Bridgestone Racing Series Round 8
August 25, 2001
The second day was better. I was driving car 6, which is the same car I had in the third race of the season when I crashed. It is, however, a very good car. It feels good, handles good and has decent power.
I went out and immediately felt quicker and more controlled than the previous day. When you're comfortable and confident, results come much more easily.
It surprised me somewhat to be 6th in qualifying as I felt I had done better on the track. But the "Elf Kids" were very fast. The three "Elf Kids" were raised on karting and then trained at Elf Winfield in France, the top racing school in the world.
Sixth wasn't too shabby in such company, particularly since I outqualified one of the Elf Kids by 0.06 seconds and 2 positions. The racing was that close. I outqualified 7th place by 0.01s (yes, 1/100 of a second). The human eye takes about 3 times as long to blink. Where would we be without computerized timing?
At any rate the race was exciting. I retained my position at the start and then had a big whopper and nearly spun near the end of the first lap. The guy behind me spun trying to avoid me and lost a bunch of places. Oops, sorry!
The rest of the way I was under pressure from the Elf Kid in 7th place. He managed to get by me for a few laps and then went off the road in one of the turns. So I dove inside and took it back.
Then a few laps later I was lapping this driver (who was also the tank slapper I spun trying to avoid the previous day during qualifying). Previously he had been so blind that he wouldn't give me room when I had already passed him. It's a lot less difficult to race your peers than someone who's in over his head.
This time he saw me coming and moved aside to let me through. The kindest thing I can say about his ability is that he needs more development. In hurrying to get out of the way he moved onto the inside of the turn trying to let me by and then proceeded to lose control, lock his brakes and slide across the turn nearly taking me with him.
It's to be expected when you race you will make mistakes. However, you are out of your league when you qualify 7.5 seconds behind someone and then nearly crash into them when being lapped.
Fortunately, he slid off in front of me instead of running into my car and I went on to finish 6th.