One of the best things about our schedule is the tracks that we get to visit. This weekend was a visit to another classic American road course, Road America.
It’s one of the few tracks left where you still have that old school feel, similar to places like Watkins Glen, Mosport, and Road Atlanta. It’s high speed and still has that danger factor.
It’s a fun track for a driver and a challenging place for an engineer. You work to find a balance between handling for places like the carousel and low drag for all the long straights.
We rolled off the truck pretty strong. We were right in line with the other Corvettes in the practices and Ricky put us P3 in qualifying.
We had a pretty uneventful start and first few stints. When it was my turn to jump in, we cycled out P3 behind the 5 and 31, but were going to have a fueling advantage at the next stop because Ricky stayed out longer. So my job before the next stop was to stay within five seconds of them to jump them in the pits.
Unfortunately a yellow came out shortly after. All the DPs came in and we decided not to take tires and rather take the track position. We left the pits leading out of the cars that stopped.
Once we went green, we pulled a little gap through traffic and then went into fuel saving mode. We were trying to push this little stint longer, knowing the last stop was going to be close with making it to the checkered flag. We needed to save fuel in this stint or the next, so decided to do it now.
Both the 5 and 31 took tires on the previous stop and were able to get by during this run. When the final stop came, we cycled out third, but knew the 31 was a lap short on fuel.
We were able to stay within touch of the leaders through this stint, depending on how everyone was hitting traffic. Unfortunately we got another untimely yellow which pretty much sealed everyone’s fate. We restarted behind a few GT cars with three laps to go and couldn’t close the gap.
With the gaps between the classes this year being so close, everyone is racing more aggressively.
Sometimes the yellows fall for you, and sometimes not. We had a strong car all weekend and just missed out on the race.
COTA has been a strong event for us in the past, so I think we’re all looking forward to that.
We’ve got a fews weeks off now until then, but we’ll be keeping busy.