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GTD Racing Sebring NYE 2018 Race Report

 

Day 1- We got to roll off 3rd thanks to the random draw, Justin was in the car first.  He kept the car in the top 10 (and set the fastest time for our team a 2.37) until the caution flew at the 1hr mark.  We decided to pit for fuel only and he rejoined the race in 25th.  For the next 45 minutes he worked his way back to 11th, until he was black flagged for apparently passing under yellow, though the official could not say where.  At that point, Joe(me) got in and rejoined the race back at 24th place, and drove up to 20th consistently running in the 2:42’s until fatigue began to set in due to the heat.  So when the caution flew 1hr and 20 minutes into the stint it was time to exit the car.  Next up was Cameron, new to the car and team.  He did good work turning some quick laps and keeping the car clean while getting acclimated to it and the track.  After 19 laps and driving the car up to 17th he too succumbed to the heat and wisely brought the car in.  We were now in the heat of the day.  Unfortunately a few of us sorely underestimated the warmer than average temps and left our cool shirts at home. Big Mistake.  On the other hand there was absolutely no drama with the car.  It was tougher than we were Saturday, and after some pesky gremlins the last 3 races I was sure glad for that. It just ran and ran..

Next up was Choray rejoining the race in 21st position.  The interior temp in the car must have been at it’s peak by then because within 10 laps Cho was calling to come in due to the heat.  He brought the car in after 12 laps and took an ice bucket challenge in the car (I literally dumped the whole cooler down his suit much to his delight) and went back out for another 8 laps and managed to lay down some quick 2:40 laps before once again succumbing to the heat and bringing the car back to pit road.  At this point we were in 16th place with a little over 1 and a half hours to go.  All day we had never run the car on a stint that long and we were not sure if it would go that long on fuel so it was a bit of a conservation run to the finish when Justin (with cool shirt) returned to the race in 19th position.  Regardless he drove the car at quite a pace to bring it home 16th overall, even enduring a flat right front inside the final 15 laps.    He did a great job to bring the car back to the pits from the far side of the course without destroying the wheel or fender.  We ended the day 3rd in D-class which was a new best for the team, and quite an achievement(if I do say so myself) considering the strength of the D class field.  After a nice cold beer and some high-fives, we set about doing our inspection and repairs in preparation for another 7 hours on day 2.  The car needed very little work, just brake pads and a couple additional brackets on the diffuser.  Our rear wing popped a couple of rivers, but that’s all.  It stood up incredibly well to the roughest circuit in the country..

 

Day 2 

Keeping with the driver rotation, I was first in the car for day 2.  Because of the previous day’s random draw the starting order was inverted so we started almost last.  I was glad for that because I was a little nervous about managing/dodging traffic at the start.  After some painfully slow, nerve racking, stop and go pace laps, the race finally started.  I was on the back stretch at the time and due to a comm problem I missed  the “Green, Green, Green” call.  I got passed up a bit due to that so I really did start last. I quickly caught up to the pack and started to pick my way through.  I must say that the driving on display there was fantastic!  We were racing inches apart 2 and 3 wide at times and there was no contact that I could see.  This gave me a huge boost of confidence not only in myself but also in the other drivers around me.  It was intense, exhilarating and I was having a blast!  We started somewhere around 50th and by 12 laps in we were up to 30th.  That’s when disaster struck.  ..

