Race 1 of the Spec Miata Grand Prix was incredibly exciting to watch. There wasn't a lap that went by where there weren't cars somewhere going 2 or 3 wide. The top 7 were switching positions throughout the race, all contending for the lead. About halfway through the race a full course caution came out. After watching the cars lap and realizing our car was missing, my family and I rushed down to the pits to see what happened and make sure Dad was okay. Fortunately, Dad was uninjured, but the whole left side of the car was beat up and covered with rubber from the tire wall. What had happened is, as he was going through turn 12, he ended up too wide on exit and hit a dip past the exit curbing, this misdirected the car toward the tire wall at the exit. He tried to get it corrected, but the tires caught grip at the wrong moment and it was over from there. Just before impact he realized it was unsaveable and let go of the wheel. This not only saved him from potentially breaking some bones, but also allowed the wheels to move freely, dispersing the energy and amazingly nothing broke on the car. The front left fender was crushed in and rubbing on the tire, plus the mirror was gone, but all the damage appeared to be cosmetic.
|Photo Credit: Frank Hunt|
For my race I was in a mixed group of over 30 cars with a large speed variance, including anything from Porsche GT3 Cup cars to Mazda Miatas and even a Kia Rio. This meant that traffic played a large role in the race. Most of my race was spent overtaking cars that were faster in a straight line, but slower through the turns, meaning I had to strategize how to get in front of them and hold my position. A few times I was able to use lapping traffic to my advantage to get by the faster cars, and using their draft I was able to make those passes stick. I ended up having a great battle with Skip Yocom in his 240Z toward the end of the race. I would catch him in the corners, only for him to pull away on the straights. The white flag came out for one lap to go, and I was on his tail as I got a great run out of the last turn and down the front straight, so he was only able to build a small gap. I could tell he was overdriving the car, and anticipating a mistake about to unfold, I was ready when he got sideways in Turn 2. I navigated my way around him to make a clean pass and was able to run away to the checkered flag.
|Photo Credit: Frank Hunt|
Dad had a great couple of races as well, keeping the car intact, on the track, and in one piece. He ended up finishing 11th in both races, just behind the large front group. He always had someone to chase down and someone else knocking on his bumper trying to get by. Overall, a very fun and successful weekend! Thanks to everyone who came out to watch, support, and compete! It was a blast hanging out with all of our friends and we are looking forward to our next race.
|Photo Credit: Doug Berger @ dbpics.com|
Up next: Pacific Raceways in Kent, WA July 31st to August 2nd