Nov 292011
 
So it has been 15 days since I have returned from California and there is no recap of the event. What gives? Well, for me, the write-up of an event is a story to tell. I learned in English class, between naps and reading Road & Track, that stories are either comedies or dramas. Our trip out West was incredible fun, challenging, rewarding and something I look forward to doing again sometime soon, but it was without any major drama or ironic humor. Our previous event, in Chicago, we had to find a transmission with hours to spare. Last year in California, last session on-track heroics were needed to secure a victory. This event was tame in comparison. We were extremely well prepared, we executed, we bathed in champagne, we had fun in-between and we went home.
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So what was Infineon? For our readers who didn’t have the luck to see the event in person, it was extraordinary. The quality of the track, the amazing cars and the people and personalities who brought it all together created an atmosphere that was second to none.
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As the event began, Professional Awesome rose to the occasion immediately. I spoke of preparation before, but never has everything gone so smoothly. After unloading the first night and while heading to the hotel, Mike and Grant discussed what needed to be done before the car could go on track. The only preparation left was adjusting the tire pressures. Even now it is difficult for me to imagine that tire pressure was all that really needed to be done.
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Day 1 rolled around and we headed out to what ended up being one of the few clear sessions of the first day due to rain. Intended to be an opportunity to get a feel for a new, unfamiliar track. The word preparation comes to mind yet again. First, I’d like to say that, Grant and Mike should damned well know there are very few “get a feel for the track sessions” in my repertoire, but I digress. I had studied this track very, very thoroughly and after approximately 3-4 laps I ripped off a 1:47.9XX, just 3 tenths off of my best lap for the entire weekend. Confidence in the car that Grant and Mike produced allowed me to push without fear of failure. Confidence in the racing line I “borrowed” from Jeff Westphal, driver of the GST Subaru L, helped me focus on maximizing speed rather than worrying about where I needed to be on track. Preparation was our key to our speed.
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The remainder of day 1 was mundane. We don’t risk driving the car in the rain. Some would call this “weak.” We call it unnecessary risk. We did have one close call with a wall in an ever-so-slightly damp session. This was more than enough to reconfirm our risk avoidance thought process. Hopefully, that close call will end up in a video sometime soon. But again, reduced risk is reduced drama and the consequence of such is it becomes harder for me to produce these event recaps!
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Day 2 was clear and solid looking for a very fast time. We thought another second improvement wouldn’t be that difficult and perhaps 2 seconds was realistic. Alas that was not the case. The first session was still too damp for our liking so we waited patiently for the remaining 3 sessions. Two of the 3 remaining afternoon sessions ended without a quick lap time due to on-track issues of other vehicles. So we got 1 real opportunity to improve from the day before. With our 1 chance, we knocked off 3 tenths and ended up at 1:47.648.
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The last session was meant for us to release the hounds, damn the torpedoes, boost to the moon, but driving through an oil slick and getting close to that same wall that caused us issues in the earlier damp session cancelled those plans quickly. Again, something tells me a video will soon appear with that scene as well.
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So that was Infineon… See what I mean? I feel like I ran out of things to write about. What will the future hold? Not sure just yet. There is still plenty of time left in my driving and the car. There are still strong records that we would like to have. I guess you’ll have to wait and see what happens in 2012!
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 Posted by on November 29, 2011

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