SBRS: Laguna Seca: Craig Baltzer race report

CMC Racing Monterey California: March 9, 2002 Mazda Raceway in Laguna Seca- 2.23 Mile Road Course Round 1 of the Formula Dodge National Championship Series Bettendorf, IA. March 12, 2002- Craig Baltzer kicked off his 2002 Skip Barber Formula...

CMC Racing
Monterey California: March 9, 2002
Mazda Raceway in Laguna Seca- 2.23 Mile Road Course
Round 1 of the Formula Dodge National Championship Series

Bettendorf, IA. March 12, 2002- Craig Baltzer kicked off his 2002 Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship campaign this past weekend at Mazda Raceway in Monterey California. Fresh off his selection in the Barber-CART Karting Scholarship Run-offs, Baltzer was 15th after qualifying on Saturday. Throughout the 30 minute race Craig managed to make up 4 positions to finish 11th, and score 5 valuable points in the Championship. Baltzer posted a fastest time of 1:39.675 which was 6th fastest lap of the race.

Craig:
"Overall I am fairly pleased with my result today. I missed part of the setup in qualifying. I tried softening the front of the car a little and giving it more front brake bias. I found out pretty quickly that the level of grip didn't support the amount of front bias I had dialed in, the result was that I would lock the fronts much too easily. This forced me to increase my braking zones which I'm sure hurt my qualifying performance a little. There is so much to learn its tough knowing what's most important and will be most beneficial for me. All I know for sure is that the more I learn the faster I'll go. I'm happy with an 11th place finish for my very first National Championship race and to still have 12 more races in which to improve is very encouraging. A special thanks to Skip Barber, Dodge, Michelin, RACER Magazine, Lakefront Technologies, and Socal Decal Works for making this happen".

CMC Racing
Monterey California: March 10, 2002
Mazda Raceway in Laguna Seca- 2.23 Mile Road Course
Round 2 of the Formula Dodge National Championship Series

Track conditions for Sunday were much different. Qualifying was run under a combination of light showers and fog. Usually comfortable in wet conditions, Craig found himself in an uncharacteristic 24th place on the grid after the 35-minute session. This was in part, due to a slight engine cut out. Since there was no time to diagnose the problem it was decided to have Craig switch cars. The feature began on a quickly drying track. In the new car Baltzer found himself trading places in the middle of a six car battle eventually landing in 19th place and posting the 14th fastest time of the day.

Craig:
"Today has been a pretty tough day. I did get some very valuable experience in wet conditions which is good, but my qualifying position hurt the whole day. I've learned that in this series qualifying is one of the most important parts. The level of competition is very high and fairly consistent from one end of the field to the other. Its important to be able to quickly make the right choices for qualifying and lay down a good time. The competition is just so tight that it's hard to make up much ground or gain a lot of positions during the race. Unfortunately this race confirmed just that. I'm somewhat disappointed with my result today but I have to expect this once in a while. This weekend was a whole new experience for me, a new series, new drivers, only my second actual car race and my first time at Laguna, plus learning about adjusting the roll bars for the first time. It all goes back to that little thing called experience and there's just no shortcut for it. For now I just have to be patient and do my homework, once I settle in and find the groove I know the results will come".

-cb-

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Skip Barber