Clear of the pack, I was running pretty much alone and I could see the #19 infinity running in a pack of cars less than a straightaway ahead.  Considering my poor start this made me feel pretty good about my progress.  I knew if we could keep pace with them that we would be in the hunt for a repeat D-class podium.  Crossing the start/finish line I had just laid down my fastest lap of the stint to that point and I was really starting to get “cozy” in the car. Hauling the mail down the front stretch shifting into 5th just before start finish,under the bridge, braking and downshifting just before the end of the pit wall, I turn down into turn 1, I roll back on the gas looking for the apex and I let the car start to drift/slide towards track out, when suddenly stopped dead sideways direct on the racing line is the #864 Porsche 944.  I had less than a quarter second to react.  Based on my RPM I’d say my corner exit speed was in the range of 75-80 mph.  As soon as I saw him (turn 1 is very fast blind left hand corner for those of you who do not know Sebring) I knew I was very likely going to hit him,it was just a matter of where. I also knew I did not want to hit him direct in the door (which was exactly where I was headed).  Furthermore I knew that if I even touched the brake at that moment the back end of the car would step out and I would for sure lose any chance I had to try and avoid the collision.   So right or wrong I felt (after 0.250 second’s deliberation) that my best chance was to roll out of the throttle and try to steer back towards the inside wall.  Unfortunately I came up about 24 inches short and I ended up plowing into the LF of the Porsche with the RF of my car.   Sitting there in the quiet after the engine stalled was a scary feeling, I could hear other cars coming, and I knew by the sound that they (apparently like me) had not seen the waving corner yellow.  One car came by at speed and barely missed us, locked up brakes and all.  The next car, the Haz-Mat 66 Mustang managed to miss us but spun and smacked the inside wall just to my left.  How he didn’t hit me is a miracle.  I guess at that point they decided to throw the red flag which was certainly the right call.  The safety crew came, allowed me to exit the car have a brief look at the damage before entering the ambulance where they checked me out for a sore neck.  I declined a trip to the hospital, signed some papers and they sent me on my way.  24+ hours later I’m ok, just sore and stiff.  I think the other driver was ok too but he’ll have to speak for himself.  As for the car, definitely not OK.  Champcar may have seen the last of the “Hustler”.  This was the 9th race for this car (in it’s various iterations) and unfortunately the 2nd with damage.  The right front frame rail is bent inward at a 90 degree angle, and the right strut tower has been moved over about 6 inches.  But we managed to get the motor started and the power train seems to be mostly ok.  Luckily it actually rolled into the trailer for the ride back to Chattanooga.  I’ll take it to the frame shop next week for the final verdict but I think “Linus” is finished.  I’ll keep you all posted.  Congrats to the winners, and to all the driver’s for what was overall really a clean race weekend. Thanks to Champcar for providing us an opportunity to race on these legendary tracks.

 

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26 minutes ago, housejoe said:

C7C75D6F-4C00-4BFC-99D6-1AC15B178612.thumb.jpeg.baa9189910695582bae3b165a65f7d2b.jpeg

CD46F70D-19F5-4B1C-B48D-6ADCE337D9D0.jpeg

Was nice meeting and talking to you this weekend. Really sorry about the car and hope you can get back out there soon!

Sean.

 

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49 minutes ago, LuckyKid said:

 

I'm sorry that occurred. But you pointed him by and then turned in on him, I saw it in our video.  You can barely see your point by in your video.  We do make a corner at that speed. That incident occurred his first couple laps and before the exhaust broke.

 

From what I am told by our driver in the car, he pointed him way earlier down the straightaway ... but your car was still not even close by the time they got to T1. Just because a door looks open doesn’t mean you go through it. And not from that far back. Sure, I go through there at 90mph too, but not at that sharp or an angle. There is no way he would have made that corner. 

 

Feel free to post your video and try to prove me wrong ...

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49 minutes ago, TheJohnDavison said:

 

From what I am told by our driver in the car, he pointed him way earlier down the straightaway ... but your car was still not even close by the time they got to T1. Just because a door looks open doesn’t mean you go through it. And not from that far back. Sure, I go through there at 90mph too, but not at that sharp or an angle. There is no way he would have made that corner. 

 

Feel free to post your video and try to prove me wrong ...

I agree he was further back, but dude got a clear point by with his hand out the window even.  There is a huge discrepancy in speed.  Start at 1:04:30 of your video.  My co-driver has the video back home but I'll post it when I get back home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found it in the live stream at 3:31:30.  The camera is ultrawide so it's hard to see the hand out the window but the thumbs up was the acknowledgement of the point by.  You can see it clear as day in our normal in car cam.

 

https://youtu.be/LHM759CCVrI

 

Edited by LuckyKid

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46 minutes ago, LuckyKid said:

I agree he was further back, but dude got a clear point by with his hand out the window even.  There is a huge discrepancy in speed.  

 

 

 

 

 

I have done the exact same point by when I see fast cars coming - it doesn’t matter how far back back they are, if I show them I’m going to leave room on the inside, I expect them to be there in the corner period. 

