As predicted, last weekend was wet. When I say wet, I mean soaking wet with the rain starting on Saturday morning for practice and not stopping until my flight took off on Sunday night back to New York. Everything got drenched.
Despite the conditions, however, we won the E1 class and narrowly missed the overall race win by 1 lap (which would have seen us punching above our weight beating faster cars). My SE46 ran flawlessly and our team strategy and amazing pit work from Hank and team at AAF had us in P1 and P2 by the latter parts of the race. We were actually in P2 to Dan Roger's car (the sister team car) but an electrical fire 5 minutes before the end put and end to their run and we inherited P1.
We had 4 drivers and 2 cars for the race. Besides Dan and myself, Seth Thomas (BimmerWorld pro driver) and Tyler Clary (Olympic Gold Medalist) were our teammates. No.77 started off well with Seth driving the car and we gained almost a minute of track advantage through his stellar driving. Then a Full Course Yellow came out and that advantage was muted and we were all nose to tail again.
I got in around the 1 hour 45 min mark as Seth pitted after the FCY. I have to say that conditions were ridiculous. Another E46 (an M3, not SE46) had hit the wall in qualifying and despite their best efforts to put the car back together it started to come apart on track during the race and oiled half the circuit. I've never driven in such tricky conditions. A totally fogged screen around the 90 minute mark in my race cost us a 90 second stop (and dropping us from P1 to P2 at the time) but after that I stayed the course, kept the car on the track and Tyler closed us out with a superb and clean stint inheriting the lead with only 5 minutes to go!
I asked whether I was any good in the rain last week. I think the answer is... I was OK. I can only really compare in the rainy conditions to those who were out with me at the time. As I'm a data nerd, I tracked my performance against the other SE46s for the 15 laps after I had to stop unexpectedly. The results were as follows (all green flag laps, no pitstops). Chuck Hurley in #75 and I were setting almost identical times. I gained 1 min on car #82, 4 mins 30s on car #23, 3 min 20s on Car #68. Looks good at this point but I lost 1min to car #14 (John Parker's car) driven by Parker McKean. That's 4s a lap! An astonishingly good drive from them and I'd love to know more in time.
In the end I got wet feet but that being said I took 2 pairs of shoes which helped. We did have fogging issues and we did get a rag on a stick to use. All this being said, we didn't need it and despite the front straight being the sketchiest part of the track in heavy rain, this race was an absolute blast and big thanks to those who made it happen for me and for us all.
On to PIR in May for SCCA Majors #2 for me.
Here is some video footage of my laps just after I'd come in to have the screen defogged.