C Livengood - Blog 6

August 19, 2010

I must confess that Road America was a challenging event.  The mixture of long straights and arrhythmic turns makes for a track that requires a different kind of race craft.  It requires Gilles Villeneuve-like attachments for passing and Alain Prost-like precision to throw down fast laps. In contrast to those less draft dependent tracks, Elkhart allows the less superior to dig their claws into your rear wing and put up a fight where they normally would fall behind.  Alas, this is what you deal with and as a result blocking is something that becomes a reality. 

The most disappointing thing for the team at Elkhart is that once again we came close, oh so tantalizingly close, to realizing a high level of success but were somehow snookered from it on both days.  Saturday, slight contact slowed my progress on the next to the last lap and hindered me from gaining the third position that I was battling for.  Sunday saw me drive through a draftless gap of over five seconds to catch the lead pack of three only to again be thwarted by the (mentally) painful blow of contact.  Without the decidedly delightful turn five corner worker calming me down, a young and intelligent female corner worker I might add, a moon sized crater would likely have replaced the sand trap due melt down.  The question of “what could have been” will likely haunt me for some time.  Yet, in racing and life you can only push the pedal to the metal and keep shifting up, reverse is for people with time to spare.

The ultimate round of the series has us heading to Mid Ohio, and for me, back home.  Mid Ohio, for me, is the inception of my racing obsession.  As a relative racing fetus, I sponged the noises and screams of racecars as they hammered down the back-straight and by our family’s Winnebago.  As a mental toddler of race craft, I discovered the early, symmetrical, and late apex at this track, though, not on such technical terms did I understand.  At this oasis of automotive extremes, as a mere grade schooler of car competition, I explored and analyzed the late braking technique and throttle application of many of the greats.  Mid Ohio, you are home to my racing life.  From the first race of the season until this very day I believe I have done good job of boring the paddock with my zeal filled stories of how I much excitement I have for this event.

In regards to race performance, I feel confident.  The car drove beautifully at the last three events and I feel that it has been tuned to an extremely fine level. That is not to say that we do not have a laundry list of things to further improve before the final event but with friends like Primus Racing there is only promise on the horizon. How will my personal performance be at Mid-Ohio? I guess I have a secret to divulge.  My auto racing home is also the only track of the seven-weekend tour that I have seen from the seat of an F2000 car.  Returning is something I have had dreams about, literally.  For the first time this year I know gear positions, braking points, and the elevation changes from the perspective of not just any Van Diemen, but rather from the seat of the very Van Diemen I have been piloting all year.

Until September, I’ll be in the basement drinking coffee.

C Livengood

No items found.