JS: Post Season Blog

November 8, 2010

It has been two months, since the 2010 F2000 Championship Series came to a close at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course. On one hand it has felt like an eternity and on the other hand it has gone by very quickly.

For me, Mid Ohio was up and down, like most of the race weekends this year. Due to the Team USA Scholarship Shootout I did not arrive until Saturday morning, just in time for qualifying for race one. I came up to speed quickly and was in the top five the entire session which was great, since it was my first time on the track in 13 months.

On my last lap I was on a flying lap that would have maybe been good enough for pole, and then got held up in the last two corners to ruin the lap. To make it worse, I got bumped down to seventh. Certainly it was frustrating, but to only be four tenths off pole in my first session was not bad, especially, since everybody else had about four hours of practice and I didn’t.  

In the race I was in trouble from lap one. We had a tire problem that made them wear down to the chords about three quarters through the race, forcing me into survival mode.

The next morning, we had qualifying for race two. Sadly this did not go to plan either. On my second or third flying lap I made a mistake in turn eight, causing me to spin and kiss the barrier. The contact did enough damage to end my session. I felt horrible about it, for the team and everybody. It not only ended qualifying for me basically before I put in a lap, but put us in a bad position for the race and now my team had to fix the car in a thrash. I did my part to help with them to get it ready, which we did in a comfortable amount of time.

Going into the race I did not know what to expect starting last in the very competitive field the F2000 series has and at Mid Ohio! All I ever hear about Mid Ohio is that it’s a very technical track, and very difficult to pass.

"JS" put in the hard charger drive of the year - going from 21st to fourth in 30 minutes.

During the race I was “patiently aggressive,” being aggressive with my passes, but being positive it would work before I did it. Lucky for me I would always watch every single SCCA Runoffs race on TV when it was at Mid Ohio, so I have seen just about every type of pass you can do. The R-Sport guys did a great job with the car making it so that I went from last to 4th in about 17 or 18 green flag laps! It was certainly exciting passing in all the different ways that I did and coming back to fourth. But at the same time was frustrating because I knew that if I did not make that mistake in qualifying, I would have had a strong chance of winning. But, you live and learn!

Since then I have been working on trying to put a program together for 2011. I have been looking into just about every series of road racing, from open wheel and sports car. Certainly there are some exciting possibilities, but everything is definitely still way up in the air. Only time will tell.

I also started my freshman year of college right after Mid Ohio. So far it has really been a great experience and I am enjoying it more then I expected. My parents think it’s because my professors basically cancel class more often then they host it, but that’s another story.

I would like to thank everybody who made everything possible this year. First of all, the entire R-Sport team, especially Paul, for making everything happen in the winter, even at the last minute stages so we could race together. He put his faith in me to perform for the team. Don and Rob worked on my car and Keith’s car and did a fantastic job as well. We did not have one mechanical failure all year that was their fault, which is a true testament. Also I cannot forget Tricia, Paul’s wife, who came to every race this year. She was great to have around because of her knowledge of the mental side of the sport, plus she baked some incredible sweets to eat as well!

Finally, I can not forget the people who put the money in the bank! GroupAWheels.com, Vredestein Tyres, Cell Mark Paper Products, Bertil Roos Racing School & Auto Trend Tire and Wheel! If it was not for them absolutely none of this is even a thought!

Stay tuned for 2011 announcements and Happy Holidays!

~JS