Page 44 - PCA Metro NY Region POST
P. 44

(Rudtner, from page 41)
So no big deal. I decided to take it easy for the rest of the afternoon. That gave me more time to write  this column. Afterwards we met up with Jeff Speer from Hoosier. Later that night we all went out and had a very nice dinner.
Saturday morning arrived nice weather in hand. In fact, just cool enough at 6:30 in the morning for me to wear a light sweat shirt. Alan’s session went off at 8 am with our “Blue” race group warm up immediately following at 8:30. All went well. I even managed to knock some time off getting down to a 2:18.295. But I was way behind the SPB leaders Hunt McMahon and Topher Everett running 2:13.159 and 2:14.378 consecutively. I had a lot more work to do. Alan was having a great time looking to crack 180 mph! Because I skipped the 3rd session yesterday and turned in no times I was grid to qualify in position 52.
Some strategy was played here now. As the cars went out I pulled into hot pit and waited until I had clear track. I should have and could have turned better times but I did not. The session was cut short for reasons un- known and we only got four laps! Best I could muster in that session was a 2:17.787. Jezz... I was 4 sec- onds of the pace. That put me in position #42 for the start the first race! Don’t say that too loud.
One hour later it was time to grid. As I enter the grid the worker says “Spot 20.” “Are you sure?” I ask. “Yes. You’re number 20.” Turns out they were doing a split start. All the SP classed cars were starting 1⁄2 lap back from us. How nice was this?
Once out on the track and racing was it was easy to see other SPB cars just driving away from me on the super speedway. How disappointing. The best I could do was just drive . After the race I was so down I did not compete in the second “The points” race.
Once back in the garage Brian and I started looking for a reason why I could not keep up. We found the throt- tle not opening all the way. That’ll do it. So we fixed it and looked forward to Sunday, the day of the Enduro. The next day, during morning warm up we were back running with the leaders. “Now that’s more like it,” Bri- an exclaimed over the radio. I now easily kept up with the lead cars. I was also turning consistent 2:13’S We were now back in the race.
We were grid in position number 20 for the start the 90 minute long Enduro race. At the drop of the green I gained a few positions. I held my own as the race wore on. I tried to drive better into each turn. I tried to brake later going into each braking zone and acceler- ate earlier out of each turn. I battled back and forth with Everett Topher for position throughout the race. We really had some real good racing, sometimes door to door. While racing I kept an eye on my fuel gauge. I didn’t want to pit too early. The rule states: You cannot pit within the first 15 minutes of the race or the last 10 minutes of the race. I figured the more I could run with the least amount of fuel the faster I could be.
By the time my fuel light came on, I had been racing for 65 minutes of the scheduled 90. It was time to pit. I was hoping I had gained at least 6 minutes over the other SPBs while they pitted and I was out on track but I did not. After our mandatory 5-minute pit stop I rejoined the race right in the middle of an SPB battle for 2nd place. I was in the middle of the mix. Hunt McMahon must have broke as I saw him slow and pull off line. I changed places with Topher over and over again. He would make a mistake and I would go a head of him. Then I’d make a mistake and he would get me. I was able to out race both Mark Murray and Topher. On the very last lap, with the checkered flag out I had them both. I was in Second place in SPB! I charged to hard into the “West Horseshoe” and Topher got me. I figured I was still ok because I knew I could get him again on the super-speedway. But I charged to hard again going into the entry of the super-speedway and Murray got by me as well. Problem was they both put too much space between us. I could not pass them to regain my 2nd place position. I had to settle for 4th. What a race! When I got back to the garage I gave Brian a huge celebratory hug (below). We had placed well. Especially considering it was our second time to Daytona.
Of course, as with any track we race we just can’t wait to get back. Daytona is a special place as there is no other track quite like it. By the time this column is in print our Metro DE season will be over. We will have gone to Summit to finish off the season with Metro and we will have also have run at Road Atlanta. We’ll all be planning for our Holidays and Metro’s Holiday party will be on us soon. I really hope that I see you at the Metro Holiday Party.
 Chief Instructor Bill Rudtner in his SPB class Boxster racing at Daytona - LEFT
Congratulatory “bro hug” between Bill and Brian McGrath, LEFT

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