Bent Fender Blues

It was a forgettable weekend of Miata racing at Road Atlanta. I started off pace in practice, having lost the feel of the brake pedal from driving the Boxster and MX-5, both which have ABS. In the last session I turned in early for turn one, ran out of room on the exit, and found the retaining wall. 

And the car had just been refinished over the off season. All the body panels were straight, the wrap was shiny and new.... 

BZ was able to put the suspension right, and with some drafting help from Caveman I qualified P8 for Saturday's race.

In Saturday's race the Pink Lady had a characteristic lightning start. I caught up to him a few laps later and he pointed me by in turn one, then it went all went wrong.

Afterwords, everyone under the Speedwerks tent took turns hammering out bent body panels and BZ got the wheels pointed in the right direction, again.

Sunday's race was wet and cold. I started P7 but lost a few spots on the start with the dreaded 2-5 upshift.

Then it was one step forward and two steps back. I made up ground, 2 seconds a lap faster than the cars in front of me, only to loose it by sliding in turn 6 under breaking and looping it in the wet grass. Charge back, try and carry speed out of turn 5, get the wet curbing and around I go again. Maddening. 

 

That's why racing is so challenging. Getting the most out of the car in changing conditions isn't about physical strength, or lack of fear. It requires precision, focus, and minimization of errors. It is very much a cerebral game. 

Anyway, that's it for this week's BumpDraft track side report.  Kudos to Senter and Andy who all drove well in the rain and finished with good results both days.

For family or friends in the Athens area interested in watching the Boxster in action, you're welcome to come out to the PCA races at Road Atlanta on Saturday, April 1st.