Laguna Seca

IMG_7927.JPG

Laguna Seca, the place I used to bus and steal rides down to just to be around a track

IMG_7651.jpg

As it is with racing, we finished the engine swap and race-prep only hours before we hit the road for Salinas, CA

My first time driving Laguna with my first impressions being the following:

-DAMN what a track
-totally understand now why it's world-famous
-blind corners, camber, exiting the corkscrew is so much fun, the sand is deep
-a track that rewards the (successful) risk-takers and punishes the rest

Friday was qualifying and amazingly, through the heat, we were able to put it on pole!

IMG_7924.JPG

Saturday's race was hard-fought. 2/3's of the way in, we found ourselves maintaining the top spot while being able to manage our tires and the gap when suddenly...the power cut OFF

Turns out in the rush of getting the car ready for grid and when switching the car on, we didn't notice a loose ignition switch/toggle cover. While going over a rumble strip with about 6 laps to go, under the rattling and vibration the switch switched itself off and just like that we lost the lead and dropped back to 3rd

 Team GDR's 'pit' - love Laguna's tribute to N. Hayden

Team GDR's 'pit' - love Laguna's tribute to N. Hayden

After getting the engine restarted, we fought back and were able to finish P2

Not bad but damn, what could've been. Plus, with it being 100+ degrees out during the race and only having one set of tires for the weekend, Saturday's race was probably our best shot to bring home a win

IMG_7931.JPG

For Sunday's race 2, we were again fortunate enough to place it on pole position and start 1st for our race

Because our tires were shot, we had to pull every trick in the book:

-fuel for only 3 laps (reduce total weight and stress on our fairly worn tires)
-rotate them
-some final tweaks to the balance of the car
-waited till everyone else was out to clean and warm up the track, then went out when there was a good gap and clear traffic
-2 warm up laps and 1 flying lap

On the one flying lap, we clocked a time 1.3 seconds faster than our previous qualifying time. Sweet

For the majority of the race, we led. Then I came across a slower Mustang from a faster car class and he begins blocking real aggressively, forcing me to slow down which allowed 2nd place to catch up

In a pro series, I suspect that the mustang would've gotten bumped after a few corners. (in a Sebastien Vettel voice)..I mean cmon' guys honestly, what are we doing here?! ;)

IMG_7701.JPG

After a couple frustrating attempts to pass the mustang, an error on my part was made as I mis-judged the apex on Turn 11 sending me off just enough on exit to lose the lead

By Turn 5, I was already back on my competitor's bumper and with my tires already severely dropped off on grip, I made the decision to send it on the inside for a late-braking pass

 that pic your parents make you take

that pic your parents make you take

I came out the winner and held the lead till the checkered flag was waved. Two poles, 1st and 2nd place, on my first time racing at Laguna. Dreams are a crazy thing

The biggest thank you to those below for believing in and supporting GriffeyDreams when many did not:

Hana Japan Steak and Seafood (in Dublin, CA and Berkeley Marina, CA) hanajapan.com
Marin Acura (Marin, Corte Madera, San Francisco) marinacura.com
Cafe Tapioca (Dublin, CA) cafetapioca.com
WORKS Motorsports (Sonoma, CA) store.worksmotorsports.com
Tomas Sport Tuning (Berkeley, CA) tomassporttuning.com
Hoosier Tires hoosiertire.com
Acura/Honda Performance Development hpd.honda.com

Brian @ theautonauts.com
Dan Forer (crew)
Dad (crew)

And of course another big thank you to all the kind souls who individually lent their support - i know who you are, and you know who you are

Race cars kick ass.

IMG_7697.JPG

#griffeydreams