SCCA ITA Rookie Race Season

9 11 2010

As my blog is sorely out of date I figured I should at least post of few snippets about my on-track adventures and current cars. Much more detailed info, news and videos can be found on our team website at www.ThrustMotorsports.com

#81 ITA Neon at Roebling Road Double Drivers School - Feb 14, 2010

After selling the Mazda RX-7 last year I bought a race-prepped Dodge Neon car to race in SCCA ITA class club racing. I attended SCCA drivers school at Roebling Road in Feb 2010, earned my Novice Permit, and immediately launched into my first wheel-to-wheel race the very next weekend on the Sebring Long Course. The 2010 season went by quickly.  I ran at least one event every month throughout the year.

Mid year my buddy Doug came on board as a co-driver. Doug is the one who helped me with the RX-7 13B rebuild. He had years of circle track experience so I offered him the use of my Neon in order for him to attend Drivers School and get licensed. We then ran a couple 90-minute Enduro races in my car.

Doug got bitten hard by the bug, and within a month he had his own ITA Neon in the garage.

Right behind him came Matt who purchased a nicely prepped ITA VW GTi. They rented out the space connected to my shop and we instantly had a race team.

We ran mid-pack for most of the season with our best finish 3rd at the Homestead Enduro in July (with me and Doug driving).

I felt like I was pushing the Neon about as far as I could and decided that it was time to take it to the next level. After doing a bit of searching I found a very well developed2nd Gen Acura Integra in Georgia. The car was extremely well built and had a pedigree (2nd in the 2009 American Road Race of Champions and many, many poles & podiums during the last three years). So, I shelled out the dough and bought her, trailer and all!  What a good decision that was. I loved the Neon but the Integra is a whole different league of machine.

The previous owner was nice enough to offer to deliver her to me at Roebling Road (I had been invited to race the SARRC Invitiational Challenge there). So, we showed up, took delivery of the Teg and promptly hit the track. It drove VERY differently from the Neon. Lots of skinny peddle and it sticks like crazy. By the end of the weekend I still was not comfortable in it, but finished a respectable 6th in the SIC.

Two weeks later I took her out to our “home track” at Sebring for the first of the 2011 SARRC points races and a regional. Being more familiar with the track I was able to get more comfortable in the car fairly quickly.  My best lap time on the short course with the Neon was a 1:27. In the Teg I turned a 1:25 during the practice session, then a 1:24 for qualifying, putting me 6 on the grid for the SARRC race. I ended up winning the race with my best lap at a 1:21.9

That same weekend Doug sold his Neon right at the track. He searched around for a few weeks and just recently came home with a very nice 1st Gen Mazda Miata which he can run in both Spec Miata and ITA classes. He affectionately named her “Goose”. Don’t ask why 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, that’s the brief update. As I mentioned before, you can get many more details about my racing exploits, team news, photos and videos at the Thrust Motorsports website.

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