Sunday, August 31, 2014

E Street Report from Darlington

This weekend I officially kicked off the hunt for the 2015 season replacement for the Mazdaspeed Miata.  I was co-driving a stock 2001 Miata owned by my friend Kyle, who chairs the autocross program for our region and who has been finishing a solid second ahead of me at each event all season.  

Kyle and I were taking turns knocking out a lot of cones, but he was still consistently about 1 second faster all day.  We each slowed down a little bit to bring the 4th run of our 5 total in without hitting any cones and I wound up with a top time good for 3rd place in ES of 35.8 second.  

During fun runs I knew I could at least match Kyle's best time.  The first fun run I ran about the same as earlier at a 35.5.  Time to keep the right foot down more.  I overcooked the back half of the course and lost a lot of time, no improvement.  I pulled past the timing van and could see Kyle leaning out the window "Do it again!" and it seemed the whole SCR crew was egging me on. Alright, one more.  I lined up at start, focused down through the first stretch of cones and floored it.  This time I managed to keep my right foot down through more of the course and nailed the back stretch to come across the line in 34.2!  Bam! There's the time I needed to see.

After 6 events I'm solidly in 3rd place in ES even though fun runs are showing a pace much quicker than the official points would suggest.  Must keep driving.  Keep learning.  Keep the right foot down!

At Cars and Coffee last weekend I met a father and son who had a Mini Cooper S and I let them know about the Darlington event and encouraged them to come check it out.  Sure enough, they showed up bright and early and jumped right into the mix, getting numbers taped on the car and walking the course.  They both did really well in the novice class and said they were absolutely hooked and would have to come out again.  It was pretty cool to help other people find the sport that the NMS team also has gotten thoroughly addicted to since our first event right there at Darlington almost 2 years ago!  Looking forward to seeing the little blue car out there at the future events.

I took a quick break from running timing inside the van just in time to take a shot of the Abarth crossing the finish line.

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