While Sebring was a track I had never been to I did a lot of studying before I ever stepped foot onto the property. I spent countless hours on iRacing which definitely helped my learning curve before I headed on track with my MX-5 Cup Car.
A season opener always has extra excitement. While I have been to numerous tracks across the county within my 12 years of racing this was a new place for me. So, not only did I have to knock some rust off I also had to learn the feel of Sebring International Raceway and the bumps that are associated with that track. Since this was the season opener for the Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup race it was a place where everything must be re-inspected. From my driving gear, to the race car it all was looked at! Including the decal placements of our series sponsors as well as other odds and ends, it surely makes it feel like a whole new season! My favorite activity is the timed event in which you must be completely out of your race car standing on the ground in 15 seconds from being completely strapped in the car with the window net up. My rookie season I practiced this so many times at home and crumbled under pressure! This year I had a major improvement with my time and was quite happy with myself!
We started the week with a test day with the track and the following day had official practice session with our series. What a great time to learn the track and tune the car! I had a great improvement throughout the entire weekend which to me is very important while I am honing my skills as a professional race car driver. Our last day there (Friday) I had improved quite a bit and during qualifying came in for a tire pressure read and went back out and had lost something in the car. When I entered my pits we jacked the car up to find that I had broken a camber bolt on the right front. Kind of explained what I was trying to describe to my crew chief as a tire laying over in the corner on me.
While I wasn’t able to experience everything that the Sebring 12 hour race had to offer me I really did enjoy my time there. We had to leave Friday night and the campers were still rolling in! I am so thankful for all the support from the motorsports fans. Seeing people waiting in line to come in and camp out for a weekend is what grassroots racing begins at. Chryst Motorsports normally camps at all events and really do enjoy that part of the weekend.
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is the next stop on our tour. I also have never been there but have heard some GREAT things about the facility and am eager to get on track. Hopefully everything works out finically and I can attend that race. Fingers crossed I would LOVE to be at that event.