Ed Nazarian racing @ BRP #13CW: April 9-10, 2011
We were racing at BRP about a week ago, April 9-10, on configuration #13CW. About a month before that we completed both of our races at ACS Roval during our 2011 season opener event. You can read about our season opener here:
- 2011 Season Opener
The weather at BRP was pretty good on Saturday and Sunday. Although, it rained on Thursday and Friday, and we even got some hail. On top of that, some friends of mine said that it was snowing Friday evening on I-5 through the Grapevine. The track was wet, but it eventually cleared up on Saturday. It was pretty cool during the day and freezing cold at night.
In preparation for this event, I want to say a quick thank you to Mike Welch (owner of RRE), and Robert Fuller, aka Robi, (owner ofRobispec). Mike is always there for me, and his support is genuine. As for Robi, I can’t say enough good things about him either. He spent practically an entire day working on my car. I didn’t think he was going to put that much time in my car.
I noted in my previous thread, regarding our 2011 season opener event at ACS Roval, that my alignment was off by a good margin because I didn’t have time to get it sorted before that event. Well, it was definitely off quite a bit. Robi pointed out that the RF toe was off enough that it was more suited for a CW track. ACS Roval runs CCW, which partly explains why my car wasn’t turning well. It also partly explains why I corded my tires that severely, specifically my RF tire. Long story short, my car felt much better at BRP with Robi’s adjustments. Thank you Robi!
During our Warmup session I realized right away that my wheel bearings need to be replaced. I knew then that I had to back off and be careful to make it through the weekend. My lap times were going to suffer, and there was no way around that.
The turnout for ST2 was good. We had 8 cars, and one of them was a ST2 newcomer, a Team Bimmerworld BMW that races in GTS. The driver said he’s planning on racing in ST2 from now on. Hopefully he can work it out because the more competition the better.
For Saturday’s race our rolling start included SU, STR1, and ST2. I qualified P4 of 8 in ST2. The front row ruined the start in this race by jumping it about 2-3 seconds before the green flag dropped. I still managed a good start and was able to pass 2 of my competitors by Cotton Corners, so I progressed from P4 to P2 at the beginning of L1. Scott Howard, driver of the White 1st gen RX7, was one of the guys I passed. His tail end stepped out momentarily in the buttonhook, and I seized the opportunity. I knew he was much faster than me, but I still tried to defend my position. He ended up timing a nice pass on me in Sunset which dropped me back into P3 on L2.
Given the condition of my wheel bearings, I knew that I didn’t stand a chance at keeping up with him. I decided I was going to try and stay with him as long as I could, and defend my position. Unfortunately, my car shut off at the beginning of L2 in Cotton Corners. I think it had to do with my kill switch (it’s something Honda Robert has suspected). I pulled off around Grapevine while John Gordon, Scott Howard, and the 5 other ST2 cars that were behind me disappeared.
Moments later I was able to restart my car, continue on, and finish the race. I was in last place by a mile, but I still wanted to finish the race. And it’s a good thing I did. Due to some of the other drivers misfortune, I ended up taking 3rd place. I’m not certain about the details, but from what I was told some of the drivers had submitted incorrect forms. Here is where I got even more lucky. Scott’s car shut off in L11, which happened about 2 laps before the race ended. Scott is a good friend of mine, so when I drove by him I felt horrible because I thought he had blown his engine. If I didn’t finish the race, even though Scott had pulled off in L11, he would have taken P3. Talk about lucky me.
I pushed it a little harder on Sunday during Qualifying, but still had to back off enough because I didn’t know if my wheel bearings would hold up in the race. I managed to drop a little over 1sec and ran a 1:57.746 in Qualifying. That’s as fast as I was willing to go, which put me at P3 of 8 in ST2 for our Sunday race.
I knew there was no way I could maintain that lap time in my race, but I was going to do whatever I could to maintain P3. I had another strong start but still played it safe because I figured that would give me a better chance at finishing. I had a plan, and I stuck with it. Lucky for me, it worked.
Towards the end of our race a CMC2 Mustang had an off around Riverside. Shortly after that the Pace car was deployed to collect the field. If the race was to restart after that, this was good and bad news. Good news is that it put me in a position to battle with John Gordon and Scott Howard for P1. Bad news is that one of my competitors was now directly behind me, the Team Bimmerworld BMW. So one mistake, and the Team Bimmerworld BMW could overtake me for P3. We did a few laps with the pace car, and since it was towards the end of the race I thought our race would end with the pace car, but it didn’t. The pace car exited and our race restarted entering Sunset.
Here is where I got lucky again. John Gordon had an off on L1 of the restart before Cotton Corners. Because of Johns misfortune all of us moved up one spot. Scott took P1, I took P2, and the Team Bimmerworld BMW took P3. I was able to maintain P2, thus finishing in 2nd place. I was surprised to say the least.
With bad wheel bearings, even worse lap times, a little bit of strategy, and a whole lot of luck…I took 3rd on Saturday and 2nd on Sunday. Are those 2 podiums noteworthy accomplishments? Not in my perspective. Results by themselves can be misleading, because sometimes you flat out get lucky or unlucky. Conversely, making good decisions before or during a race can sometimes mean the difference between last place and a podium, better yet, a win. Congrats again to John Gordon and Scott Howard for setting the pace that weekend.