Monday, June 4, 2018

[6/3/2018] CSCS #1 (DDT)

[6/3/2018] CSCS #1 (DDT)
Event: Canadian Sport Compact Series #1
Weather Conditions: 19°C, Overcast (Qualifying), Rain & Fog (Time Attack)

I was able to participate in CSCS Round 1 because Can-Jam & Steelcase Tires were gracious enough to lend me a set of 265/35/18 Pirelli Trofeo R's (spec tire). Thank you very much guys! 

Unfortunately on just my 2nd hot lap of the day, I clipped the curbing at T16 a bit too aggressively and the car became unsettled and I went into a spin. I counter-steered and pinned the throttle to try and keep it on the tarmac but didn’t expect the fronts to regain their grip so suddenly. All of this happened within a split second and before I could re-centre the steering wheel I was in the grass with no choice but to rip the e-brake with two feet in and hope for the best. I’ve clipped that curb (and many others) so many times in the past… a bit unlucky that it put me into a spin this time. I'm not going to jump to conclusions about changing any suspension settings just yet, but if I continue to get random instability in the future it's something I'll definitely have to look into.

This is the 2nd red flag I’ve caused in my career, hopefully the last. I had to get towed out of the wall and grab my 17” street wheel to be able to drive back to the pits because the front left Trofeo R came off the wheel. Luckily, I was able to do that.

I had a busted front left fender & bumper, broken brake duct, and front left tire dismounted. Unknown amount of damage elsewhere. No CEL. There didn’t seem to be any powertrain issues. 

After assessing the situation I decided that I would try to fix what I could and go back out on track to see how the car performed. Lots of hammering later and the car looked like it could drive again.

I went back out on track but just a few laps in another car went into a wall, cutting this session short too. My car seemed to drive fine but the alignment definitely felt off so I wasn’t confident in pushing 100%. Not only that but it started to rain shortly after I got off track. My time of 1:43.865 was good enough to qualify for the time attack in 6th place so I decided to just head back and not break anything else.

During the time attack, not only did it start raining harder, but a heavy fog came down on the track as well. Visibility was poor. The car wasn’t handling very well. And my confidence was low. Still, I tried to put down a respectable time given the conditions. I took the 1st lap very conservatively, then decided to go for it in the 2nd and 3rd. In the 3rd lap, I botched the braking zone into T1 so I decided to scrap the lap entirely. I finished with a 2:00.055, good enough for 5th place overall, 1.1 seconds behind 1st place’s 1:58.889. 

I’m obviously bummed about the crash. But everyone knows that’s the risk you take when you go racing. All things considered, the damage appears to be quite minimal. Hopefully I’ll be back on the track before the end of the season.

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