NA-F2000: WDW LaLiberte report

Subject: Dana at Disney...my own views Hi folks, I'm back, in one piece, and am ready to get on with everything once again. As you all probably know, last week didn't really go as planned. Probably my worst experience ever in racing, which...

Subject: Dana at Disney...my own views

Hi folks, I'm back, in one piece, and am ready to get on with everything once again.

As you all probably know, last week didn't really go as planned. Probably my worst experience ever in racing, which hopefully means that everything can only get better from here.

I felt that we had never been more prepared for a race...everything was together, we had data acquisition on the car, a top engineer, and some quality aero testing before the race...and thanks to Michael, some spoonsorship and PR interest in the effort. I was ready.

I will spare the details of every session right now. I had tried to go about everything slowly, and was trying not to get over my head, which I still don't think I did. The big problem with the car was that there was no boundary layer between the limit and the wall...the car would give no warning before jumping into a spin...no lazy oversteer at all, just snap-oversteer. Wednesday was probably caused by the bumps going into three, Friday probably had more factors, one of them being me not pushing. This has always been my style, and although our plan was to lay back until the last half, maybe if I had pushed more the crash wouldn't have happened...who knows though.

The track hospital people were the same from Indianapolis (Dr. Boch and all) so they were all great, dealing with my body, as well as checking all the important things like my helmet condition. I accidentally gave quite a few people a scare in the Friday crash, however. The nylon straps holding the radio onto the frame to the left of me broke in the crash, dumping the radio onto my lap, but the plugs near my helmet came un-connected during the crash. I tried to let everyone know that I was OK after the crash, but when I didn't get any replies, I bent down to adjust the radio. Seeing a slumped helmet in the car, everything thought I was out...ooops!

Yes, it will take quite a bit of money to get the car going again, as both right side suspensions are gone, rear wing, nose box, front wing, bell housing, and gearbox casing. Many teams would have no problem with this, as they have spares for everything, but it is a little harder for us.

The more I think about the car, and the way it handled all weekend, the more I think that maybe there is a problem with some of the pieces, which we will have checked out by the makers. Pretty lousy that all of this may have been caused by one or two bad parts, but, as I have been reminded, that is a part of racing.

Another bad disappointment was qualifying. I got myself pumped up, and once I got out there, the engine developed a miss...quite a bad miss, the entire way around the track. The battery had gone bad, and after replacing it, wouldn't you know, it was trashed in Friday's crash.

What else do I say? I did learn a lot, and actually had fun on the oval when the car wasn't working to bad, and met a few good people. I will race again, this year, and am due for some good fortunes.

Dana

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Dana LaLiberte                                          jmfangio@umich.edu
Dana LaLiberte Motorsports         http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jmfangio
Ann Arbor, Michigan                                    Kalamazoo, Michigan
Car #98                                    US FF2000 National Championship

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Series Other open wheel