This was a fun race. I basically just wanted to try to squeeze a Skippy race into what looked like a busy weekend, so shortly before running the iRacing Daytona 500 I joined this event having had no time to qualify or practice.
I like the track, so missing qualifying wasn’t that big of a deal but the number of registrants was really large. I ended up in the third of four splits! My race had 15 drivers, of which I was iRated as fifth but would be starting back in 12th.
I got a decent start and as usual in the Skip Barber Series saw some patient driving into the first turn. Due to a few errors from other drivers I had climbed to ninth-place by the end of the lap.
I made a pass for eighth out of turn one on lap two, but half way around the lap had to brake hard to avoid a multi-car crash ahead… Luckily I didn’t hit anything and when everything shook out I ended lap two in seventh-place.
It was very early in the race and I had quite a bit of speed I wasn’t using. I could see that many people around me were pushing too hard and starting lap three I let the car behind pass, figuring that his car number of 15 meant he would probably make an error later in the race.
A lap later I took advantage of an error by the car ahead into the first turn and slipped ahead, up into seventh-place now. Seventh became sixth half way around the lap when the #15 spun his car onto the grass.
After an error in the final turn of lap five I saw the car I had passed with a mistake it turn one close up behind me… Again, with it being early in the race I didn’t fight and let him go.
One lap later I was flipping through the screens of data available to me to see what my last laptime was, basically seeing if I needed to speed up, when I noticed I had passed my braking point for the first turn! I quickly locked it down but slid into the sand anyway, losing two positions! Luckily half way around the lap I was able to overtake one car who had spun, but I ended lap eight in seventh-place.
I pushed really hard for the next seven laps, setting my best lap of 1:22.339 during the run. It was now lap 15 of 22 and I had closed right in on the pack I had been leisurely following before my mistake…
Between then and the end of the race I led a bit of a charmed life; people just kept falling off the track infront of me! By lap 16 I was sixth, 19 I was fifth and 20 I was fourth – but it was then that I realised my trip to the sand had probably cost me a much higher finish as the car I had been following at the time was up in second-place… I had no time to catch them now and ran across the line on lap 22 in fourth.
It was a great run though. Coming from 12th to fourth isn’t easy for me… The only kind of annoying thing is that I really didn’t have to fight to finish where I finished… Still, maybe I’d see better luck on that front in the 500?
Fastest lap was 13, a 1:22.339. I had two incidents (trip into the sand and running wide once out of final turn).