Page 44 - PCA Metro NY Region POST | 2019-April-eMag
P. 44

(Rudtner, from page 41)
At the start I lost two positions as we went through turn one. Going into turn seven I could see I was better when in the brake zone but they pulled me on exit. Still we were all in a line, bumper to bum- per. By lap two the 5 lead cars had about 50 feet over the 6th placed car and then there was me. The 8th place car tried to take me a few times but I was holding him off as I tried to catch the 6th place car. Lap three and amazingly I’m still with the lead pack. Going into turn 8, I made a move to the right of the 6th place car trying for a pass. I got it. I was now P6. Lap 4 now, I still had the leader in sight but they are slowly walking away from me. They were now one turn ahead. On lap 5 the 7th place car took me going into turn one. On that 5th lap we had a full course “double yellow” flag. This was good for me as it put me right back up with the lead cars. The double yellow lasted 4 laps. Now the pack was bunched up again. As I looked for the green flag my plan was to go straight up the left side of the track. I would go into turn one on the inside. I was hoping for a good jump on the start and maybe get into a podium spot (1-3).
On lap 8 the green flag dropped. I got a good run up the left side passing two cars and advancing to the 5th spot. Going into one I had to give up a spot. I was in 6th position again as we exited the esses (turns three and four). The lead car dropped two wheels off into the dirt on the right. This hurled his car to the left across the track and right into the 5th place car almost head on! (I lived this night- mare myself back in September at Summit). The 5th place car had nowhere to go. He hit the other car spinning the once 1st place car violently back to the right back onto the track. I tried to read all this best I could as it happened. I picked a spot to try and get through without too much of a lift. The hit car spun right towards me but missed me by a papers width. Good thing for me as I got through unscathed. I moved into 3rd, position. I had a po- dium finish. Whew...what a race.
Race 2 was not that eventful. Best part of it was that all the lead SPB drivers got out of their cars and introduced themselves to one another before the 5 minute call. After about 15 minutes into a 35-minute race they called a doubled yellow. My thoughts? Here we go again, same scenario as race one (I thought) but it turned out that there was a large amount of fluid dropped on the track and the race was ended very early. I started 5th and placed 5th.
After so much fun I decided to sign up for Sundays Enduro. After all “I didn’t come here for a hair cut” (John Martin).
In this drivers opinion; the most exciting part of any “Sprint” race is the start. The start of this En- duro was no different. Since National didn’t split the start for the Enduro (normal procedure) I was grid P-23 to start. Due to a great call by my crew- man, at the drop of the green I was able to move up eleven positions before going in to turn one! I gave a few back before exiting turn three but what an exciting start. During the first 1/3 of the race I was averaging lap times of 2:34. After that my times fell to 2:36. I knew it was simply because I had gotten tired. By the last 1⁄4 of the race I had dropped off to 2:40 lap times. I was very happy to come away with a 6th place finish in SPB after the 90 minute Enduro.
We’re glad that we’ve been able to start our race season off at Sebring, as we have for many years prior. Sebring holds a special lure that keeps 250-300 PCA racers coming back year after year. There is no other track like Sebring and there is nothing like racing. I hope I see you at the track.

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