Quick write up about my race at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
I was so excited to be at Road Atlanta! It a challenging track with little room for mistakes. During practice runs I noticed that I had a hard time with the last turn again. I was nervous because I was on less sticky tires and no front splitter.
I was struggling on the first day to beat a 1:47. Last year I had a 1:46 with my car set up differently. This year I added about 50 whp and switch over to Fortune Auto coilovers, I was determined to beat my time. My times were getting worse as the day went on! Which placed me in 3rd.
Later that night I changed my oil because it was time and RV parks don't like it when you work on cars on their property. As I was changing my oil I saw that I was getting a little bit of brake pad transfer on the front brakes. This meant my pads could not keep up heatwise, the R1 pads only go up to 1000 F. It definitely was getting hotter than that because of the back straight I'm going 120 mph then have to break it down hard. I thought to myself I bet this is why I can't beat my time. I had to a plan to eat up time by braking later on the straights. So I changed out my R1 Concepts Street Series pads to my Hawk DTC-60s. The rear pads were complete fine since they are not doing too much work.
The next day the race started sooner which meant it was cooler. This means my car was going to perform a lot better. It LOVES the cold, it keeps the turbo cooler creating better boost. On the first lap out I worked up to braking later on turn 6 and 10 A.
As I was flying around the track I caught up to a heavily modified white Miata. Who was just as fast as I was on corners. To my surprise I had more top end speed than him on the straights. It's very rare for my car to beat another car on the straights. Then I see my competitor who was in 2nd place. A black Mercedes AMG C43. It took me about 2-3 laps to finally catch up to him and pass him. I knew that I must of beat his time by at least a second. After I pass him and I'm heading down the big straight I get a meatball flag waved at me. Which means mechanical failure. I didn't notice anything wrong with my car but seeing how I was about to go down the dangerous corner I thought best to get off the track. Then I noticed other cars getting off track too. With only 5 mins left of the session I was not allowed to go back on track. I was so pissed I was running good. And I knew it was going to be about 93 F later in the day, my car would not be any faster in the afternoon. I found out the corner worker incorrectly flagged me. Although they will not admit it. They said they were flagging a black Camaro. And just kept using that same excuse. That Camaro was about 3 turns behind me. I could definitely tell it has a mechanical failure because of how slow they were going. I think they probably got my car confused with mine,.
I was shocked to find that I improved my time by 3 secs and beat my personal best by 2 secs! I got a 1:44:757 placing me in 2nd place! I beat the Mercedes by a whole 2 seconds! Unfortunately I could not beat 1st place. Looking at what was under the hood of that Evo, it must of been pushing about 450 hp. I'm only running 288 whp on a mustang dyno, but I do my best with what I have.
Here's the video of my fastest time! I can't wait to come back next year to beat my time again!
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This month marks my blog's two year anniversary. As I reflect back I think of all the technical things I have learned like steering with the pedals and controlling speed with the steering wheel. I mostly reflect on how racing has changed my life.
Racing has taught me to be in the moment. It's like an open eye meditation. I don't think about the errands or chores I have to do. I don't think about work or other things like give me anxiety. It's just me and my Subie. I don't feel any emotions, any pain, and I don't place judgement on me. There is nothing but peace. And with that peace I get hyper focused. When I am hyper focused I note where I have made mistakes on the track and then focus on the next turn.
THE NEXT TURN
This has become my own personal mantra. Whenever I am going through tough times I tell myself, "Next Turn". It helps me let go of whatever is bugging me or hurting me and move on. Moving on is extremely important in racing and in life. If I spent all my time on the track thinking about what I did wrong and judge myself I wouldn't be able to go any faster or improve. Also, I could potentially make a really bad move and crash. I have learned that once I acknowledged my mistake without judgement and ego, all of a sudden racing and life is effortless. I am able to change, adapt, and adjust quickly. I move on to the next thing, which helps me grow and go faster. Less shit in my head = less tension = more relaxed muscles = quicker reaction times = speed.
The next turn mantra has taught me to not look into the past. To not shoulda, woulda, or could of. Because just like my car on the track life moves forward in one direction. So whenever I feel like shit or things are not going my way I just tell myself there is always the next turn up ahead.