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This weeks racing really was quite a test of patience. I ran twice in the final two time slots of the week and in both had problems that were hard to come back from. I knew I was very capable of doing 58 second laps around Lime Rock Park, so I ran a basic qualifying time of 59.196 and settled for that.

The first race I slotted into the grid in ninth and held the number 16 on my car, this meant I was the lowest rated driver in the event. Still, looking at everyone else’s qualifying times I figured I’d probably be able to finish in the top-three if I didn’t make any mistakes…

I got a decent, safe start, but as usual I made the mistake of driving too safely. This always seems to happen to me and it’s incredibly annoying: I was much, much faster than those ahead of me, but they were all over the race track (and off it – I managed to avoid someone who span across the racetrack having ran wide out of the final turn), so with them being all over the race track, I stand back and wait for them to sort themselves out.

But, by waiting, by not shoving my nose into a multi-car battle, I leave myself open to the people behind because I am being forced to lap slower than I am capable! How annoying is that? To get passed not because you’re slower, but because you’ve reasoned that nobody infront of you is actually going anywhere! Honestly, on that first lap, they were crawling.

So, basically that’s the story: I dropped a few places, got annoyed at losing those places, made my own mistake running wide, slapped the wall under the bridge, damaged my left side and of course the person behind went to overtake on the right in the downhill… I had to stay left, with a damaged left side, and went off-track and into the fence.


Watch on Youtube.

I reset and rejoined the race in 12th, gradually making my way up to eighth without passing anybody on the track. My fastest lap was on lap 11 of 31 and was a 58.797 and this was especially annoying because I came out of the pits with the leaders and lost almost no time to them at all in the 26 laps I ran after the reset.

I also tried to join the race after and jumped the start. That race was done for literally before it began and I finished with less points that the race above netted me, so the race was dropped.

I am now standing eighth in Skip Barber Race Series points, 164 out of first and 80 out of second-place.

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British-born U.S. Resident, Tim Wheatley, works for Image Space Inc., a developer of driver-in-the-loop simulation technology. He lives in Illinois with his wife and children.
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