This was our first time running with USTCC and they have a remarkable program. With all of the media and events surrounding the racing, you can feel like a Professional Racecar Driver. Although it was fun signing autographs, being on television, and winning actual money, it’s always about the racing and it was an epic weekend with highs and lows.
All of the EDGE cars raced in the Street Touring (ST) class and it was a great event for our newer drivers, John and Lee. They were able to get more wheel-to-wheel experience but at the pointier end of the field. They both drove well, made great decisions, and were fast.
Saturday Race #1
ST Qualifying - Friday
Anthony and Shaun were trying a new, larger wing on the # 38 EDGE E46 but unfortunately, in qualifying on Friday it failed on the second lap. The new swan neck wing was expensive and ultimately disappointing but Anthony was still able to qualify 2nd even with the wonky aero.
Our new driver, John Friesen, in the #63 EDGE E36 got pole with a 1:36:09 in only his 5th race ever. This is a really fast lap and we were happier for him than we were disappointed in the #38 car. Lee also drove well and grabbed 9th on the grid.
Even with the issues on #38 it was a great way to start a race weekend!
We got a Friday evening delivery of another wing and installed it on the #38 that night. Miserably, that ended up failing during the race. What is with the wings we choose?
Saturday’s race was very interesting for Anthony. He had a great good start and was quickly into 1st, gapping the ST class and pressuring the GT Camaro in the overall lead. A double yellow flag for cars that were broken or beached ended our hopes of taking the overall lead.
A few laps after the restart 38’s tires were not doing well and Anthony was struggling with a lot of understeer. We uncharacteristically managed our tires poorly and towards the end of the race being pressured by other ST cars for the last few laps, Anthony was unable to hold the lead.
He was passed going into the corkscrew by 2 cars and with a compromised line into the corkscrew and slid sideways through it which debeaded a tire. It wasn’t until turn 10 that he realized it and that was because of a major tank slapper coming out of the turn. He pitted immediately, ending his race.
Got a bad start spinning his wheels and lost 2 places to Anthony in #38 and Art in #76. Brandon, in the #23 E90, also got by putting John in 4th place.
Getting by Brandon was difficult as his E90 M3 sure seemed like it had the power of a GT car. John was doing everything he could do to stay close and the pressure forced Brandon into a mistake and John capitalized on it and set his sights on Art.
Art’s E46 M3 was faster and he was driving just fast enough to keep John behind. In the corners, John would close in and many times was close to being able to pass but he didn’t feel there was a possibility he could get by unless he forced a mistake. Unfortunately, all of the pressure John could apply didn’t force Art into a mistake.
Late in the race, Anthony in 1st place slowed before flatting, and Art with John got by Anthony at the top of the corkscrew. From there, John kept fighting but couldn’t get by and finished his 1st USTCC race and 5th race ever in 2nd place. Congratulations on the well-earned podium John! He also got rookie of the day.
There’s not much to say about a clean and consistent race to come in 7th in ST except great work!
Sunday Race #2
ST Qualifying - Saturday
There was a new setup in the #38 car to dial out some of the understeer that Anthony had dealt with the day before. In 2 laps Shaun qualified in P1 with a 1:36.272. He only did 2 laps to preserve the tires for the race.
John had another strong qualifying effort with 2nd while Lee grabbed 8th.
Sunday morning before the race we changed the setup on the #38 and #63 cars to help preserve the front tires. You’ll see that this made a big difference.
We also installed yet another wing on the #38, this time crossing our fingers, chanting, burning some Chicken bones …😉 The Voodoo seemed to work.
Starting in P1 in ST and 3rd overall Shaun got a good start a Factory Five Prototype GT car was the only car that got by him into turn 2. Unfortunately, the Prototype was slowing Shaun up in corners. It was insanely fast on the straights which made it our companion for about half the race.
Shaun’s ST race was being impacted by the Prototype by running slower laps than we would have if there was clear track. With a few fast ST cars behind us Shaun needed to make sure they didn’t catch him because of the Protype. Shaun was finally able to get by in turn 2, using slower traffic to his advantage.
With the #38 nicely balanced again - new Voodoo wing, modified setup - and once around the GT car, Shaun extended the gap by more than 35 seconds before winning the race.
Shaun lead every lap of the race in the ST class and finished 3rd overall, beating 1/2 of the GT field. He finished 10 seconds ahead of the Factory Five Prototype that had slowed him for ½ of the race. In ST Shaun ended up 35 seconds ahead of the 2nd place ST car.
John had a rough night on Saturday with little sleep as he was not feeling well. Luckily the race started late in the day on Sunday so there was some time to recover.
He got a great jump at the start but he mis-shifted into 4th instead of 2nd. He got swarmed and by turn 2 he was in 9th place overall. His rapidly improving skill allowed John to get by 3 of the cars by the 2nd lap. Now into 4th place in ST
John had an amazing battle. He fought back all races and had a multi-lap battle with a much higher-powered E92 M3. John pressured the M3 into many mistakes and he put wheels off track in turn 3 many laps in a row. Eventually, John’s driving consistency and awareness helped him capitalize on the E92’s turn 3 mistakes when it went at the exit of 3 it got all 4 wheels off. John pounced on the opportunity and got by into 3rd place.
From that point, it was a procession for him, and he easily grabbed 2nd place. We’d call that a great weekend of racing.
With more consistent and clean driving, Lee finished in 8th place. This is a great result for an almost brand new racer!
EDGE came into the weekend feeling like it was a foregone conclusion that we would win and dominate. As you’ve read that wasn’t entirely the case. It reminds us that we can’t take anything for granted but more importantly how fortunate we are to be in the position that we’re in.
It was an exciting weekend to say the least with John getting the ST pole on Friday, Anthony fighting his car in Saturday’s race, Shaun and John getting 1-2 in Sunday’s race, and winning the top team award on Sunday. All of the drivers, Tony (except for that 1 tire) John, Lee, and Shaun did an amazing job returning the cars without any damage and they all drove extremely well.