Short review about season 2016

11/12/2016 2:21

Shortly about our season 2016

We are very happy with the results in our only 2nd season, overall 12th, taking in account that we missed the round in Canada, we proved that we can be very competitive. 

It shows that we are pointing in the right direction and our car building knowledge and experience now in formulad is giving us the wanted results.

 1.    Long Beach – was pretty good race for the beginning of season, in TOP32 won against Alec Hohnadell, OMT against Matt Field in TOP16 lost, tough call for judges, but still happy for result. First event of the season and I felt much more confident than the year before.

 2.      Atlanta – car was running good. Just before Top32 ran off track and got pebbles under the hood, what caused the alternator belt to fail, while we tried to fix the problem within the last minutes before the run, we forgot to set the right tire pressures in the rear. In Top32 against Tyler Mcquarrie I had no grip and speed, even spun on my chase run. Stupid mistake in practice ruined all our  weekend. 

3.      Orlando Speedway – For this event we stepped up with tire size from 265 to 275, so again a bit of challenge to get used to the car, but I felt pretty strong and car was running very well. And then during practice I got into a pretty hard wall crash, due to debeaded tire. Thanks to MA Motorsport team especially Dylan who helped us out and welded our damaged oil tank. Next we qualified only in 28th position. For Saturdays race we tried a completely different car setting and that gave the wanted result, car was flying through the course, nothing could stop us that night. We managed to climb all the way to the 2nd position, I have to admit we almost won that race, just a small technical failure with the car on my lead run, but WE made our first ever FD podium, great result for all the team. 

4.      New Jersey, Wall – after Orlando we had to change the clutch, we were running it since the beginning of 2015. Due to wrong part delivery we had to install clutch kit with steel flywheel instead of aluminum non stop . From the very first laps in NJ car felt different, felt like it had more inertia due to a heavier flywheel. Beside that during Saturday practice we got into a pretty big crash with Geoff Stoneback. Due to a misunderstanding on the start grid I had to run 2 lead runs in a row and that was the biggest mistake of the weekend. Tire wear in this track is huge and on my 2nd run I spun in the last turn, simple didn’t have tires anymore and Geoff Stoneback who was chasing, coming through the smoke wall, hit me really hard on left rear wheel. It was only 1 hour before Top32 started, but we managed to change all the rear suspension parts in  time (thanks to Mike Essa's team mates for help) and won our Top32 battle against Andy Gray. In Top16 Vaughn Gittin is leading, first turn, coming off the bank I came too close and made contact, I think this is where our steel flywheel played a role, due to inertia, car couldn't slow down as I was expecting. My strong lead run still wasn’t enough, so we lost. But again we showed that we have one of the fastest cars on the grid and they should start seriously worrying about our performance out there.

5.      Canada – due to formal paperwork difficulties I wasn’t able to make this round L this was so sad cause we dropped from 7th to 14th position  in overall standings.

6.      Seattle, Monroe – probably the hardest event in our Formula D experience yet. On the way from NJ to SEA our trucks engine broke down and we stayed in the middle of nowhere for 3 days and nights trying to fix it without result. I’m more than thankful to Dan from Rad-Industries who was the one and ONLY able to help us to get to Seattle, he drove 15 hours non-stop to lend his truck to us, so we could pull our trailer to Seattle, on the non-stop 15 hours way we stopped at Nameless performance shop, where we did basic preparation for our car, another 6 hours, as we didn’t have time enough for everything. We arrived in Seattle early Thursday morning, just before practice, of course practice wasn’t good at all, we were too tired (in past 9 days we slept around 30 hours in total!!!). Friday was a bit better, but in my second qualification run, I broke a carbon driveshaft, due to differential fixing point breakage. And again instead of getting sleep, what we needed more than anything else, we had to work late to fix the car on time. So now we still have the steel flywheel, cause we didn’t manage to change it and now also a steel driveshaft and almost no practice. In top32 against Dean Kearney after a OMT I lost. Car wasn’t dialed in at all, we couldn’t expect more after all these adventures.After the event we took the car back to California to RAD-Industries workshop and finally fixed it correctly. 

7.      Texas – Again thanks to Dan who helped us and pulled our car to Texas, cause our truck was still in the middle of nowhere. We came in strong, car was running perfect. Won Top32 against Jeff Jones, top16 against Ken Gushi, after though battles and a OMT I advanced to Top8, Next Odi Bakchis and again after a OMT advanced to Top4. We were in good shape, car was flying through the course and felt like this is it, we going to win this event, but then just a tiny mistake chasing Matt Field in top4 and we were off the course. In my lead run, Matt was far behind, but still it wasn’t good enough to earn at least a OMT. Congrats, that was his first ever FormulaD victory that night.

8.      Irwindale – final fight, we know we had to put out all we have that night and we were doing pretty good. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough practice at Thursday due to fuel pressure failure.  By Friday morning problems were solved and we were doing pretty well, unfortunately our differential broke down just an hour before qualification started. And again a big challenge for the team to make it on time and get back on track on time. We even had to call 5 minutes to be able to make it and we did. Our qualification run wasn’t perfect, but at least we qualified for race. On Saturday day everything was good and car was dialed in. In Top32 against my Achilles team mate Mike Essa we got a OMT, got bit more lucky and moved to Top16 against Juha Rintanen. Same thing happen with Juha, judges decide to call OMT, which we lost. Obviously we weren't happy with it, cause we really wanted to step on the podium in the season’s final race. Later that night we figured it out that Irwindale track has one big trick, the cooler outside temperature gets the more grip appears. This is something we didn’t know, means we are still learning tricks and tips to climb to the top and we truly believe - we will someday.