Last week was the SCCA Runoffs Championship at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was a historic event as it was the first time the SCCA had ever been to Indy, and it was popular: nearly 1,000 entries set a new record for the Runoffs!
I was coaching and working with the Mazda competitors who were there, totaling over 300 drivers! Spec Miata was such a huge field that they had to have a last chance qualifying race to determine the last 12 cars that would get onto the final grid. 92 cars showed up, but only 72 got into the final race.
Coaching for Mazda Motorsports at the Runoffs was a unique opportunity, and it was a lot of fun getting to see old friends and meet new people. I was excited to see how popular the coaching opportunity was. Myself, Joel Miller and Jonathan Bomarito were really busy!
It was intense to work with so many people back-to-back, and we wound up coaching for driving as well as setup. It was rewarding because we saw everyone’s progress and how they were able to really apply the advice we gave them. We saw lap times drop and drivers move up the qualifying order as the week progressed.
I followed the races online throughout the weekend. Personally, it was more fun to watch because I got to see the success of drivers I’d coached, so I had people to really cheer for!
Now I’m focusing on my own racing and the close of the IMSA season. On Friday, I’ll be teaming up with Britt Casey, Jr. in the No. 27 Freedom Autosport/TRUMPF Mazda MX-5 during the Continental Tire Series race. I have been fortunate enough to mentor Britt for the last few years, and driving with him for a few races this season has given us some success. We hope to cap the season off with the ultimate success of a win!
Petit LeMans is always a special time of year. Not just because it’s the last race of the season, but also because the fall is a beautiful time of year and Road Atlanta is one of my favorite tracks. It will be a little bittersweet during WeatherTech Series night practice and the 10-hour race since I’m not competing in it, but I still feel fortunate to get to do some great sports car racing in a Mazda on Friday.