VW Jetta: AJNR/Brimtek Autobahn race notes

AJNR/Brimtek - Another Top Five Finish Today in Round 6 of the VW Jetta TDI Cup at the Autobahn Country Club! Hello Again Family, Friends and Fans! A good result for me today with another top 5 finish in Round 6 of the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup...

AJNR/Brimtek - Another Top Five Finish Today in Round 6 of the VW Jetta TDI Cup at the Autobahn Country Club!

Hello Again Family, Friends and Fans!

A good result for me today with another top 5 finish in Round 6 of the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, IL.

Day started off a little later in the day at around 8 AM where it was time to fuel up my body for the race. On the menu for breakfast today included an egg and cheese casserole, onions, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and muffins, oh my! A couple cups of the Kona blend extra bold coffee and I was all jittery and ready to go.

After our debrief with the technicians and SCCA driver's meeting, we suited up and hopped in the cars to get ready for our 30 minute race on this beautiful, sunny day with temperatures in the mid-eighties. A nice respite from the 100+ degree heat we're getting on the east coast.

After our warm-up laps, we gridded our cars on the front straight. I would be taking the standing start on the inside of row 3, the preferred line going into T1. After we lined up, the starting lights quickly lit up, we revved our clean diesel engines, the lights went out, and we were off! Got a great jump on Chris Wehrheim who was starting in the fourth position and we were side by side going into T1, but as we entered the braking zone for T2, Chris held onto his position. I settled back into the 5th spot where there was some dicing going on at the pointy end of the field between Wyatt Gooden, Kevin Gleason, JD Mobley and Chris Wehrheim. There were some aggressive moves going on between them and after a couple laps, Chris and JD got together going into the last corner of the track. Prior to the incident, there were a few other cars off course from other carnage further back in the pack and it brought out a full course yellow about 10 minutes into the race. As a result of JD's off road excursion, I moved up to 4th.

The restart was quite interesting. We had two laps under caution and this was eating into our 30 minute racing window. On the second lap under caution, Chris Wehrheim clearly had a problem. I could smell and see tire smoke coming from the left front of his car. As a result of the contact between him and JD, he ended up with a flat tire. By T12, the tire actually came off the wheel. He was driving around with an aluminum wheel on the left front of his car. The lights were out on the pace car and I assumed as we came around he would pull into the pits before the restart. But he didn't. As a result of his slow moving vehicle, Wyatt Gooden, who was in first at the time, took off as the green flag flew. Kevin Gleason and Jarvis Gennari had to check up due to Chris' limping car. This killed my momentum at the start and wasn't able to gain any positions and no one had a fighting chance to catch Wyatt.

With only a handful of laps left, I was in defensive mode trying to hang onto the fourth position with Jake Thompson right on my bumper the whole time. I had over driven the car earlier in the race and the grip just wasn't there anymore. On the second to last lap, Jake got a great run on me going into T16 and we were side by side for four consecutive turns. Never made car contact and fought each other extremely hard. In the end, Jake got the position and had to settle for 5th once we crossed the finish line on the next lap.

It was a tough battle but am extremely happy with another top 5 finish. Unfortunately, I didn't move up in the points standings and am currently still in 8th overall. But if some other top drivers have issues this season and I can stay consistent, you never know what might happen! A big congrats to Wyatt on his second consecutive win! The rookies swept the podium with Jarvis Gennari and Kevin Gleason grabbing 2nd and 3rd respectively.

A big bummer for the weekend had to be the absence of veteran Roy Thompson and his son, Roy Jr. The ride situation never worked out and was never able to make it out during the weekend. Feel extremely bad for the unfortunate situation that he had to go through but hope he can make it out to another race in the future.

I can't thank everyone enough for the outpouring of support.  It's the
motivation I need to keep going.  Thank you all!

The next race on the schedule will take place at the incredibly fast, 4.1 mile circuit called Road America. This is nestled just outside the very scenic Elkhart Lake, WI. This is a double header weekend for us during the American Le Mans Series weekend. Thousands of fans will be in attendance and can't wait to head out there. It's one of my favorite tracks and had great success there last year with a 2nd place finish.

Until next time, take care and talk soon!
    AJ Nealey

-source: www.ajnealeyracing.com

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About this article
Series SCCA
Drivers Chris Wehrheim , Wyatt Gooden , Jarvis Gennari , Kevin Gleason , Jake Thompson