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Not the way I thought it would turn out, but then every once in awhile you need to have weekends like this to appreciate weekends like - - well, I’m not sure. Nashville was great even though I didn’t beat Rich as I wanted and the MSD unit crapped out. We wrecked at Daytona after going faster than I would have imagined so that was a two-edged sword. I ran over Denny’s bodywork on the cool off lap and got outrun by a BMW at Road Atlanta even though I won GT-1. Roebling was fairly uneventful and a success by most accounts even though we found a leaking fuel cell and came in second in GT-1 both days. Yet without thinking about it too hard, I’d say we’ve been very successful over the years, but particularly since we started running Cuervo. Is this an example of a “glass half full” approach to life?
 
Thinking back on it, MOST of our racing weekends have a certain amount of “challenge” to be overcome, but then that’s probably why we seek out those weekends. Said another way (paraphrased from “Illusions” by Richard Bach), “Every problem we encounter has a gift for us. We seek out these problems for the gifts they bring us.”
 
I fully expected to go up to VIR, run low 2:04’s without trying, get an easy win and take the early lead in the 2006 SARRC GTA championship series. The car kept cutting out during each session (we never completed a full lap at speed) so obviously that didn’t happen, but we learned a lot (and added some items to the list):
 
- Need to find the REAL cause of the electrical outages (could be a faulty master switch)
 
- I really like VIR, but I don’t know it worth a damn (we’ve only been there three times now). I couldn’t do it this time because of the new job, but next May we need to make sure and do the (full) test day. I never got comfortable with the track – I kept having to look ahead and see what was coming rather than knowing intuitively where to brake, turn in, apex, etc. I certainly don’t know it like I know Road Atlanta, Roebling or TGPRi (or even Daytona).
 
- I need to budget for new race tires at key events such as the SIC, the ARRC (2006 and beyond) and maybe Daytona. I can win GTA at a low-key event using Phelon’s scuffs but as in all racing, new tires are ALWAYS better than used tires. I don’t know how much better right now (because I’ve not run stickers on Cuervo), but I need to find out.
 
- There’s a lot of interest in GTA in SEDIV.  ohn Willes (Jack’s dad) said they’re thinking about getting into GTA because it’s cheaper than running a SpecRacer Ford (and they used to be CSR’s), plus a number of other people are telling me they’d be interested. It’ll really take off if we can come up with a set of rules that allows former short track Late Models into the class, but I think that can work, too. I spent a lot of time talking to Ron Fariss about the performance potential of the LMSC cars and how to manage it, but looking at lap times in MyLaps we should be running with those guys. Joe spent some time talking to John Goodson (current “owner” of LMSC) about combining the two sets of rules but Goodson was hard-headed about it (“everything will be fine if you just run my rules”). I’ll be working with Ron to come up with a rules package that will let more cars into SEDIV’s version of GTA (and is enforceable) that I can propose to the RE’s for their approval at Jekyll. Having 20 GTA cars take the green at the 2006 SIC is certainly do-able.
 
In the meantime we’re also taking on a new customer car this week (and planning a trip to Aiken to get a new supply of tires for both cars), getting into the new job, taking on the Atlanta Region’s race program as Assistant RE and I STILL need to get my weight down to a manageable level (the good news is I was running to the bathroom Sunday morning before the warm-up without pain).
 
I’m not bored…