Two Cool Schools – PPIR

The start of the race season began at Pikes Peak International Raceway with the annual SCCA drivers school combined with a double race weekend. Matthew instructed two of the students and they are now both novice permit holders and have competed in their first race to meet the requirements to receive their race license.

Saturday March 9th 2011 was a warm sunny day, although a bit windy. Matthew  was able to get pole in qualifying, although Pat Holms and Clay Turner where close behind. In the race Matthew got a great start and moved out to an early lead. Both Pat and Clay took turns making a run at Matthew for the first half of the race.  Unfortunately for Clay his car started to suffer from an intermittent electrical issue that caused him to slow, leaving only Pat nipping at Matthew’s heals. With any small mistake Pat would move that much closer but in the end Matthew was able to maintain his lead and got 1st place in the opening race of the season.

Inspection of the car after the race showed a cracked rotor. We didn’t have any new rotors available but we did have some used ones that looked good enough to get through the next day’s race. There was also a possible blown shock.  There was oil on the shaft and fender well. We didn’t have a replacement and the car was driving fine in the race so we would have to live with it for now. Once the rotor was replaced we retired for the evening, after a long day of racing.

Sunday March 10th 2011 was cooler with less wind, a great day for racing. In practice the brake pedal was pulsating. The rotor we put on seemed to be warped. After practice the rotor was changed again for qualifying. Another used rotor was installed. Although it was visually less desirable the belief was that it was not warped. In qualifying the brakes worked properly and everything went smoothly. Clays qualifying also went smoothly as he took pole for the race. Looks like he got the electrical gremlin sorted out

In the race the green flag dropped and the race was under way. A few of the faster class cars did not make qualifying and started from the back. It looked like everyone hit the gas at the same time and the pack was two and three wide for the first lap. The faster cars coming up from the back were zig zaging in and out of the other cars to quickly get to the front. All of this made for a very exciting first lap. After the dust had settled, literally in some corners, and the pack crossed the start finish line after the first lap Matthew was in the lead, with Clay and Pat aging on his tail. Matthew put his head down to attempt to gap the pack but Clay would not hear of it. For 23 laps they went around the course, dodging traffic , and attempting to run the perfect line. Some traffic seemed to slow Matthew and let Clay get closer and then the next pass on traffic would slow Clay and give Matthew a little space. In the end Matthew was able to hang on to the lead and gained his second victory of the season.

Leave a Reply