When I’m the faster car, I also expect the person pointed to give me the room even if a hundred yards have passed. 

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I've seen point-bys cause more problems than they solve. Stop giving point-bys... just drive sensibly. 

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Dude.  A point by means go ahead.  It can even mean lift a second to let the faster car by.

 

If you give me a point by and I don't catch you until the corner, I expect you to leave the door open.

 

Why shut the door after the point by?  

 

This is one of those times where being right still leaves two crumpled cars.  Endurance race, not sprint race.

 

How much time would the miata have lost if they lifted on the straight or left room in turn 1? 

 

Probably less than 50 minutes....

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9 minutes ago, wvumtnbkr said:

Why shut the door after the point by?  

 

This is one of those times where being right still leaves two crumpled cars.  Endurance race, not sprint race.

At some point, offers expire, as said a minute ago, Sensible.

Edited by Team Infiniti
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2 minutes ago, Team Infiniti said:

At some point, offers expire, as said a minute ago, Sensible.

Agree.  But on the straight is a great place to lift a second, lose almost no time and let the faster car pass.

 

Our car is not fast on the straights.  We get point bus that we can't take advantage of often.  However, I will position the car to let the lead driver know that I will be taking it when we get to the corner....

 

Don't give a point by if you aren't willing to let the car pass.  Even if it means that you actually lift for a moment to do so.

 

 

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I agree to not giving point bys, I rarely ever give point by’s. But just because someone gives it to you ... doesn’t mean you should take the opportunity. This was a full send.

 

If anyone here actually thinks he could have even made that attempt, they are just simply wrong. Watch the lap before, where this driver actually brakes in the correct spot, and still misses the apex lol! Now do you honestly think sending it in at this angle and speed was going to work? Our car already turned in before he was even close to the corner, and if it wasn’t for our car being in the way there, he would have surely went straight into the wall. 

 

And yes, if our driver did lift and lose a couple seconds, it sure would have been quicker than being in the pits for 50 min, that’s quite obvious.  However, if this Forza Horizons hero would have had any better situational awareness and realize that the point by was way too premature, he was too far back, AND the car in front of him is driving in the middle of the track ... he wouldn’t have sent it in like that. 

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It is the overtaking cars responsibility to make a clean pass. Point-bys do expire and it is not the job of the car being overtaken to give up the racing line. 

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24 minutes ago, TheJohnDavison said:

I agree to not giving point bys, I rarely ever give point by’s. But just because someone gives it to you ... doesn’t mean you should take the opportunity. This was a full send.

 

If anyone here actually thinks he could have even made that attempt, they are just simply wrong. Watch the lap before, where this driver actually brakes in the correct spot, and still misses the apex lol! Now do you honestly think sending it in at this angle and speed was going to work? Our car already turned in before he was even close to the corner, and if it wasn’t for our car being in the way there, he would have surely went straight into the wall. 

 

And yes, if our driver did lift and lose a couple seconds, it sure would have been quicker than being in the pits for 50 min, that’s quite obvious.  However, if this Forza Horizons hero would have had any better situational awareness and realize that the point by was way too premature, he was too far back, AND the car in front of him is driving in the middle of the track ... he wouldn’t have sent it in like that. 

So you're saying your driver gave a crap point by, was or maybe was not on the racing line and it's on the driver coming up from behinds fault?

 

Interesting points.

 

Also, lifting on the straight is tenths of a second, not seconds.  To clarify, lifting for 2 seconds is not equal to losing 2 seconds.

Edited by wvumtnbkr

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2 minutes ago, jakks said:

It is the overtaking cars responsibility to make a clean pass. Point-bys do expire and it is not the job of the car being overtaken to give up the racing line. 

This is always true.

 

I guess I look at it as it's good to be right.  It's better to not have a bent racecar because I was right....

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1 minute ago, wvumtnbkr said:

So you're saying your driver gave a crap point by, was or maybe was not on the racing line and it's on the driver coming up from behinds fault?

 

Interesting points.

"Green font"

It's a clever racing tactic to throw the other drivers behind you off. Make them think they are conceding, then slam the door on them when they go off line to pass. 

