My first event of the season was with the NASA Great Lakes/Midwest and Mid-South regions at the National Corvette Museum Motorsports Park in Bowling Green KY.
This was my first time entering a Time Trials event, having obtained my license over the winter. It was also my first time at NCM.
I wasn’t as prepared as I wanted to be as I had to have an unexpected surgery over the winter months. All of these factors together made me extremely nervous about the event but the folks at NASA Mid South gave me great coaching and support!
NCM is a very new facility, being completed in late 2014. We were running the 3.2 mile Grand Course which is made up of 23 turns and lots of elevation changes. I made sure to walk the track Friday evening and to watch some YouTube videos to try and prepare.
The warm up session on Saturday morning was very crowded with the HPDE4 cars on track with the TT competitors. This turned into more of a parade lap session unfortunately.
The first timed session Saturday morning was the first time where I could get up any speed and I embarrassed myself by spinning in turn 1 on the first green lap! After recovering I set about trying to at least memorize the turns to work out where I was on the track.
I also found that my car had developed a misfire and this eventually led to it shutting down one cylinder on the first lap of the last session of the day.
I ended up 3rd out of three driver in the TTD class for the day with a lap of 2:51.162, almost 10 seconds behind second place. First place set a new TTD track lap record of 2:29.124.
Diagnosis of the engine suggests that Solenoid 1 in the MultiAir actuator assembly is sticking causing the misfires and eventual cylinder shutdown. The plan for Sunday was to try and compete and to reset the ECU between sessions to try and avoid the ECU shutting down one cylinder again.
The weather played into my favor as it was raining on Sunday. For the first timed session almost everybody went out on slicks as there was not much standing water. I placed 2nd out of three drivers in TTD with a 3:58.750, 1.3 seconds behind 1st.
For the 2nd and 3rd timed sessions I went out on stock 16″ wheels and tires as standing water was now forming on the track. I was starting to feel a little more comfortable with the track and was able to improve my time to an eventual 3:08.406 which gave me 1st place for the day in TTD and 9th out of 21 drivers that set times.
I had made sure that I had all the necessary NASA, Hawk Performance and Maxxis Tire contigency decals on my car so I came away from the weekend with $150 in Hawk Bucks and one free Maxxis tire making it overall a successful weekend!
Fast lap on Saturday
A wet lap from Sunday