After our shunt in Virginia, the Phoenix Performance shop headed the repairs of the Calvert Dynamics Porsche 911 GT3 R.
The repair turned into quite a logistical nightmare. A new tub was sent over from Germany via Porsche Motorsport North America (PMNA). The interesting thing here is that even though the parts were going to Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, first they had to go to the PMNA shop located outside of Los Angeles.
Given the short turnaround between races (granted not as short as this week’s), everything had to go perfectly for us to make it to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
By Friday following VIR the car was apart and the engine and transmission were at PMNA to be checked over. The new parts were being transferred over to the new tub.
By Monday, PMNA had the engine and transmission heading to Phoenixville. We weren’t actually certain of the car being done until Preston loaded the No. 77 up in the Phoenix Performance fifth wheel trailer on Tuesday to drive it up to the track!
A lot of work went into making sure we were back on track. I owe a huge thank you to Andrew Aquilante, Kurt Rezzetano and Ben VanDyke of Phoenix Performance, and Tom McNair from PMNA for organizing the engine/transmission rebuild. We couldn’t have made it to this weekend without their tireless efforts.
With the car being just rebuilt, we spent Thursday shaking it down, making sure everything felt right and there were no loose bolts or fluids leaking. Nothing felt out of the ordinary. The car was ready to rock!
To be honest, if I hadn’t known all the work that went into the repair, I wouldn’t have been able to tell it was a different car.
Everything down to the bungee placement for our seat belts was the same – for those of you that don’t know, we use surgical tubing tied to the seat belts in order to pull them out of the way during the driver changes.
In SprintX you have to juggle the allotted track-time with your co-driver. For us this means that Stefan (Pfeiffer), Neville (Agass), Preston and I have to make a clear plan ahead of every testing session to maximize the use of the time.
For the first day we usually put me in the car in the beginning to make setup tweaks, then once we’re happy with how the car is behaving we get Preston. Afterwards we evaluate where we are and what we need to improve on for the next session.
CTMP is definitely one of the iconic “Old School” race tracks of North America. It’s faaaast!
In our Calvert Dynamics Porsche 911 GT3 R, you’re averaging well over 110 mph a lap. My favorite part of the track is Turn 2. It’s a blind entry corner where you just tap the brake on the entry, before you can see the corner, fly over the top of the hill in fifth-gear, about 120 mph, and hope she sticks. It’s truly exhilarating.
As mandated by the series rules, Preston qualified the car and put in a great lap, and personal best for himself, which put us P6 in Pro/Am for Race 1. Preston gained a couple spots on the opening lap and set into a solid rhythm.
After 25-minutes the pit window opened and Preston dove into pit lane for our driver change. We had a bit of a kerfuffle in the change and we lost a couple of spots. No problem, I got back out and had just come around for my first lap when a caution flag came out.
Once again we were a bit of a victim to poor track position.
As the overall leaders hadn’t made it through the whole Pro/Am field we ended up with the leaders of our class effectively gaining a whole lap on us.
Still, after the green flag dropped I had a great battle with one of the Bentleys, as well as a fantastic last lap battle with Michael Lewis which saw us go side-by-side through turns 8-10, with Michael edging me out for the fifth-position, myself and Preston taking the sixth position.
For Sunday’s race we gridded fourth in Pro/Am, a great starting position, particularly because I had the preferred wet line, since it was supposed to rain…. Boy did it!
The rain went on and off all day, which caused a few delays. When it finally came time to race, the skies opened up.
Unfortunately, the stewards deemed it best to call off our race. While I understand the call, as a driver I was bummed out.
Thanks to all the fans who tuned in for our race, sorry Sunday’s was a no-go but we’ll deliver in Lime Rock!