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Weekend Recap: 2015 American Road Race of Champions


So the 2015 American Road Race of Champions was all about the rain which we saw all week for the most part. Some groups got lucky and could run slicks, others didn’t even have the option. Although we got to the track Wednesday evening we didn't go on track until Friday. Once Friday rolled around it was time for the first qualifying session. The track was slick. I had one set of Hoosier wets to use the whole weekend. They had one other race on them from back in March and one short session at The Mitty when the track was drying so I pitted so they still had some tread depth but I couldn’t find grip. I haven’t bothered touching the suspension on the car all year so really I could have probably sorted it out some that way but I’m a believer in just driving what you have during a race weekend unless you really know what you’re doing. I’d rather race a car I’ve known all year than throw in some adjustments that make me go backwards. That’s what test days are for! Despite the dirt track style driving tactics, I managed to finish first in HP (only one other came out that session) and I think seventh or eighth overall. Second qualifying came and it was still wet, maybe even more wet than before which made the car actually feel a little better. Once again I finished first in HP so would start from pole in class, though there were only three HP cars. I was also once again in the top ten overall. Saturday morning was wet, much wetter, and it looked downright nasty. Not only was the rain coming down much harder than it had been but we arrived to find probably half of the canopies people had setup mangled into balls of worthless aluminum. Luckily our nicer of the two EZ-Ups took the overnight weather without any issues, our second one was needless to say D.O.A. So after that was dragged out of the way we got to prepping the car, there wasn’t much to do thankfully aside from the basics. There were two morning warmup sessions, one for closed wheel and one for open wheel cars. We opted to not take part to avoid any unnecessary risks. As race time came around the rain had stopped but the track was still very much a wet weather track. The pace lap was useful to take note of any standing water spots but if you have driven Road Atlanta in the wet you know exactly where those lakes will be. The green flag flew and boy was it slightly hectic. I could not see a thing from all of the spray and heading into one we were three wide. I decided to just keep my cool and hold my line, luckily everyone made it through but I lost a few spots that I was able to make up the same lap. After a lap or two we all settled into a groove and I was somewhat alone on track. I knew I just needed to keep turning clean laps to win HP. Probably close to halfway through we had a full course yellow after a Thunder Roadster lost it heading into turn 12 and made decent contact with the wall. With that cleaned up the green flag came back out and we were back underway. Once again I found myself fairly alone on track so the job at hand was to just drive smoothly and not make a mistake. I wanted to win but I also wanted to just finish since the July weekend was a bittersweet weekend having not seen either of the checkered flags but managing to finish second anyway. After forty minutes the checkered flag came out and the race was over. We won HP and finished tenth overall. It was a good weekend, it’s always fun to drive in the wet, and it was a good way to end the season. We also got a victory lap which was cool. I'd like to thank Bittercube for their support at the ARRC, NOIZY Brands, Mama’s Boy which is a great restaurant in Athens, GA, Tech-53, MotoSolutions for fantastic Raincoat and Fogtech products, and everyone else who supports me.


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© 2020 by Simon Tibbett

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