Sunday, with some quick reflexes and creativity with the electrical system, Rob Pacione ran a lap in the Civic that tied the fastest lap of the day, however, we were down so many laps that, apart from us, I am not sure anyone noticed. Then the next gremlin hit. Fourth gear became more and more of a challenge to find until it simply disappeared. At that point it was time to call the car in and put it on the trailer. Everything that could have been done trackside had been attempted. Once home, it was discovered that when some welding had been done on the roll cage that it had damaged part of the wiring that ran nearby. That, my friends, is part of the game of racing.
The Miata was running strong throughout Friday and the weather, while it remained overcast, only let loose with a minor sprinkle. The first two drivers reported that the track was amazing and, while it took a bit to get used to, was absolutely incredible. The Azenis were great, inspired confidence in the car which was running flawlessly. John started, Sergio was next, and I took the third stint. None of us had driven WGI before, so the adrenaline was high. We were running in the top 25 when I took the wheel. You may be wondering why I have waited so long into the story to tell you about my driving. Perhaps it was because I was saving the best for last. Maybe because I was hoping you would not read this far. Ladies and gentlemen, I can tell you that when I hit the track it was awful. Have you ever seen a squirrel that got caught in traffic on a highway and did not know which way to turn but miraculously escaped unharmed? That is what I felt like. Picture me, coming past the end of the blend line and mixing it up with drivers who have been driving this track since they lost their baby teeth. Everyone under the sun passed me. I was a moving pylon. The only cars that did not pass me were black flagged off the track for driving too slow or were on the back of the flat bed. And I am pretty sure that at one point the flat bed came out onto the track – and it passed me too! I was absolutely schooled by everyone out there in that first lap. In my defense, remember that this was my first time at WGI and that apart from video I knew nothing of the track. I literally did not know what was around the next corner. I did not know what the corner needed. Who knew what the car could do, because I certainly did not have a clue. Plus I had come out cold into a mix of heavy traffic where everyone else it seemed was an F1 pilot. Talk about intimidating.