Skip Barber Race Series Part 2

Virginia International Raceway

VIR near Danville opened the 2006 Eastern/Mid-west Skip Barber Regional Series. I had some experience with the place because of my 2-day Advance School, but had never driven on the long complete 3.27 mi. circuit. Although there are generous amounts of run- off areas, the track has some very challenging, sweeping, undulating turns and a couple of tight low speed corners. Connecting these are the fast main and pit straights and the flat out esses. The weather was very sketchy and rain would play a big part in my weekend. I learned the difficult areas of the track like the “hogpen” section and the tight “oaktree” double hairpin. Flying blindly over hills on full throttle was a new experience as was my first rain practice. So far I didn’t like racing in the rain and was prepared for the worst when the first drops started to fall on my pace lap for Race 1. Of course I immediately spun coming out of the second turn and luckily all behind avoided smashing into me. By the time the green flag waved it was raining hard and rooster tails were shooting off the tires of the cars. Race cars were sliding and spinning off everywhere. I used what I remembered from Bruce’s lectures on rain driving. “Go where the grip is!” he would exclaim. For the first time in a racing car I was scared of being hurt in a crash and considered stopping. I managed to clam myself down and drove on to the finish without going too far off track and no major drama. Most of my fellow drivers had very little wet weather running (except for the Scot who lapped me) and likewise were happy to survive.

OG RACING is the best source for Motorsport Racing Safety Equipment!

Watkins Glen

Located in the scenic Finger Lakes region of Central New York, Watkins Glen has always held a primal and elemental place in my passion for motorsports. It is the place where I first encountered big time sports car racing and the place where the heroes of Grand Prix racing stimulated and stirred my obsession with auto racing. Whenever I return there I feel I am walking amongst the gods in the pantheon of motor racing. “The Glen” is a real grown up sports car circuit. From the downhill plunge into turn one through the flat out uphill esses onto the back straight, the track challenges a driver to be smooth and precise. Hard braking for the inner loop is followed by the high g-force cornering of the outer loop and the descent into the “boot” section. The course flows through medium speed corners with short bursts of acceleration in between. All along the way, the baby blue Armco barriers that line the track threaten severe punishment for any mistakes.  I love the place!

The Skip Barber Race Series usually holds its’ annual event near the Memorial Day weekend and this time the weather stayed clear and sunny. My weekend went rather smooth and I concentrated on learning the course and on my driving. Good consistent lap times were the keys to success. Braking too hard and over slowing the car through the turns are common errors. I was more than happy with my eighth and ninth place finishes because both races included lots of scraping back and forth and I hadn’t hit any of the barriers nor other cars. I felt that with more time behind the wheel and applying the lessons of my instructors I would advance up towards the front of the grid and get that all important podium finish.  More–>

Going Faster! Mastering the Art of Race Driving

Shop for BFGoodrich tires at Tire Rack.