Last week was a bit of a whirlwind! After returning from the IMSA event at Virginia International Raceway, I was off to Roebling Road in Savannah, Ga., early the next day for a Global Mazda MX-5 Cup test. Specifically, we were focusing on the cooling package for those hot summer races, when the cars are famously drafting nose-to-tail for 45 minutes all race long. It’s a big task to have a car tucked up behind another, with no fresh air for the full length of the race, without encountering some kind of thermal capacity threshold. Roebling was the perfect track for this task—what better place than hot, humid Savannah in mid-August to test cooling packages?
It was a fun and productive couple of days working with the Flis Performance team in different cooling configurations. Our goal was to find the best package to regulate the Mazda’s water and oil temperatures. The Flis team had come up with a lot of creative ideas on how to achieve a more efficient package, including duct work, venting and different-sized coolers. We got good, consistent data to help us truly understand the impact that each change made to the car’s cooling system.
From there, I went from hot and humid to low humidity and beautiful temperatures at Road America, where SRO was having their next race event. The Touring Car team I’ve been coaching this year has been making steady progress. Despite challenges from every aspect over the course of the week, the team was able to persevere and achieved their best combined results of the season so far. They fought mechanical challenges, weather challenges and even BOP challenges. The team is still vying for that elusive first win, but they walked away with solid points and something to be proud of.
This week is another busy one, with the much-anticipated next two rounds of the Global MX-5 Cup championship at Indianapolis. The series last traveled there three seasons ago, so it will be exciting to see these cars on the famed Brickyard again. I’ll also be heading to Road Atlanta for the next IMSA weekend. Be sure to check back next week for a full report on both events.