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LAW: Mixed Conditions and Mixed Results

Flying Lizard Motorports program manager Darren Law checks in for his latest Sportscar365 column…

Photo: Gavin Baker/Flying Lizard

Road America is one of the best tracks in the U.S. It is a lot of fun to drive and has a lot of challenges.

The Pirelli GT4 America event at Road America had several challenges for us, mainly brought on by the mixed weather conditions.

There was always the threat of rain in the forecast all weekend but when you have those condition you either want it to be consistent rain or consistently dry, but it never seems to work out that way though.

This last weekend was one of the combined events where we had four races: two Sprint races and two SprintX races.

After the practice sessions and qualifying, we were confident in our cars and the setup. We had been quick in practice and both Robby Foley and Michael Dinan had good qualifying runs. This track was not new to Michael as he had done some test days but he had never raced here.

The first race of the weekend was a Sprint race which meant Michael was on his own for this one. Luckily it was dry, and he did a really nice job. He started the race in 18th position overall and ninth in class.

He worked hard, stayed out of trouble and moved up to 11th overall and 6th in class.

It was a good first race of the weekend and he was given the hard charger award for making up so many positions.

As for the second race of the weekend and first of the SprintX events trouble was next. The rain came but it wasn’t consistent. The track was wet enough for rain tires but it potentially could have gone to a dry condition.

Because of the current conditions we chose to start on rains. Unfortunately, not everyone chose that option and on the first lap a car on slick tires lost control and took us out of the race.

Our SprintX car was damaged enough that we chose not to run it for the races on day two, but instead use our Sprint car.

For the second day of racing it started with heavy rain, so all cars were on wets, and at least we knew what we were in for with this one.

The day started with another Sprint race, and Michael qualified better for this race, 11th overall and fourth in class.

This weekend was literally the first time Michael had ever raced in the rain, which can be a big learning curve. He ran a good race in heavy rain conditions, and at the halfway point in the race it was red flagged and called due to conditions.

We ended where we started and at least had a car to run for the second SprintX race.

Because we had to switch cars, we were required to give up our fifth place qualifying position and start from pit lane. Robby Foley was the starter for this race, and again it was mixed conditions with the field on wet tires.

Robby went from last to ninth overall, which a solid run up through the field until he turned the car over to Michael. Michael again ran well and learned a lot about a track that had conditions going from wet to dry, but we had to stay on the rain tires until the end.

Overall it was a good weekend for us, Michael continues to learn in his first season of racing. He is improving every weekend with the help of Robby Foley and we are looking forward to closing out the season in Vegas next month.

Darren Law (@Daw544) is a sports car racing driver turned team owner, serving as the program manager for Flying Lizard Motorsports.

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