Dave’s Race Reports from the 2017 F2000 season
We had two free practice sessions on Thursday and we used both of those to learn the track. I had lots of time in iRacing prior to the weekend to figure out basics but there’s nothing like actually running laps. I was able to bike ride the track in the morning and take our street car around prior to the first F2000 session.
We started with a lot of downforce to make learning easier and peeled it off as I got comfortable. VIR is really tough – it requires a ton of commitment and I know I was leaving time on the table all weekend. By the end of the day we weren’t setting terribly competitive times but that was largely due to running on old tires compared to some others who went out on new sets. I felt like I had some time in my pocket for qualifying.
In qualifying for race 1 a car lost it in front of me on the out lap on cold tires which paused the session. In cases like that, while the track workers pick up the car, we’re brought into the pits and held there while the track is cleared. The session time runs even though we’re off track. That meant there would be a mad dash to set times once we were released. When the session went back to green, I went right to P2. As others came up to speed we were bumped further down the order. The times were coming down and we were keeping pace with the top 5. My last lap was my flyer and it felt great but the time wasn’t that good. We ended up P7 which was a solid effort but not what we were aiming for (top 5).
In the race – you’ve probably figured out – we had a tough break. Another driver dive bombed into turn one and nailed me in the right rear. The damage wasn’t too bad but it was enough to end our day. He actually hit me twice – once in the right rear which spun me around and then another time on the front wing which broke our nose. I drove the car around and retired it after one lap. I’ve attached a couple videos so you can see what happened. The other driver apologized and took the blame but it was still gutting.
For race 2, we just did not have enough time to repair the damage. While the damage wasn’t extensive, the time was short. We were running the weekend with the Pirelli World Challenge cars and they requested we move our 2nd race up one hour earlier. This spelled the end for us as we could have finished our repairs with the extra hour. We didn’t make it out for race 2. I watched some of that race and it looked messy. I think I could have got a top 5 just by finishing that one – huge bummer!
As a whole I think on pace we’re in good shape. VIR was never going to be our strongest track. It was my first time there and it doesn’t fit my style. I expect to be more competitive at the other tracks where I am more familiar. F2000 goes to Mid Ohio next in two weeks but we had planned to sit out that race. We’ll be back out there at Indianapolis in early June.