Race Report: SCCA SARRC/SARRC at Barber Motorsports Park September 5-6 2009
Barber Motorsports Park has been on our bucket list since we heard it was the mecca of road racing in the United States. This year we took the summer off and saved up our money to make the long haul up to Birmingham Alabama to participate in the SCCA double SARRC weekend. Our friend Jim Blaisdell would be joining us for this race weekend with his #65 SM as we had a vacancy in our trailer from the #44 5xR SM being out of action from an oil pressure problem. While the trip was long, it was well worth it. The Barber Motorsports Park is a world class facility, the best way I can describe it is to say it is like a national park with a racetrack in it. So, it's basically like a racers dreamland with elevation changes, perfectly manicured track surfaces and paddock, lucious green grass camping areas and really cool metal artwork around the track. I would definitely recommend this track to anyone that has a car capable of participating in a race or track event at Barber. While the track was challenging, we still had a pretty good weekend. Read on to see how we did.
We invested in the practice day as we knew this was going to be a difficult track to get the hang of, mostly because of the hills and elevation changes. We are glad we did, because there was a lot to learn about the track layout and how the elevation changes play a big part in your race line choices. After a day of practice we thought we were ready...
Saturday brought the opening of raceday, and rain. A light but steady rain settled in for practically the whole day, which meant rain tires and feeling out the track again. So, again in a learning experience we ended up starting in a less than desirable 21st place.
While it was raining all day, it let up just in time for our race, so there was at least a definite dry line around the track. We had a good start and worked out way up to a 14th place finish. It is not as good of a finish as we are use to this season, but we did learn a lot about the track and felt way more comfortable for Sunday.
Sunday was a lot nicer of a day than Saturday, so there was no rain and we concentrated on our setup which yielded a better qualifying session. At the end of Q2, we were slated to start 9th.
Starting race 2 in 9th place was a lot better than the 21st position on Saturday. We got another good start and battled hard with Jacob Sellers, Mike Cottrell, Van Sayler, and our good friend George Munson for most of the race. We raced as flawless of a race as we could, but halfway through the race it seemed as if everyones Toyo R888 tires went away. With everyone dialing it down a notch to stay consistent, the positions stayed somewhat the same and we crossed the finish line in 8th place. A top ten at a strange new difficult track was satisfying enough for us. We can now concentrate on our favorite race of the year, the SARRC Invitational Challenge at Roebling Road Raceway on October 11th.