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27 minutes ago, TheJohnDavison said:

I agree to not giving point bys, I rarely ever give point by’s. But just because someone gives it to you ... doesn’t mean you should take the opportunity. This was a full send.

 

If anyone here actually thinks he could have even made that attempt, they are just simply wrong. Watch the lap before, where this driver actually brakes in the correct spot, and still misses the apex lol! Now do you honestly think sending it in at this angle and speed was going to work? Our car already turned in before he was even close to the corner, and if it wasn’t for our car being in the way there, he would have surely went straight into the wall. 

 

And yes, if our driver did lift and lose a couple seconds, it sure would have been quicker than being in the pits for 50 min, that’s quite obvious.  However, if this Forza Horizons hero would have had any better situational awareness and realize that the point by was way too premature, he was too far back, AND the car in front of him is driving in the middle of the track ... he wouldn’t have sent it in like that. 

I'll ask champcar to give you your 50 minutes back.  You'll see it in your bench racing account in 4-6 weeks.

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12 minutes ago, LuckyKid said:

I'll ask champcar to give you your 50 minutes back.  You'll see it in your bench racing account in 4-6 weeks.

 

Thats fine, I imagine if you guys drive like this at Road Atlanta ... your car will be written off before I even have to worry about seeing it again. 

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At the Sebring Double 7, during Impound for the Sunday race, ChampCar officials inquired with a team regarding the differential of a BMW. No official protest was raised during the impound process and Tech released the cars from impound and called the race official. Although the race was then closed, the team voluntarily offered to work with ChampCar officials and even offered to remove their differential and give it to ChampCar. Their offer was generous, but declined since ChampCar has no provisions to take a team’s property. Although it was not necessary, a team offered to file a protest. The team removed the differential cover and the inquiry was resolved to the satisfaction of ChampCar officials.

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16 minutes ago, TheJohnDavison said:

 

Thats fine, I imagine if you guys drive like this at Road Atlanta ... your car will be written off before I even have to worry about seeing it again. 

We'll just ignore your point bys and lap you as we see fit.

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52 minutes ago, jakks said:

It is the overtaking cars responsibility to make a clean pass. Point-bys do expire and it is not the job of the car being overtaken to give up the racing line. 

 

I'll agree on your 1st point, but we all know things aren't that black and white.  Sure, point by's expire eventually, but this was a point by, in the middle of the straight, all of 4 seconds, and zero corners before contact.  While it is the overtakers job to make the pass, it's also the overtakee's job to be predictable.  Not everyone has the power to blaze past cars on the straights, some of us must wait for the turns and braking areas where we're significantly faster.  Both drivers made mistakes.  Someone was clearly seeing a bit of red mist and sent it a bit harder than was needed, but someone else gave a clear point by, then decided to half close the door a few seconds later.

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I've been racing in ChampCar for a just little while.

 

I think the number one key to success I could share from my experience would be,

 

"Always give yourself an out."

 

When committing 110% to something, regardless of fault, be ready to accept the consequences. 

 

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@TheJohnDavison and @LuckyKid  appreciate the backing of the drivers on your teams but it is all second hand.  I was driving the PartsBadger car, after my stint I walked over and talked to the driver and thought we cleared the air for the most part, as @LuckyKid said, we are sorry that it happened.  What I do like is hearing what people have to say about it.  I agree with both sides, I feel it was my job to pass cleanly.  When I personally give a point by it is an acknowledgement that I know you are faster than I am, I see you and please come on by.  Sure it expires but I felt that it hadn't and I will also explain my side with a few snapshots to explain my thought process.

 

It was the longest point by I've ever gotten and it was an out the window variety, more enthusiastic than a simple in car point.  Over 3 seconds long by my calculation with my thumbs up "I see you and appreciate the point by"

 

Next is the weird line choices by the black miata, at first I assume they want me to take the race line, gracious but unnecessary.  Before I can say thank you, the black miata moves over to race line and I make the decision, albeit maybe dumb but split second mind you, to shoot inside while trying to take my stab of the brake.  Black miata turns in and its over in a flash.

 

Sorry for the pics being in the next posts.  Can get the video up next week for those curious to see it at speed.  Keep the comments coming, the more feedback from actual drivers in the series the more we all learn about each other.

 

-Jimmy

 

 

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