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Calabogie Cup - Shawn's POV in the Gentlemen's Race
For those of you that don't know, the 2nd Annual CMP Cup was this weekend. In the Gentlemen's race, rules were point-by-passing anywhere on the track. We had a 30 min practice & 30 min qualifying on saturday morning, a 45min race saturday afternoon, and then 2 45 minute races on sunday
First let me tip my hat to all the organizers for this event - what a blast it was!
Saturday morning the weather was, well, miserable. It was cold and rainy, and made the practice session pretty hairy for me. I made a few suspension adjustments for the qualifying session hoping to get some more front-end grip on turn-in.
During qualifying, I got out front, but after a few laps, my dad (in his G37) started catching up and holding me. I started feeling the pressure and my lines got sloppier. coming out of 4 left, I had a bit of a wiggle, and that translated into me missing my brake zone before going into the quarry. I got sideways and started drifting towards the edge of the track. I tried correcting but it was just too slick and I ended up dropping the two driver-side wheels off into the grass. As soon as that happened, the car hooked towards the tire wall. I tried to steer a bit, but the grass was basically like ice, and I ended up going nose-first into the wall. Luckily, the damage was only cosmetic (dented fenders, and front grill pushed in a touch) - nothing mechanical at all. I drove the car off into the pits, ending the qualifying session early however still managing to qualify 4th for the first race. After a few more "aero" enhancements, the car was good to go .
Saturday afternoon was the first race – I got out front early and it was smooth sailing after that. There was an Ariel Atom there that was catching up to me, but in the second last lap, he slid off and hit a wall (he was fine). Sunday morning I started in pole position again, and was able to hold it to the end as well. Mr. Ariel Atom brought his supercharged Lotus Elise out for Sunday, and he worked his way up the pack to finish 4th - with his fastest lap being 2/10s better than mine. Unfortunately during that race I flat-spotted one of my starspecs, so I had to switch to old R888s that had been heat-cycled out for the third race.
The last race was the one that counted, and they inverted the top 6 (out of 18) to make it more challenging. So the run order was:
I passed the Audi & Mustang GT within the first few laps, and then caught up to the top 3. I don't know if the Porsche just wasn't looking or ignoring us, but he was not letting anyone by, even after being blue-flagged several times. Finally, the 91 Mustang was able to get the Porsche on the inside of temptation (not sure if there was a point-by or not). In the next lap (or 2) at temptation again, the lotus got hung up behind the Porsche on the inside so I took the outside of that same corner, but since the lotus had to brake hard, I ended up side-by-side with him going up the hill at 9a. I'm not sure if I got the pass signal, but at that point I felt it would be safer to stay there than to try and back off and take the pass anyways for second place. A bit later, the Porsche FINALLY decided to point us by, so the lotus and I went for it. We caught up to the 91 mustang and passed it shortly after. The lotus and I were neck-in-neck for several laps after that - I couldn’t pull away, but he couldn’t get close enough (for long enough) for me to warrant letting him by. Finally, I got blue flagged and I pointed him by. Once he got by, I stuck with him for a bit, but my tires started falling off more and more and I started losing him slowly.
Then we got a red flag (proper procedure was to slow down and go into the pits - as per the driver's meeting). The lotus stopped on track, and I stopped beside him to tell him to go back to the pits, but he didn’t, so I just kept going. On the restart, they put me first, so I waved at the lotus to tell him to go in front. He said that he’d stay behind, but that if he got close, to let him by. Well I found out just before the re-start that we were only going to have a pace lap, and then one “hot” lap. In the hot lap, the lotus stayed with me pretty well, but I would build a gap in some places, and lose it in others. I never saw a blue flag, so I kept my lead for the third race as well
This was absolutely an AMAZING weekend. Congrats to all - everyone did super well, and despite the few insidents, no one got hurt, and there wasn't much damage to any cars.
Ya you can see that all started with the exit to 4left - I got a wiggle, thought about it too long, then missed my brake zone and locked it up.
All good though - that's why I got the harnesses, the seats, and the HANS. I was never scared for me or Jamie, just for the car. Those tires wall are awesome though - the impact didn't feel much worse than a really hard brake in the dry
Shawn did a great job to lose as much speed as possible before going completely off track. As he said, we were going slow enough that it wasn't really a question of whether or not we would be hurt, but how much damage would be done to the car.
Calabogie tire walls are awesome! All the more reason to race/lap at safe facilities.
1996 328is Track Toy
2005 RSX Daily Driver
Nice job with the driving in the wet Shawn ... up to the crash.
It looks to me that on the second downshift the car broke loose, maybe not enough throttle blip, the rear wheel slowed down too much when you let the clutch out and the slide started.
If the rear wheels are not moving at the speed you are traveling because of gear change, it is very difficult to catch. Once the slide starts, the wheels just dont get up to the propper speed in slippery conditions and off you go.
Glad you both are okay.
Congratulation on the wins ... next year I will be there for sure.
CASC-OR Regional Auto-X Series 2009 and 2010 1st place in D/Mod
Ontario Time Attack Series 2011 1st place in SGT2
You're right - I had too much speed and didn't blip the throttle enough on the second downshift. As soon as i hit the grass you can see my left foot get on the clutch and my right try to pump the brakes - to no avail!
I was supposed to have the race video up by now, but after 12 hours of uploading (only 2 left to go), we lost power