Popping the Road Atlanta Cherry: GTA Prep.
Sure, prepping the car for Global Time Attack is important and all... But so is prepping the driver, and with a track as foreboding as Road Atlanta, I felt it was necessary to get myself some seat time in before GTA Round One. So last week I packed up the Z, my canine co-polit (Zeus), and headed up to Brasleton, GA for a nice five day weekend at the infamous Road Atlanta.
First impression of the track was something along the lines of "Hills!" (Seriously, though.... What has Florida turned me into?)
When Friday rolled around, I was practically the last one on grid, hoping the guy in front of me knew how to conquer the blind hills and turns without leading me off the track on an adventure. Fortunately for me, he managed to avoid doing that. After a few laps of familiarizing myself with the track, I decided to attempt to tackle it on my own line. As my comfort levels grew my lap times started to fall, and I became much less anxious heading into Saturday.
Saturday with NASA South East went off without a hinge. Traffic was pretty heavy in HPDE 3/4 but I couldn't complain. Sunday called for rain so I switched to a set of my friend's RE71R's and tackled a few rain sessions. Later in the afternoon, the track dried up and the racing line became usable again. I decided to try the "proper" line over turn 3. It certainly took me a few laps to commit once I decided to give it a try, but man am I glad I did! Road Atlanta certainly doesn't offer any shortage of "pucker moments". Another favorite of mine has to be taking "White Line" into turn 12 for the inside pass. The opportunity presented itself quite a few time throughout the weekend... But again, it took some convincing to get myself to finally try it. I learned so much about the track, about the car, and about myself over the course of the weekend. Six hours of seat time, a set of tires, and a set of brakes later, and I was ready to tackle the 11 hour drive back to Florida.
I must admit I was impressed by how helpful everyone was. I must've had every single one of my pit neighbors offer a hand at some point, which further instills my adoration for this sport. I had the pleasure of meeting a handful of other Global Time Attack drivers, made some pretty cool friends, and arranged the check ride for my NASA TT license! Couldn't have asked for a better weekend!
Now that I'm home, I can't wait to go back... See you soon Road Atlanta.! #Road2GlobalTimeAttack2016