Richard # 81 – First of all, I visited Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX last November for the Formula 1 Race. I never believed I could be driving here just 5 months later. Turn 1 will go down as one of the most iconic turns in motor racing and I felt very honored to drive it. The Thursday practice day went well with most going according to our plan. Friday was a bit wet and the weather was looking to be quite challenging. Qualifying went well, but there was a large amount of traffic and I had dialed-in too much downforce, which hampered my overall top speed. Still, I was able to set a decent time mid-pack, but I knew I could go much faster. Saturday’s race was exciting for the first few laps and I had just settled into a rythym. Unfortunately the race had a number of extended yellows. Sunday’s race was a bit of the same, with plenty of full course cautions. I could sense my car was much freer and it had more top speed down the straight. I passed a few cars and then held onto position in the later stages to finish strong.
Tim # 18 – To be competing at the crown jewel of North American race tracks, with the best drivers and fastest cars, is a truely humbling experience. I watched the F1 race several times, trying to get a feel for the track. It was completely different because the F1 cars much faster. It took two of the three practice sessions on Thursday to learn all the turns and the race line. We made a few changes to try to go faster for the third session, but we still weren’t there. Friday morning one of our fellow competitors identified that my left axle was too long, which was binding up the suspension. We missed the second practice session to correct the problem and it was like driving a new car. It has been causing handling issues for over a year now and we’ve finally solved it. A shortened qualifying session on Saturday was cut even shorter by an accident. Race 1 was shortened to half distance due to accidents as well. Race 2 had three green laps and was within sight my teammate the whole race. It was difficult to find any kind of rhythm with all the carnage, flags and traffic. Handling was improved, but the circumstances didn’t allow us to take advantage of it. I’m happy that I was able to tow the car home in one piece, because several competitors could not say the same.
Check out the following video from the perspective of Car # 81. Special Thanks to Brian Little School of Racing (BLSR) Graduate Sid Goode for the rear facing camera which adds a unique perspective.
Car # 18 video can also be found here
The next race for Area 81 Racing is the March 31st SARRC Double at Carolina Motorsports Park. Stay tuned to www.Area81Racing.com and our Face Book page for details –> http://www.facebook.com/pages/Area-81-Racing-Team/173745692673454