After so many weeks with no racing and nowhere to go, I’m certainly making up for lost time! There were three different events happening last weekend that I got to be a part of.
Some great friends and clients of mine were racing at Road America, and I was happy to be able to join them for the test days leading up to the event. We had phenomenal fall-like weather up in the beautiful state of Wisconsin, and we had a very productive couple of days in which we were not only able to get the car thoroughly dialed in, but the drivers also got personal best lap times! Great weather, lots of track time and a dedicated team allowed the drivers to have a really efficient test.
After two days at Road America, I made a quick stop at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for rounds three and four of Battery Tender Mazda Global MX-5 Cup. It was a make-up event since Portland and Laguna Seca were cancelled, and what a track to land on the schedule! The series was at Indy once before, in 2017, and the return certainly did not disappoint. A compact schedule found both races on Friday. It was a whole week’s worth of competitive racing in half a day’s time! As the points race begins to shape up, the series heads to Mid-Ohio for the next four races. The series will run with IndyCar at Mid-Ohio next weekend, then come back with IMSA at the end of the month.
After that busy day at Indy, I traveled to Atlanta for the IMSA weekend at Road Atlanta. As fate would have it, I got to drive the No. 09 Stoner Car Care Aston Martin for Automatic Racing in the four-hour Michelin Pilot Challenge race!
It was a very interesting scenario, since practice was on Friday while I was at Indy. Since there was a six-hour WeatherTech Series race on Saturday, Michelin Pilot Challenge only had qualifying that day. That meant I found myself jumping in the car for the first time during Sunday’s mid-race pit stop. It was a challenging and fun situation to be in. I know the track and the car very well, but I hadn’t been in the car since February. That meant it was critical for me to do my homework in advance, like a complete review of all the buttons, switches and procedures. We practiced pit stops and driver changes, and of course all of the video and notes review that I used as a study tool. That way, it was a seamless transition when I jumped in.
We had a great start to the race. Although we were two laps down when I jumped in the car, I was still really pleased with the car’s performance. We got the setup dialed in perfectly and I was up to speed within a couple of laps. We clawed our way back up to finish 13th!
I was grateful for the opportunity to race again in a series that I enjoy so much. I’m looking forward to hopefully doing some more rounds with Automatic Racing this season. Right now I’m just enjoying being home for a couple of days before I head off to Mid-Ohio for more MX-5 Cup action.