The last two weekends held host to the Barber Dodge Pro Series round's 9 and 10 in the 12 round series. The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course held the battlefield where the top 4 rookies within eight points dueled to the end hoping to secure every ...
The last two weekends held host to the Barber Dodge Pro Series round's 9 and 10 in the 12 round series. The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course held the battlefield where the top 4 rookies within eight points dueled to the end hoping to secure every possible position. Some shifting in points was inevitable but nonetheless to be altered again at Road America the following weekend.
I entered the Mid-Ohio race weekend just two points behind the rookie leader in second. I was confident heading into the race that I would take over the rookie lead as I had been in the top 4 on the time sheets in the previous 3 sessions entering the race and the leader had been in the back half of the field.
My coach had the CODi car set-up for the race with oversteer in anticipation of the car ending with a slight understeer. Unfortunately, we overshot a little too much. With the ill-handling car in the beginning, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Sepp Koster both got by early on. I held station in 6th when we went double-yellow and then on the restart, I went to pass Alex Sperafico in the keyhole where I got squeezed off the road a little resulting in two positions being lost. I then gathered the car up and within a few laps I went to pass Marc Breurs for 6th and was unable to make it stick. I found myself battling with Leo Maia through turns 7, 8, 9 and 10. Unfortunately, heading into turn 10, I found myself half a car length ahead and then in the air almost flipping as my left rear came into contact with his right front. Having suffered some damage, I limped the car home for the rest of the way with disappointment.
Instead of entering the following weekend at Road America with about a five-point lead, I was 7 points behind and in 4th place for the rookies with just 3 races to go. In provisional qualifying with just 5 minutes left in the session I had the quickest time but on the last lap 3 drivers just slid by. That put me 4th just like Mid-Ohio but with one more qualifying session to go. On the first flying lap, I was pushed off in the brake zone by Sara Senske which ended my run.. Fortunately, only one driver that I out qualified the previous session was able to top my time. That put me back to fifth with my rookie contender, Jon Morley, jolting himself from 13th to 2nd.
As I knew heading into the weekend, Road America would be a place of side-by-side action into brake zones and corners with race craft being crucial. This was demonstrated on the first lap with myself going side by side on the outside in turn 1 which resulted in my gain and then 3 wide into turn 3 as I was in the middle squashed between Nicolas Rondet and Jon Morley. We were very lucky to make it as Rondet and I continued side by side down to turn 5 where he was able to beat me to the braking zone with Morley right behind. A few laps later, Matt Plumb suffered some wing damage which I tried to take full advantage of while attempting an outside pass into turn 5 which resulted with me being pushed off and then bombarded by 4 drivers behind me. Up to turn 6, I tried to save one position as Ryan Hunter-Reay and I went side by side and again resulting with me sliding off. Down into Canada corner on that same lap I was able to get a run and draft enabling myself to pass Ryan, Morley, and Plumb back again with some more side by side action with me on the outside but this time making it stick. Marc Bruers later spun in front of me and I almost got collected and regained 4th place. As the white flag flew, I was on the gearbox of Rondet but could not pull up beside him to challenge him on the brakes. So, that's where I was to finish and gained six points on the rookie leader and back up to 2nd in the chase a mere one point behind.
Next round is on the streets of Vancouver on September 1st.
Davy Cook #16 CODi/Reynard-Dodge