My aspirational hope of being able to post once a week has firmly gone out of the window. For the remainder of the year it'll likely be a race report and update blog more so than a weekly dialogue. What is it they say? "The best laid plans..."
Anyhow, back to racing and about a month ago I got to race a track I knew well in a new series to me; LuckyDog. Not unlike ChumpCar racing, Lucky dog is a similar format. Low cost cars, high entry counts and a varying degree of driver experience. This rapidly growing series has seen car counts increasing race after race and this weekend at Portland International Raceway was their highest tally yet; 80 cars on a 2 mile long track. Things were going to be busy!
The weekend was a double format. 7 hours on Saturday and 8 hours on Sunday. I was driving with my good friend Cameron Evans, Greg Fuss (co-founder of the LuckyDog Racing League) and Sean Diiullo in the #37 E36 BMW 325i. I'm a huge fan of the E36 chassis and this one, like others I've driven, didn't disappoint.
Racing in these types of organization really does wonders for many things as a driver. I've commented before that traffic management and consistency is key to success and this weekend at PIR was no exception. Driving a track I'd raced aggressively earlier this year required some adjustment as vastly different cars and drivers made for unpredictable conditions. Just like any racing series, however, there was amazing talent in the field and both races were as nail biting and intense as any series (pro or club) hosting an endurance race. I had some amazing battles and in the last race, another E36 (#177) and I had a really enjoyable tussle.
For a car that didn't get into the top 10 in lap times on either day, we did quite well finishing 2nd on Day 1 and 3rd on Day 2. Not bad results in a starting grid of 80.
My first experience of LuckyDog was a positive one and seeing so many cars and drivers all competing together was fantastic. With only a couple of noteworthy on track incidents in the weekend - swiftly dealt with diligently and impressively by the race organizers - the driving standards were pretty solid throughout the whole field.
I'd love to return to LuckyDog again and with many teams entering cars (for example, Advanced Auto Fabrication who look after my SE46 have a team) the future looks bright for this racing series and plenty of opportunity for everyone to get some great racing.
Every other racer whom I met that weekend was so friendly and the public welcome I got (thanks to Cameron Evans embellishing my driving skills) was both over the top (especially for a shy Englishman) but also an indication that all are welcome, respected and encouraged.
I certainly did get lucky!