Pacific Coast Motorsports' Katie Brannan, public relations and team driver Carl Skerlong, treat the Motorsport.com readers to what it takes to run one lap of Edmonton. The Atlantic Championship series team is preparing for a doubleheader this coming weekend.
A Lap of Rexall Speedway with America's Top-Ranked Atlantic Driver, Carl Skerlong
Carl Skerlong's need for speed started as a youngster, a two-year old on skis. By the age of seven he was racing for his local mountain, the Stevens Pass Club just outside of Seattle.
A specialist in Slalom and Giant Slalom, the four-time Junior Olympic ski racer turned his focus go-karts at the age of 14 and the rest is history. Heading into this weekend's double-header at Edmonton, 19 year-old Skerlong is battling for his fourth racing championship, this time the IMSA Atlantic title. Skerlong's season is off to a strong start, scoring two podiums in three races, he is currently ranked fifth in the championship.
Q: How would you rate the start to your season after the first three races?
CS: On scale of 1-10 I would rate my season so far, a 6.5. We had a major set back at Long Beach but are working our way back up to the top. I am ready to win and I am focused on the championship.
Q: What are your goals this season?
CS: My goal from the start of the season was winning the championship and it remains the same. We are just going at it with a little different approach now, we used our one "gimme" and we absolutely cannot have any other mistakes. This championship is very competitive and the champion will need to be nearly perfect every weekend. We've been consistent, consistently in the top-three, but it is time to win and I know I've got the tools to get it done.
Q: Edmonton could be considered your "home" race since you are a native of Seattle. Does this add extra pressure?
CS: Not at all, when I am in the car, everything around me disappears. It is only me, the track, and the 20 other cars.
Q: Tell us a little bit about the Edmonton track?
CS: The Rexall Speedway is a high-speed road course with walls. Edmonton is its own beast, it is extremely high speed yet still very technical, the track has a great rhythm. I like it.
Q: How difficult are double-headers, especially on a track like the Rexall Speedway in Edmonton?
CS: The double-headers are a win-lose situation. It is great having a "second chance" on a familiar track in race #2, although the lack of track time prior to race #1 makes it much more difficult. Longevity is key.
In his own words:
A Lap of Edmonton with the #14 King Taco Atlantic driver, Carl Skerlong
Edmonton is truly a one of a kind circuit. It is as high-speed as any other circuit the Atlantic Championship runs on, however it is primarily surrounded with concrete walls. There is no room for error on this beast of a race track.
Heading into turn one, it is extremely hard to find your bearings after sweeping across what seems like a mile wide runway. As you fly through the very fast right hander, you are immediately thrown into a five-turn rhythm section starting off with a nearly flat out 4th gear chicane.
You then have a backed right then two speedy lefts in a row, finishing this technical section with a right the throws you straight towards a large white wall.
Next comes the second fastest corner on the track, a bumpy flat out 4th gear right hand sweeper that gives you your first reminder of the track being a temporary circuit.
From there you head into a decreasing radius left that takes you to the slowest corner on the track; a low speed double apex right that makes for a prime passing place. All that is left is the long straight away - that is broken in the middle by a 135 mph flat out 5th gear chicane.
This takes you to your second lap around the grueling Rexall speedway.