SARRC Rd. 2 - PBIR 1.5 Hour Endurance Race Debrief


     The fifteen minute quali-practice session was my first time on track at Palm Beach International Raceway. Matter of fact, the last time I was at Palm Beach International Raceway was in 2012 for the opening round of Florida Winter Tour's Formula Kart weekend. The circuit was very easy to learn but it took patience to really wheel the car around some of the slower corners. When I was finally clear of lap-traffic I was able to pound out some flying laps. According to my engineer I was running the same lap times as my team mate who had been racing for a couple decades(not bad in my opinion.). 

 Talking to Mark Eaton(Engineer) before going out to qualify.

Talking to Mark Eaton(Engineer) before going out to qualify.

Race - 1.5 Hours

     I get into my car and head to the grid. As I am finding my grid spot I noticed that I am far from the front, where I should have been according to my times. Turns out, timing and scoring had a computer failure during qualifying and had lost all times from the session. The officials decided to grid cars by the order of race registration. There were storm clouds rolling in from the west as we were leaving the grid. On the out lap I could see random spits of rain on my visor. Two laps later we went green, being held up by a car that had obvious malfunctions when the field picked up the pace. The first two laps of the race consisted of carnage, resulting in a full course yellow for 20 minutes. This was the first and only caution period through-out the race. Our pit window was pushed back pretty far. I spent most of the race working my way up the field to catch up to my team mate. As he pitted for his mandatory pit stop, I pushed extra hard to try and open a gap once he re-joined. Shortly after he exited pit lane, it was my turn to make a pit stop. As soon as I stopped in the pit box, I was out of the car. Per regulations, the driver must exit the car before re-fueling can begin. 

    Within four minutes I was strapped back into the car and waiting for our mandatory five minutes to elapse so I could leave the pit box and get back into the mix. I was third in class and in the top 10 overall when I left the pits. There was 18 minutes left on the clock and it started to rain on the west portion of the circuit. Soon I was counting flashes of lightening as I was making my way around the circuit for the few laps. Then I heard my father come over the radio "checkered flag is out with 10 minutes left". As soon as I acknowledged the message the sky gave way. I tip-toed my way back to the paddock. My first podium in car racing was over pretty quickly, although it was the most fun I have ever had in my career thus far.

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