NASA Time Trials at Roebling Road Raceway
Insert pun-like "Savanna in Savannah" joke here:
Yes, I'm well aware I share a name with the city... So now that we have that out of the way, let's talk about racing.
This past weekend I ventured back up to Georgia to get my NASA Time Trial License and to explore one of the fastest tracks in the States, Roebling Road. I received mixed reviews on the track prior to departing for Georgia. It seems my friends either thought it was an extremely boring track, or an extremely fun one. It wasn't until the end of the weekend racing there, that I figured out why.
I arrived at the track Friday evening after a 9 hour haul from the Horsepower Logic headquarters in West Palm Beach, FL. Since I was early enough and waiting on friends to arrive, I teched the car and arranged my TT check ride for the first thing on Saturday morning. We also threw her on the scales and the dyno to get the paperwork for my TT classification out of the way. She made a whopping 288whp/262wtq and weighed in at 3021lbs with me and a full tank. After the adjustment for modifcations, she checked in with a 11.6 power-to-weight ratio, setting us well into the TT3 class.
Come Saturday, my first session out I ran with HPDE4 to get my check ride completed so I could bump up to TT for the rest of the weekend. Once I was cleared to move up with my provisional license, I just had to make sure I completed every TT session of the weekend without going 4-off, having a spin, blowing a flag, or any other sort of infraction. This was also my first time running the Maxxis RC-1's, Wilwood Big Brake kit for the rear, and the Fortune Auto 510 Series coil overs. Needless to say, I played it pretty safe all weekend, as obtaining my license was far more important to me than a podium finish.
The weather on Saturday began to decline as a strong headwind developed. Unfortunately, the track conditions also began to decline, as there was constantly debris on the track and the wind was tanking about 7mph off the pit straight away. As grip became more and more difficult to find, generally everyone's times began to fall off about 3 seconds later in the day. I managed to keep her on track and improve my times some as I became more familiar with the track, but my general impression on Saturday was: "Man, this track is kind of boring".
My best time on Saturday (and I'm not particularly proud of this one folks) was a 1:25.2, which surprisingly was good enough for 3rd place in TT3 on Saturday.
When Sunday rolled around, the weather seemed a bit more fair, with the strong wind blowing out of East rather than the West. I ended up behind two TT2 cars. I was simply lacking the power to make a safe pass, and since I was being extra cautious not to take any unnecessary risks that could jeopardize me getting my License I decided to settle in behind them. Until some faster, ballsier cars came to save the day haha (Thanks guys!). Once I got around them, I managed to cut three seconds off my time and got down into the 1:22's. Video is posted below:
As I began to find more speed on Sunday, I realized Roebling isn't boring at all. It's just really fast... and the more speed you carry, the more technical it seems to get. Even being as conservative as I was, I eventually found it be a lot of fun. I finished up the day with a 1.21.5 which was enough for 2nd place in TT3, but more importantly: I finished the weekend without any infractions or "offs" so I was cleared for my NASA TT License!
A very successful weekend for the race car and I. I must say I'm growing to really like the NASA South East Region crowd. And certainly plan to attend a few more events with them this year! Maybe even CMP in May, if the Z and I are up for it after Global Time Attack.
The story doesn't end there... Monday was chalked full of track time and on my way down from Roebling, I decided to stop by Sebring to work a private event with high end exotics with the Performance Driving Group. Then, I stopped by Palm Beach International Raceway on my way home from Sebring for some BBQ and a track night.
I took the Z out for a few laps later that night, then finally loaded her up and dropped her back home at Horsepower Logic!