Talk about a handful! We arrived at Sunset Speedway in Banks, OR for the 2nd race of the season, but our first, to a nice and tacky track. In the past, the car enjoyed the tacky, rough tracks more than the dry-slick setups. However, come time for the heat race, it was apparent it was going to be a long night. The car was sitting hard on the right rear and every bump upset the car beyond belief, making me have to adjust my driving style to compensate which made the 10 lap heat race the longest 10 laps I have ever ran. Every time the car got upset, it was hard on the brakes just to get it set again in the corners which resulted in losing more and more time to the other cars.
In between the heats and the mains, we made adjustments to take some drive out of the car and make it steer a little better on throttle. It seemed to be a bit better at the start of the main, but it definitely didn’t calm the car as much as we hoped it would. After a couple laps, as well, the car started losing power 1/4 and 1/2 throttle which made it even more difficult to drive as playing with the throttle to keep the RPMs up would upset the car more and more each time.
We avoided a ‘major’ impact when another car spun in front of us and I had to just spin the car around to try and minimize any damage made to both our cars. Luckily, just a little wrinkle in the quarter panel, and back to green we went. After a couple more yellows, that’s when a night where it was exciting to just log laps and finish the race turned into an eventful flight over (and into) another car. Some cars had some issues and left the track or spun, putting us in position to race the car ahead of us for 9th spot. With a lap to go and after reeling the 9th place car in, I put the car high into turn 3 and 4 just in case he missed his corner. However, as we were racing back to the checkered flag with a car under us, the 9th place car just decided to stop at the flag stand, in our lane of course, sending our car up and over (and into) his, destroying the right side of his car and sending the front of our car into the air and slamming it back down pretty hard. (See the video here.)
Thankfully for us, the only part that suffered was the front bumper and the ‘already needs to be replaced’ front nose piece (sorry Aliante!). Unfortunately, we ended up losing another spot on the grid giving us an 11th place finish. We will get some parts ordered and bumpers made for the next race and do it all again!
The next race is on May 18th! We will see you there (weather permitting of course)!