The day started off below freezing when we were on our way to the site. It was supposed to get up to mid-50's by the afternoon but it also turned out to be pretty cloudy and windy for most of the day. It was a bit uncomfortable but the pavement did get a little warm. Thankfully I was in the third run group and didn't get out on course until after 1pm. Between the cool temps, new tires and gobs of available power my first couple runs were pretty ugly. The car really felt good but I was still having grip issues like last year. What I started to realize was that the car had plenty of grip but the problem was that I was driving it at 110% like I had to last year to be at all close to competitive. What I didn't realize at first was that I was already going that much faster than before and kept screwing up by trying to go faster. With the power level of the new motor and tune I had to back off with the right foot a bit and do the whole "slow is fast" thing. It paid off immediately and my times dropped considerably (especially since I wasn't putting all my effort into chasing the tail end around the course). I've always understood the slow is fast concept but I have never experienced it to this extent, it all makes so much more sense now. I always thought that when I got up to speed with the other top drivers everything would feel so blazing fast that I wouldn't know what to do, but in reality it didn't feel any faster than before. Now that I had a handle on the car I was able to drop a couple good times on my last two runs, partially thanks to a downed cone that got me (and Josh) a rerun. We only were going to have 5 runs so the extra one was quite handy. My second to last run was enough to eek out first place in the end but my last run was several tenths faster giving me a .48 lead over Josh's already fast best time. It is nice to finally have the car at a competitive level and that I am able to handle it at this level. I always had it in my head that the car was holding me back but never wanted to blame the car for fear that it was in fact me that was the hang up. The course was ideal for our cars since it had some very fast sections and some nice big sweepers that allowed for lots of speed. Although conditions weren't ideal the event went pretty smooth and it was a heck of a season starter! Can't wait for more!
Sandi's and my car ready to go!
Video of my last and fastest run. I was still very sloppy but I have only had 4.5 runs prior to this to try and figure out how to handle the new setup.