Monday, September 6, 2010

CCR 12hr Race 2010 at City Center

This year CCR's infamous 24hr race had to be cut in half to a 12 hour race after the venue changed from Knights Stadium to the newest Charlotte lot, City Center. Even with half of the normal hours there was still plenty of time to get a lot of runs and play with setup. The course design was a great flowing course that had technical sections and fast straights, making it challenging and fun.  After getting my work assignments done for the day around 4 pm it was finally time to start seeing what the #144 could do.

The 12hr race was set up differently than the normal CCR race. It was an open session style race, where as long as you had done your working assignment you could run as many laps as you wanted. You were allowed 5 official runs that you had to claim before you the run. Since we could claim runs at any point during they day there was more strategy involved than the average race, most people had claimed a good amount of there runs before I had made any runs at all around 4 pm and it looked as though in order to win Street Touring Extreme I would have to run a low 42 sec lap.

My first few runs the 120 degree surface temp on the track was too much heat for the cold RE-11's and the car was very loose. After playing around with tire pressure I finally settled on 36 in the front and 32 in the rear and it seemed slowly gain traction as the sun went down. Around 6 when the sun began to fall behind the trees, the track surface began to cool off and started to stick like glue to the somewhat warm tires. Confident with the track conditions and the car setup I decided to take my first official run around 6:30 and pulled a 42.517, good enough for second place at the time but I knew there was still a lot left in the car especially with the conditions being perfect. Unfortunately after this run we ran into a timing difficulty and as we sat waiting the tires and the track cooled of dramatically. After getting back on the track, the car was very loose and everyone was slowing down. I began to get worried at this point that my strategy was falling through and it was going to be nearly impossible to win. After putting down 3 more runs in the 42's I was still in second place with one official run left and only 10 minutes left in the race day, it was down to the wire and I knew I was so close to the win. On my fifth and final run I pushed it as hard as I possibly could around through every section and remained as smooth as possible, and when i got to the finish i pinned the throttle and came through the lights sideways and the scoreboards read the fastest time I had seen all day - 42.064 sec. The final lap was just fast enough to take 1st place in STX! Above is a video of my winning run, and soon I will be posting some photos from the event.

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