Any competition event opens room for discussion and debate. ChumpCar is no exception with the chatting happening before, during, and after the event. Of course, when it happens during the event Sal and Chris are happy to point out that, if you are in the impound box, they will debate and argue with you all day long. However, the impound time clock for the penalty will not start until you stop talking! During race season Sal and Wendy, a team in life as well as a ChumpCar team, are going non-stop. Responding to emails from participants and potential participants means being on their computer for several hours daily for two or three weeks preceding a race weekend. Arranging for all of the items required for two days of endurance racing (See my article about Lapping Day Organizer and then multiply it in complexity by quite a bit) and you can understand that they are busy. No sooner is one endurance weekend complete than they are planning the next – at a different track, with different needs and expectations, and they do it all with a smile on their faces. Well Done!
At CMP our team consisted of myself, John Dattomo, Pat Talenti, and Rob Pacione. Rob is consistently fast – I have to say that up front and put it out on the table. On Saturday's Full Track event John, the car's owner, ran first with 30 laps and a fast lap of 2:41, Rob was out second and in his 31 laps ran a best of 2:37, I was out third and did a 2:40 over my 42 laps, and Pat did 2:40 during the final stint of the day. Unfortunately, the Mazda came in before the end of the race as it was trying to shake itself apart.
We did a great deal of maintenance Saturday evening and were well prepared for Sunday. During 76 laps of the East Track Rob's average time in our Miata was 1:27.8 and his fast time was 1:26.1. He did multiple laps at the same pace – in traffic! For comparison sake, my fast lap was 1:28.0 with my average time over 62 laps being 1:30.8 (of course, for statistical purposes I removed the lap where I connected with the tire wall). I truly think I was suffering from a bit of heat exhaustion or dehydration from Saturday – I was pushing hard to gain ground but was also making careless errors on the track. I pulled myself into the pits before I did something major. Pat ran 60 laps and started off our Sunday with a fast lap of 1:27.7 and an average time of 1:28.7 while John had a fast lap of 1:27.3 and an average time of 1:29.6 over his 69 laps.