Skeleton Crew, the AUDI is Weird, and Guaranteed Wins
With a few of our race cars down for the count, it was going to be a relatively light weekend with only the AUDI TCR in NASA ST3 and the #37 E36 BMW in ST4/TT4. Shaun Webster was going to be driving the AUDI all weekend and Anthony Zwain would be in the BMW.
This was also going to be the first race weekend with our new sponsor, Dormatech.
For the ST4 car it was pretty uneventful other than some modifications to our driving style. Anthony and Jeremiah, our race engineer, wanted to work on different braking techniques to capture a few 10ths, utilizing the Bosch MK60 ABS system retrofitted into the e36 chassis. Although qualifying went very well, we blew turn 11 on our best lap and lost what seemed like an eternity. Even with our mess in 11, we still got pole position.
ST3 - WE GOT POLE! Hard driving and nose to the grindstone work ethic is what made the difference here … WE’RE JOKING. There’s nothing to report here because there was nobody else in the class. We were guaranteed pole position and we’ll probably do pretty well in the race ;). We were able to see that the potential one lap pace was getting increasingly faster as Shaun adjusted to the AUDI TCR and how it needs to be driven.
Saturday ST4 Race
On pole, with a great start, and consistent driving we never let go of 1st place. Other than some hard fighting with Justin S. on the 1st lap through turn 1 and 2 it ended up being a relatively easy race. There was some excitement on lap 6 when we heard a loud pop. The car seemed fine but we backed off as much as possible and maintained a comfortable gap for the win.
Saturday ST3 Race
Being that we were the only ones in the race it was a great opportunity to get used to the car and refine our technique.
As in any race, you’re going to be driving aggressively, especially at the start. In the AUDI and any front-wheel drive car, the front tires are being asked to do a lot. When the tires are cold it creates excessive wear and by the midway in a race, the car starts to push and wash a bit. By the end, it feels like our street cars have more grip.
There is a huge transformation from the beginning of the race with a lot of oversteer, to the middle where it feels great, and finally to the end where the front tires have been overused and we have to be very careful and patient.
To get more out of the tires and car we were squaring off turns more with aggressive trail braking. As we refined the technique and gained confidence, the lap times went down. We got down to running 1:44s in the race and we were satisfied with that. To be competitive, we’re going to have to consistently be in the 1:43s and 1:42s. We have some work to do!
Oh, and we won. But is it really a win when you’re the only one there?
Only the #37 BMW ran and was able to get a win in TT4 with 7 competitors in the class.
We thought Anthony was going to drive the BMW all weekend but the Moore’s showed up and wanted to race. It is their car so...
Eric Moore drove the ST4 BMW on Sunday and because of issues with his cool suit he got out around mid-pack in qualifying - not good! But even with having to weave through slower traffic, Eric was able to get 2nd. Great job by Justin S. for getting the ST4 pole. It should be an interesting race.
The AUDI was still the only car in ST3 and nothing broke. Guess how we did ;)
Sunday ST4 Race
Starting in second Eric got a reasonable start but Justin S. was able to gap us from pole. Unfortunately, Justin’s car developed some issues and he had to retire. It’s never how we want to get the lead and our philosophy would end up working against us.
During a double yellow flag, we were still leading but the field packed up. As the race went green, Jason B. was able to get by us with a good pass out of turn 10. See? After Jason passed, we were able to reel him in but lapped traffic kept getting in the way at the worst moments.
Congratulations to Jason on his win and we’re happy with 2nd.
Sunday ST3 Race
Sunday was essentially the same as Saturday so we tried to get as much out of the tires from Saturday. We cross rotated the tires and although we saved some tires for another day, the car was slower. This was expected and we just continued to figure out how to maximize tire performance. Oh, and we also won this race ;)
Again, only the #37 ran and Kevin Moore was able to pull out another win in TT4 in the last session. It was a mixed session with HPDE group 4 and despite it being very late on a hot afternoon, the Hoosier tires, and Kevin ;), still performed well enough to match Eric Moore's qualifying time from earlier in the day.
This was a stripped down weekend that was a lot less busy than normal. Although we like more competition, it was nice to relax a bit during a race weekend. On Sunday the Family got a little bigger when Kevin and Eric Moore showed up after spending time at the Lemons event at Thunderhill on Saturday.
Huge thanks go out to Chris Reardon, Matt Powers, and Jeremiah Wennermark. They are invaluable in so many ways! With their help, Shaun and Anthony were able to modify their technique, get more out of the cars, and improve their times. Hopefully, this means more success when we have full fields in NASA ST4 and ST3.
It was great to race and have the cars perform well, have a sit-down and drinks with our friends, and hang with a great family. #camaraderie #edgefamily #forevergrateful
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