GT Daytona McLaren 720S GT3
- Paul Holton
- Matt Plumb
Championship contender looks ahead to World Challenge season finale at Sears Point.
Lexington, OH - I’m finally starting to dry out after the rain-soaked race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. By any standards, just finishing a race in the rain at Mid-Ohio is an accomplishment.
As Andy Pilgrim put it: “It’s a tribute to the guys out there that we went green for most of the race with one yellow, I don’t know any other series that could manage to get 50-plus cars around the race track in those conditions at Mid-Ohio and have one yellow. I think everybody deserves some credit for that.”
Indeed, Mid-Ohio is one of those tracks that uses a slippery-when-wet sealer on certain parts of the track, and running the outside edge a foot away from the grass in every corner is a necessary, but nerve-racking experience. Add 50+ cars of various speeds into the mix, and you’ve got a pretty intense racing situation.
I have to give my Compass360 Racing crew a lot of credit for setting up my NKN/SafeRacer Honda Civic Si for Round 11 on Sunday – it behaved very well in the rain and allowed me to make passes on GT and GTS cars throughout the race in route to another victory in Touring Car (not to mention an excellent second place result for my teammate Ryan Winchester in his Ligon sponsored Honda).
In Round 10 on Saturday the car was handling well, but we’re at a straightline speed disadvantage to the turbo cars – it’s a frustrating situation for sure, but we are told we’ll see some performance balancing to equalize things.
If you’ve been following closely, you’ve probably noticed some discontent from some teams with the performance balancing of the cars in each class. I don’t envy the guys at WC that have to make the tough decisions, but I do believe their intentions are to make the series as competitive as it can be. Having raced in many different series, I can safely say that my first season in World Challenge has been a very fun and competitive experience, and I hope to have the opportunity to be back next season.
At Mid-Ohio we made up some points on the championship leader (and my good friend) Michael Cooper and we’re only 101 points back with three rounds to go at Sonoma Raceway in a few weeks. Honda is leading the Manufacturer’s Championship, and Compass360 is leading the Team Championship.
The event at Sonoma will once again be split with GT/GTS and TC/TCB (B-Spec) running separate races. This of course means TC will be the faster class on track with the B-Spec cars, adding another element of passing slower class cars in the races. I’m hoping to find a ride in the GT/GTS race as well and pull double duty on the weekend.
As part of my partnership with National Kart News, I’ve been writing articles for the magazine about the transition from karting to cars, and my first issue showed up in my mailbox this week. I started racing karts when I was 10, and it was a great learning experience at an early age that has had a significant influence on my performance in cars. If you’re a race fan (any age) and want to get involved in racing, I highly recommend karting as a family-friendly, inexpensive way to get on track. I have a lot of good memories from my karting days, and still keep in touch with a lot of the friends I made at the kart tracks.
Please stop by the Compass360 paddock in Sonoma and say hello if you’re at the race!
- Todd Lamb (follow @toddspeed on Twitter)