July 25, 2009
The morning came much earlier than I was prepared for. Thank goodness I had showered and set up the night before for today, cause out the door Dave and I went and boy was it early. We were on our way at 5:30 am and on the road listening to the infamous voice of the GPS, who never fails to lead us astray. This time not into a body of water but into a newly planted cornfield. Dave and I found our way with little dilemma or inconvenience. After the 10 minute drive we became even more fortunate as we ran into Kelly the hospitality “hostess with the mostest’’ which made getting into the event as painless as possible. I had told Kelly rather late that I was going to have Dave on my guest list I expected a bit of turbulence about getting him in. All and all every thing was off to a positive start, including the track walk. Yeah, a 60- minute track walk of all 21 turns, I couldn’t believe it myself.
The morning drivers meeting ended early so from there I decided to seek out the guest drivers. One of the drivers, Glen Plake is on my dad’s list of heroes, and one of the most successful ski bums on the planet. Glen was actually the first man I ever saw who had a mo hawk. Anyways, after meeting the guest drivers I enjoyed a bit of relaxation planning out what way I wanted to attack the track at 10:00 am. From their Dave and I both agreed that my biggest problem was trying to go to fast in the beginning. I would simply over drive the car, then have to come back and slow everything down dramatically for the second session and start over from scratch. From there went out, under drove the car and just tried to build up a rhythm to the 21-turn Autobahn facility. However you guess I was not as successful as I was aiming for, but I did have some shinning qualities about my morning drive more like 4 of 21 turns. I was rocket quick the rest of it well, I was losing a lot of time. While my practice times were not what I would have hoped they would have been I felt surprisingly good about my 9 laps around Autobahn so far. I will say I was disappointed but with racing you have to keep that positive attitude otherwise you will find your lap times heading backwards fast. From there Dave and I sat down and went over my data from there we saw what was happening to all of my time. Which was fantastic to see because it was what I saw made me realize my in car driving instincts were correct. I felt in the same spots that I was over slowing the car and a few turns did not have the most proper line through some turns as well.
Our list was than created of things I was going to do differently. As the day went on and our break turned out to be a little longer then any other race we went to life was extremely simple. It gave us plenty of time to keep scrounging through my data looking for more time and keep looking and seeing what I was doing right and what happened to be going terribly amuck. However, being the Volkswagen Jetta TDi Cup you never get a chance to take a break for to long. They always keep you moving.
One of the major tasks I had, was to take some time out of our day and learn a bit about some of the VW vehicles that they have recently introduced, including two of my favorites those being the 2010 GTI which is a gorgeous car from the front to the back. It even had plaid interior, yes I am crazy but it was awesome. They also showed us the V6 Toureag and Jetta TDi’s along with the new VW CC. all phenomenal cars even though the CC is more of a luxury car which isn’t my style but still for a sticker of 29,500 not bad at all. Plus the car told me I was 2160 miles from my house in Los Gatos, which is always kind of surreal to know how far away from home I truly am. But that moment was shortly shattered by Joey Attabury and Ryan Ellis pulling some childish antics in the back seat. All of a sudden the hazard lights were on, the radio was blasting some sort of uncomfortable 90 slow rock jam, plus somebody had left a two way radio in the cup holder so half the time the poor call button was getting pushed.
I had a suggestion to VW to get the drivers for next year into leased TDI Jettas for their daily drivers, would be sticker up to look just like there racecars. Instead of just having the kids driving and promoting Jetta’s on the weekend they would be promoting it all season. This was my suggestion mainly because I kind of need a dependable car since my Camaro threw a connecting rod a week and a half ago. So I am getting a little desperate for transportation.
Getting ready for the next session! Qualifying! Which again all I was doing was going over my piece of paper and from there got me ready chatted with a few other drivers and peacefully got myself into my racecar. We pulled out of the 8,000 sq ft tech tent and lined up single file waiting for the track to clear. A few people stopped to take pictures of the cars even some VW staff considering we were so close. We then moseyed out to pit lane to line up for our session. At the start I let everybody by and began at the back looking for room to drive slow right and work heat into the tires. After a while I realized I was making the corrections I set out to do in my driving. Just as I began driving faster, I ended up doing a 2:48.6, which were 4 seconds faster then my morning session I found that to be fantastic. However from there I don’t think I improved very much after that lap. Mainly because I kept trying to over drive the car again. I guess I am a creature of habit however I did succeed and felt good even though 4 seconds was only good for 4 spots on the grid but who cares. I made goals I set out to make changes in my driving and I did just that I was thrilled. Except for one misstep I made that caused Mark Pombo to cover Juan Paublo Serria Lendle’s entire car with mud. At least as a favor I helped him clean his car because I felt bad but all only mud no rocks thank god.
The day winded down after that and slowly came to a halt especially after the chicken kabobs. Oh man did VW hospitality have the best chicken ca bobs ever tonight. So good I got a chance to skip dinner. And go strait to the hotel and type this. So that I where my night ended. Hope I have some exciting story for you guys later.
Until then Arevidarchi