Ward Imrie of Winnipeg, Manitoba, scored fifth and tenth-place finishes at the Putnam Park Road Course in the Formula Dodge National Championship, May 11-12. In a pair of races at the Indiana track, west of Indainapolis, Imrie guided a ...
Ward Imrie of Winnipeg, Manitoba, scored fifth and tenth-place finishes at the Putnam Park Road Course in the Formula Dodge National Championship, May 11-12. In a pair of races at the Indiana track, west of Indainapolis, Imrie guided a less-than-perfect car to two respectable finishes.
In qualifying for the first race, Imrie posted a time of 1m 16.029s, the seventh fastest trip around the 2.842km (1.766 mile) road course. He managed to improve his time to 1m 15.673s in the second qualifying session, but actually found himself further down the grid, in tenth, as the field got faster as a whole. Imrie reported that he suffered with understeer throughout the weekend, a condition that makes it nearly impossible to hustle a race car. The cars and drivers were very closely-matched, however, and an improvement of just one-tenth of a second would have put Imrie four places further up the grid for race two.
At the start of race one, Imrie fell back to tenth and the speed-sapping understeer made it nearly impossible to move up. "I couldn't make a pass unless someone made a mistake," he reported. "All I could really do was keep my car in the race by not making mistakes myself."
Imrie hung tough and kept his car on the track, but that task proved not so easy for others. A string a spins and crashes by his competitors saw Imrie promoted to fifth by the end of the race.
Imrie's car handled a little better for the second race, but still did not have the balance he needed. Understeer still prevented him from battling on equal terms and, with the front runners mindful not to throw away their races this time, he could do no more than hold station in tenth place all the way to the checkered flag.
"It was an okay weekend," Imrie said, "But I wish I did better. Luckily, I didn't lose out too badly on points because a lot of the guys high up in the standings didn't finish the first race. The championship is still up for grabs and I'm right in the mix."
While in the neighbourhood of North America's hub of motorsports, drivers from the Formula Dodge National Championship took in as much as they could. Pac West Racing opened its shop doors for a tour, giving the aspiring racers a glimpse at the cars many of them hope to race in a few years. They also paid two visits to Indianapolis Motor Speedway to view practice and qualifying sessions for this year's Indianapolis 500. Imrie was impressed.
"It was awesome!" he said. "We walked around the garage area and even went right onto pit road while the sessions were running."
Imrie is currently sixth in the Formula Dodge National Championship and his next outing is June 13-15 at Indianapolis Raceway Park.