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Sears Point Race Report

Old 12-01-03, 04:11 PM
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Sears Point Race Report

The final race of the season for me was held at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, CA on 11/22 and 23rd. My dad and I towed the car up early Saturday morning, but blew a trailer tire in Vallejo, which resulted in missing the morning warmup and qualifying sessions, so I started at the very back for Saturday's race.

The start was wild, I couldn't see the green flag, but knew it had to have been thrown, so I screwed up the start and got on and off the gas.. Next time I'll be more patient. Heading into turn 1, one of the Shelby CSX factory replica race cars got tagged by a turbo Miata, and spun in the middle of the track, causing all of us to scramble out of his way.. The polesitter in PS-1 went outside, and got slowed way down by traffic, but Brad in the 17 car and I went inside, clear of the accident and got several cars between Derek and I. Brad was driving wounded, with no 3rd gear, so I made a quick pass going into turn 4 and took the lead for good.. I had some fun dicing with several PS-7 RX-7s and Spec Miatas, but I kept my nose clean and won Saturday's race. Derek was reeling me in, but I had enough of a cushion to hold him off. I ran a 2:00.1 to Derek's 1:59.8 in the race. The fastest of the PS-7 RX-7s ran a 1:55, so all of us in PS-1 are well under the pace, but we're still rookies

I arrived at the track Sunday morning to find the windshield covered in ice, it was a cold night. chipped that off, and got the car ready to go, and warmed up. I was so cold that my arms didn't really want to work, so the best I could do was a 2:05 in the warmup session, but Derek and I hassled each other in Qualifying and turned 2:00 flat each.. Derek got the pole with a 2 tenth advantage, but I wasn't too worried, that close of a time, it's anyone's ball game.

Derek got a nice jump on me at the start, and I got stuck behind a slower Spec Miata for a lap. I have more power than any of the SMs, but they handle about the same, so I only really can pull on them on the straights, and I have to be about perfect exiting the last turn or I just won't have enough to get up and around them. The SM was blocking me in several corners, but I had a good run on the main straight and was alongside him when we touched going into turn 1. We both busted our mirrors, and I've got a nice dent in the rear quarter panel from his wheel.. The driver was apparently upset about the contact, and proceeded to smack me around twice more until I could get some daylight between him and I. I got clear of him, and started tracking Derek down. Two laps later, I passed Derek, only to throw it away with a missed turn-in point going into turn 4. The car started bouncing like hell (bottomed out on the stops) and drove me right off track.

After my incident with the first Spec Miata, I wasn't too keen to pass any more of them, and Derek managed to get one between him and I.. I ended up getting stuck behind the SM for the rest of the race, coming in second..

Hey, that's the way it goes, I learned several valuable lessons, and I picked up over 5 seconds from my last best time at Sears, running a 1:59.2 to Derek's 1:59.8 in the race, and knowing that I can do better than that with some practice.

Here's the vids:

Both of these are about 30 mb each.

These vids are the whole race on Sunday, 60mb each


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Old 12-01-03, 04:58 PM
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Nice footage Paul! I was amazed at the hodgepodge of cars on the track. I am used to running with A-Sedan and some GT cars once in a while.

I like the commentary along the way. You could almost market the vids you put together.

Are you running any SCCA stuff or are you sticking with NASA for now?
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Old 12-01-03, 06:44 PM
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Looked like you had fun out there Paul. Congrats on the victory. Saw your dad at Laguna this weekend, where were you?
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Old 12-01-03, 07:22 PM
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i wish i had the money, skill, and time to do that. i really do. :P
sounds like a good weekend all around though
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Old 12-01-03, 07:48 PM
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thank you,

are you still having problems heal toeing?
when can i get a ride?
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Old 12-02-03, 12:23 PM
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Thanks guys,

Pauly, yeah, Group A with us is a mishmash of different car classes, the IT cars comprise the core, but Super unlimited always runs with us, and that can make for some interesting midrace lapping.. Saturday we ran with US Touring Cars as well.

I'll probably run a few SCCA races this year, but I'll have to run their licensing school too. However, if I want closer competition with similar cars, SCCA is where I'm going to have to go. I plan to run the full season with NASA, and a few SCCA races to check it out.

Hey Dave, yeah, they mentioned you were at the track.. I was at Pick N Pull for their 25% off sale stocking up on replacement fenders. Besides, my FC won't pass sound at LSIR without choking it off with a glass pack. I need to design a better exhaust for LSIR..

Cheers, yeah, still an issue, I plan to pull off the gas pedal this winter and bend it to suit my foot a little better..

You let me know when you get out to California and I'll get you a ride for sure.

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Old 12-02-03, 01:34 PM
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and yes, I do know what it's like to be passed like that.

Out in my Civic (120k mile suspension still on it) at a track day with the Rally Sport Region of the Porsche club.



Fast. Some instructors had their cars out there during our group (there was a bunch of cars out there besides Porsches also), but one guy in his Carrera 4 just was haulin' around the track, man, that dude just blew by and it was like "crap".
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Old 12-02-03, 07:39 PM
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Old 12-06-03, 02:18 AM
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great vids paul, yes, get your licence and come play with us, were averaging 8-10 ITS cars , 14-19 ITA cars and with ITC 35-45 car fields.(AND NO SPEC MIATAS) my best this year was 4th down south and 8th at laguna, but in that race I had 4th fastest race lap, 1:52.1, what a gas.. come to laguna in june.

Daryl Brightwell
ITA RX7 perm #11 (yes)

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Old 12-10-03, 04:53 PM
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nice video....Flying Miata driver Rick Weldon?
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Old 12-10-03, 05:46 PM
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Thanks for the vids and keep posting them.

You're clearly faster than the guys in front of you. It's tough to pass and you had some pretty good moves. That first guy in the Miata needs a breaker bar to the side of the head! Ultimately your problem is that you're a headcase. I know what that's all about. On the upside Paul Tracy's championship gives new hope to all the headcases out there.
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