PRC race. Pole and overall win Saturday and Sunday.
- Apr 27: Thunderhill test day w/ 2009 GT3 Cup.
- May 6: Thunderhill test day w/ 2009 GT3 Cup w/ JvO. 1.7 sec slower, learned a lot.
- May 13-15: Thunderhill Pirelli Cup. Saturday qualified second in class, but got DQ’d for using the wrong entry to the paddock (wtf?!). Started from the back of the field, passed 7 cars on opening lap then spun off the track backwards into the last corner of the first lap. Worked back up to 5th in class. Sunday qualifying was cut short to do a crash on the opening lap, started 3rd in class. Finished 2nd in class. Also drove with GMS in their Spec E30 in the NASA Enduro to prepare for the 25 Hours of Thunderhill.
- May 27-29: Laguna Seca SCCA Regional. First time racing at Lagnua. Qualified 3rd overall, finished second overall in first race. Finished 3rd overall in second race. Set PC class lap record @ 1:32.8.
- July 9-10: Thunderhill NCRC race / testing. Set new personal best over the bypass @ 1:47.5.
- July 14: Infineon test day. Working w/ JvO in the 2009 GT3 Cup. 1.4 sec slower.
- July 23-24: Thunderhill SCCA Regional. Saturday qualify p2 overall, feeling really slow. win the race, fastest lap by 2sec. Sunday cut a tire on first lap of qualifying— qualify 24th out of 24 cars. Win overall.
- Aug 12-14: Thunderhill NASA / PRC race. Driving 996 WC Cup as the motor in 2009 GT3 Cup is getting refreshed. Saturday qualify p2 overall, finish p2. Sunday qualify on pole, win overall.
- Aug 24: Buttonwillow test day. Testing AM Performance’s Grand-Am Continental Tire GS 370Z. Ryan Dalziel is there too, really nice guy— and very fast.
- Sep 8-9: Infineon testing w/ JvO in the 997 cup with a fresh motor. 1.4 sec slower.
- Sep 15-18: Laguna Seca IMSA GT3 Challenge. Saturday qualified third in gold class (1.30.8.. 2 sec faster than SCCA race in May.. on slower tires!), finished 1st in gold, fastest lap in class. Sunday starting on pole, led first 60 minutes of 75 minute race. Dropped to 3rd place after contact with eventual winner. Fastest lap in race.
- Sep 23-25: Infineon Pirelli Cup. Qualify p5, finish p4. Think I had bad set of tires because the car feels like crap and I’m 1.5 sec slower than my previous best lap.
- Oct 13-14: Laguna Seca Porsche Rennsport Reunion IV. Qualify p1 in class, 4th overall out of 42 cup cars. Finished 1st in class and 5th overall.
- Oct 17-18: Barber Motorsports Park Grand-Am test. Testing Stevenson Grand-Am Continental Tire GS Camaro. First time at track. 8 laps first day. 12 laps second day. On first hot lap of the second day I set my best time, about 1.5 sec off the normal drivers (when we were all on old tires). After looking at data i was losing all the time in one section. Think I could have fixed it if i could have got back in the car to run more laps.
- Nov 4: Thunderhill test day. Testing GMS spec e30 in prep for 25 hours of Thunderhill.
- Nov 21: Thunderhill test day. Driving 2011 GT3 Cup for the first time. The auto-blipper sucks. Motor is running a little weird.
- Dec 1: Thunderhill test day. Testing 2011 GT3 Cup w/ JvO. Engine issues, car running weird and spark plugs are missing bits and pieces…. but it was fun to hang out w/ Wolf Henzler and Jon Fogarty while they were testing for the 25 Hour.
- Dec 2-4: Thunderhill 25 hour. Driving GMS E3 class Spec E30. We’re doing great. Go to the hotel to nap for a couple hours at 11pm, wake up at 3am to come back to the track and get a text while I’m walking in the parking lot. Car is terminal w/ transmission problems… race is over for us. :(
- Dec 7: Daytona Grand-Am test. Testing TRG Rolex GT Porsche. First time at Daytona. First time in a Rolex GT car. Set my fastest lap in the first 10 lap session in the car, went about that same speed the rest of the day— weird and disappointing. Wish I could have slept on it and gone back out the next morning. Was 4 seconds off Pumpelly in the same car. T1 and the bus stop are fucking FAST and tricky.
- Dec 30: Thunderhill test. Driving 2009 GT3 Cup while 2011 Cup engine is rebuilt.