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Old 04-09-2018, 02:44 AM
  #31  
montoya
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Well qualifying went way beyond my expectations in terms of position, but not in terms of speed. I knew the speed was there and did some mental visualization last night running a perfect lap. I could visual a good lap as right around a high 58 or low 59 and what do you know, that's what happened. I also had fresh tires so that certainly helped as well.

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Old 04-09-2018, 03:01 AM
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So the race on Sunday unfortunately was not to expectations. I started well, running in third, but soon fell back to eventually 8th place. With each successive pass I started feeling more pressure. Eventually I took 8 too tight and got up too high on the curb resulting in a spin. This dropped me back to 16th and more adventures with others, finally finishing 13th. I am seeing a coach tomorrow at Sonoma and we are going to spend some time discussing how to cope with my performance anxiety. More to come...

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Old 04-09-2018, 06:22 PM
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Awesome thread man. Now I'm back looking at race cars, so thanks for that lol
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Old 04-10-2018, 03:28 AM
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Originally Posted by misterwaterfall View Post
Awesome thread man. Now I'm back looking at race cars, so thanks for that lol
Thank-you! I hope you go SRF!
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Old 04-14-2018, 04:13 PM
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So digging in a little deeper to my race results at Thunderhill- Several factors came into play. First, a total lack of practice put me on the back foot all weekend. It was wet all day on Friday practice, so our first dry day was Saturday qualify and race. Unfortunately with my level of experience, I need all the practice I can get to get comfortable pushing the car at each track. Thunderhill is fairly technical and the corners where I was loosing time in my Sunday race all began with Turn 8, the highest speed corner on the track. It is and should be a flat out corner, failure to execute that will leave you vulnerable to a pass in 9 or 10- two corners where the track works with you to push hard. T9 is uphill, you can carry a lot more speed then it looks like, and the technique to really push requires an early turn in and precise placement of the car. T10 is banked and this is a corner that is very forgiving, so not really technical, but one you can push very hard. So lack of practice meant a lack of comfort in 8, leading to discomfort in 9 at higher entry speeds and also not enough practice to explore limits in 10. Obviously I put it all together to qualify 3rd in a very deep pool of 28 experienced drivers, so why couldn't I extend that performance in the race?

Well, in addition to the lack of practice I mentioned above, to put it bluntly, I choked. The pressure dealing with holding back drivers behind me caused me to tense up and go slower, particularly in T8. This leads to a downward spiral that resulted in a 13th place finish. Ughhhly! I've had a lot of discussions with my coach and other racers and team members about it since, and obviously I need to develop some strategies to deal with this in the future. I have a book I'm reading
https://www.amazon.com/Performance-Thinking-Mental-Skills-Competitive-ebook/dp/B008VY2ZD https://www.amazon.com/Performance-Thinking-Mental-Skills-Competitive-ebook/dp/B008VY2ZD
, that I hope will give me some tools to work on. As well I'm a big fan of visualization, and I need to work on visualizing a successful race in the same conditions. Finally, good news is that it wasn't as bad as it felt, I only dropped to sixth at midpoint, but well.. you have to watch the video to see. Last, I have a lot of race experience, not in race cars, but in slot cars at a high level. The mental game is the same, I know how to handle pressure and get in the zone so I need to draw on that experience too. Lot's to think about and work on before the next race!

Here's summary video-

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Old 04-28-2018, 02:06 AM
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Buttonwillow Super Tour weekend, Q1 done, next session Q2 in the morning. Flew first class courtesy of a fellow racer, pretty cool!
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Old 05-02-2018, 11:34 AM
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Well, it was another one of those weekends unfortunately. Saturday morning qualifying was always going to be dicey with only 15 minutes in our session, you barely had time to warm up the tires and get a good lap in. Saturday turned cool and unfortunately we missed our pressures by a little over pound on the tires, and mine never really got up to temp/pressure. It didn't help that I pushed too hard early and had a couple of offs that dropped me back into traffic that held me up in a couple of critical areas each lap. So, three other racers were able to beat my time from the morning session and I dropped back to a 9th starting position.

So Saturday's race start was clean, but very soon I started dropping back through the field. I couldn't maintain the pace as the car started sliding around. As I struggled doubts about my ability started to form- I was really thinking maybe this racing stuff isn't for me, LOL! Finally by lap five I was down to 17th place and suddenly my rear tire lost all air. Turns out there was a screw in my tire that I must have picked up on the way to the grid. I had a slow leak all race until I lost all air at the end. It's a weird feeling to go from 'I suck' to, 'Oh, it's my car'- a feeling of relief and disappointment at the same time.




Oh well. There's always Sunday. I shrugged off the bad luck and put together my plan for Sunday. Sunday's race started at 8:20 in the morning so I didn't want to end up like Saturday's qualifying so I planned to do the morning warmup. Also it had the benefit of testing out the available grip with my 2nd heat cycle tires. Sometimes our Hoosiers have a 2nd cycle 'blues'. Also I mentally prepared myself to focus on my performance, hit my marks and get in the zone. Practice went great, by the end I was getting down to my best lap, so I felt ready and the car felt great.

The race itself unfortunately was short. The three Flat Out drivers all got together in Turn 2. I was the meat in the sandwich as Tom tapped me and spun me into my other teammate Whitney. My front bodywork was knocked out and my day was done. Tom and Whiney continued although neither had a great race. Here's the (short) video:


The damage was really minor- I was able to put the nose back on after I parked way off the course and could have continued if my body clips hadn't sheered off in the collision. Just not my weekend. Here's a shot of the car after:




So not much to show for 4 days at buttonwillow except for a new personal best in Qualifying on Saturday:


On to the test day at Sonoma.
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