As with all my races this season, funding was secured last minute and off we went to try our luck on my 'home track,'
Sonoma Raceway, formerly known as Infineon Raceway and Sears Point
Buddies and fellow racers, Alex and Greg, were kind enough to help out and crew for the weekend
So here's what the weekend looked like:
Practice and Qualifying:
We top the time sheets in Practice. Then in qualifying the engine starts stumbling pretty badly so I come in and we find a broken positive battery terminal. With my pit neighbor's help, we repair the terminal and I go out for the remainder of the session but we're still plagued with a misfire
After a closer look, it turns out the coil pack for cylinder 2 has snapped in half - something we've never seen before. It's replaced with a new one and we hope for better luck on Saturday
Due to the engine issue I think we qualified something like 31st out of 34 cars but we remained optimistic that with the misfire solved, we could cut through some of the pack and at least have some fun
Soon as the race starts the same issue comes up again and I'm forced to retire early
Qualifying and Race 2:
After Saturday's race we swap out all the coil packs with new ones, install a new battery, new spark plugs, reload the tune onto our ECU, and perform other tests. After a short drive around the paddock the car feels and sounds a lot better
In qualifying, we place the #27 GriffeyDreams Racing/Hana Japan/Cafe Tapioca car on Pole Position with a time of 1:54.540, pretty sure a new unofficial track record, and two seconds clear of P2, good enough for 1st in class and 5th overall out of 39 cars
But with about 8 minutes left in qualifying the engine begins to stumble again...damn!
We perform some more tests and the engine again sounds and feels healthy after a short test drive
Come race time, the green flag drops and I maintain the top spot in my class until halfway through the race the engine starts stumbling again
Down on what feels like 50% of my power and after a yellow flag comes out, the lead that I've created vanishes and I get eaten up on the straights,
I drop back 3 places and finish 4th, still with fastest lap of the race
They certainly weren't the results we were hoping for but that's racing.
That said, it was great seeing a bunch of my close friends and supporters make it out and enjoy the races in beautiful Sonoma county.
Again, without the help of so many people none of this would've even been possible. I remain forever indebted
That said, some exciting new plans are in motion and Team GriffeyDreams Racing
will be back in full force and ready to fight real soon - you can bet on it