Race Report: SCCA SARRC/SARRC Palm Beach International Raceway April 4th - 5th 2009

This was the second race in our SARRC championship points chase, and with the new tire rules we had a lot of figuring out to do while trying to score decent points. This was also the first race where John and Rick would be racing in the same class, 5x Racing was represented by two cars this weekend and made a solid showing. With the better grip level of the new PBIR track coming into play, we were able to dial in the cars to the new tires and really nailed the setup for Sunday's final race.

Qualifying 1:
#25 car: 6th

Race 1:
Starting 6th for Race 1 was a decent place to see how things on the front row were going to shake out going into the turn 1 chicane. After filing into line we ended up running a decent race, although the car had way too much rear grip and was pushing bad through the turns. Guest MX-5 Cup and Koni Challenge driver Todd Buras ran from pole all the way to the finish in first, with Jamie Tucker in a close second and Cliff Blanchard took the third podium spot. 5x Racing customers and friends George Munson and Chris Fulton had strong races, with George scoring a 5th place finish. John came home in 6th, which was the second consecutive top 10 SARRC finish for the #25 car. Rick was feeling out the car taking it easy, as it is his first Spec Miata race and he is still in a new car. Official results for the race are not posted online yet, we will be sure to list them when they are available in the Race Results section.

Qualifying 2:
#25 car: 4th

Race 2:
With our new setups on both cars, and more data collected on the new R888 tires, we had a much faster car around the track on Sundays race. Starting on the second row would actually turn out to be worse than starting on the 3rd and 4th rows, as most of the cars in those rows cut through the turn 1 chicane and John ended up around 7th place after the mayhem got sorted out. After fighting hard to regain the lost positions, John found his way back to 4th place and was catching the 3rd place car. A couple of costly mistakes caused John to be caught by the 5th, 6th, and 7th place competitors. After fighting for 4th position for several laps, John was involved in some contact coming out of the chicane and fell back to 6th place. Luckily the #25 car was stout enough to handle the contact, our new setup held strong and when the end of the race came our car and tires were still working well, John was able to regain 4th place and hold it to the finish despite some hard charging by Chris Fulton on the last lap. Todd Buras again claimed first place, but not without battling hard with 2nd place finisher Cliff Blanchard. OPM driver Danny Steyn took the third spot on the podium and John took 4th with the #25 car. 4th was a solid finish and we scored our 3rd consecutive top ten finish. So far in our SARRC season standings we have scored a 3rd, 6th, and 4th. Rick was battling the midpack in his second race, and really getting the hang on the car. Once again we will have to wait for the official results to be posted on mylaps.com to determine Ricks exact finishing position.