With the 2012 season in the books it’s a great time to reflect back throughout the year. While I wasn’t able to attend every race in the 2012 season I was fortunate enough to attend majority of them.
I want to first and foremost thank some amazing organizations that made 2012 such a great year! Studio Rhoad, BeatByAGirl.Org, Race4Girls, and Female Racing News.
The season started at a new track for me. Sebring International Raceway is a track that took me numerous attempts/laps on iRacing to get figured out. I have been very fortunate enough in my 12 years of racing to compete and many numerous tracks across the country however, I had never been to Sebring. While the surface was rough and bumpy there were many challenging corners. The corner coming onto the front straight away was hands down the toughest to grasp. It is one of those corners that looks very deceiving on how to enter it, once you get how to enter the corner all the other pieces kind of fall into place. Really a great place to race at and I can’t wait to get back in 2013!
Mazda Raceway was next on our schedule. Unfortunately last year I was unable to attend the race so this was a BIG race for me. We shipped the car out and fly out ourselves! It was a gorgeous place. I saw some amazing views and trees that look like no tree I have ever seen before! Yes, I know that sounds weird but it’s the truth! The track lived up to all its hype and expectations I had for it! A few challenging corners at this facility that really gave me a run for my money and kept me on my toes. Turn 6 I started to get comfortable in and it bit me a few times! The corkscrew down the hill is something I can finally check off my “must do” list. I can’t really explain this series of corners other than you can’t see the corners and they are almost underneath of you. Also, when people are giving you tips the huge pole in the middle of the corners is the reference point! Overall a great track to race at!
2012 added Mid Ohio Sports Car Course to the schedule and I was thrilled! A place near and dear to my heart. I have won at Mid Ohio in karting so I was very eager to get there and see how the car handles around the track. I was probably the fastest there than I had ever been at any event. Practice was a good indication that I was very confident in myself on that track. However, once qualifying came after the 2.5 hour Continental Tire race my car was a whole new monster. The car was so tight I couldn’t duplicate my practice times and ended up further back than I wanted. I really look forward to conquering this track in 2013!
Road America always keeps me on my toes! Although I am always happy to attend tracks I have run at before whether it is in karting or from my previous year in the MX-5 Cup Series. I can proudly say that I was faster at Road America than I was the year prior. It surely had its ups and down with all the mechanical issues we had. I didn’t get to spend nearly enough track time due to breaking a transmission and having a rear half shaft seal broken. My lap times were faster and I finished the race which was an accomplishment in itself! I only had maybe 20 laps on the track when I took the green flag for the race.
Unfortunately due to funding I did not get to attend Mosport and Coronado Speed Festival. Luckily they are on the 2013 schedule so I am hoping to attend these events in the upcoming season.
Virginia International Raceway was also added to the 2012 schedule. A home race! How exciting is that?! I had family and friends attend this event and I was honored to have them attend. This was also the race I debuted my partnership with BeatByAGirl.org. Words can’t describe how fortunate I was to be able to showcase my car with their name on the sides and rear. BeatByAGirl.org is a great way to have any young female drivers interested in racing get behind the wheel and see what it is like. They have a school, the Glass Hammer Racing Experience which takes the young drivers behind the wheel as well as in a class room with professional drivers teaching them the fundamentals about racing. Stop by www.beatbyagirl.org for information. I set a lot of big goals for myself for VIR. Really, wanting to close the gap between my fastest lap and the leader’s fastest lap. At each event I felt this was a goal I was achieving and making big leaps at. Unfortunately VIR is not on the 2013 schedule, I am quite bummed about this.
Our season closer was at Road Atlanta. What could be a better way to wrap up the 2012 season then doing it on my birthday?! I was unable to attend the promoter’s day and felt I was already behind everyone else by the time I got there. Thursdays race (my birthday) started out with qualifying in the rain. I really wish I was much more comfortable with racing in the rain but was eager to get the practice. When I came in with 10 minutes left I was in the top ten in qualifying. Although, while in the pits checking pressures etc. my time fell a bit. The racing was great and my teammate Dean won on my birthday! Friday’s race wasn’t exactly as planned. I ended up off once and spinning once. However, I achieved my goal once again and was able to close the gap on my lap times.
I am truly blessed to continue to improve each and every time I go out on the track. Many thanks to everyone (family, friends and of course my fans) who have supported me and given me the confidence to keep digging at each event I attend. Your kind words and well wishes mean the world to me and I hope to continue to give you all improving performances at each event! Happy Holidays to you all and I hope to see you all at an event in 2013.