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Road Atlanta 2010

A little explanation about these pictures from our weekend at Road Atlanta.

During a practice session, I had just passed a GT2 Cup car and swooped down on to the main straight at Atlanta. I continued my acceleration down the straight, and setup for corner 1.

I throttled-on at the Apex, and the car pushed right off the course late in turn 1 and into a tire wall. I usually get some inside-rear tire wheel spin when I throttle on, and was expecting it again.

We had rebuilt my differential this winter, and I set it up as a 80% Limited-slip instead of the 40% Limited-slip which I had driven for the last 4 years. This was my first race with the 80% differential setup, and this time I had enough motor and enough rear tire traction that I experienced throttle understeer for the first time in my life.

My crew and some spectators tell me that I was 4 wheels airborne at one point, launched upwards by the rumble strips. I must have come down on a rock judging by the hole in the oil pan.

The chin spoiler was gone, the lower left a-arm was broken off, and a fist-sized hole was in the oil pan complete with several handfuls of grass and Georgia Red dirt.

Mark Anderson was first to locate spare bits at a local junkyard, and we went and got them. The crew and I worked till 10 PM putting them in, and we threw an alignment into the car early the next morning.

We got Mark out on Saturday AM to practice, and later again for the first Sprint race. without the chin spoiler to deflect air into the radiator we were fighting an overheating problem, and unfortunately had to retire the car.

Note we also lost the driver's door mirror in the accident and had no spare. Not being allowed to return to the track without one, our Transporter (aka the Great White Whale) lent the racecar (aka the Great White Shark) one of its mirrors. I'm sure its the fastest that truck mirror had ever gone in its life!

This incident is the reason our chin splitter is now made from a laminate, and more likely to break-away without damaging other parts bits as this one was.


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