Dana's Mid Ohio racing preview

SCCA National at Mid-Ohio This will be my first week back racing after crashing at Disney earlier in the year. It will also be a weekend of other firsts for me. This will be the first weekend on Goodyear tires for me since moving up...

SCCA National at Mid-Ohio

This will be my first week back racing after crashing at Disney earlier in the year. It will also be a weekend of other firsts for me.

This will be the first weekend on Goodyear tires for me since moving up to Formula 2000. I have run the Pro Series Spec-Yokohamas since I have moved up, in order to get used to the harder tire for the pro races. The Goodyear tire is widly known as a better tire however, and I am very interested in seeing if there is a performance difference.

This will also be the first weekend that I have gone into a SCCA National seriously with this car. Last year I could not imagined that this year would have gotten off to such a bad start as I experienced, so I took the SCCA Nationals that I entered (only two) more as a test day than a race (I didn't even show up for practice or qualifying at one...having run a Pre race the day before). VanDiemen has put together a decent contingency program that rewards good SCCA National finishes, and I really need to get with it and learn how to win again.

I am excited about my chances at Mid-Ohio this weekend. Last year we had a shunt in the rain at a Mid-Ohio SCCA National earily in the season, but I think that we performed quite well at the Pro race in August. We skipped the practice day due to a shortage of money, and went through only one set of tires during the entire weekend, but we ran in the top twenty for most of the race before I messed up on a re-start and dropped to 21st with a couple laps remaining.

I have learned much about my set-ups over the winter, however, and feel that I can finally make the car better at its weak points from last year. We have technically evolved specifically in the areas of shock absorber tuning and ride height awareness.

Unfortunately we won't be receiving the help from our engineer at Disney, but I have sat with him on possible set-up problems, and will attempt to tune the chassis using everything that he has taught me. I might not be as good as an Indy car engineer (which he is) but I might be better than some of my competitors.

Practice and qualifying will be held on Saturday, with the race on Sunday. I will give you the details on Monday or Tuesday.

If everything goes well this weekend, our next race will be the June Sprints at Road America on June 13-15th. We will possibly have two SCCA Nationals in July before entering the USFF2000 Pro Races at Mid-Ohio and Watkins Glen in August.

Then we will be totally broke. :)

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 SCCA