|The competition in the ST class is very close but our C360R Civics are fast. Kyle was able to battle for the lead during the opening stages of the race.|
First practice was very good for the Civic and we ran P1 which is a great way to start the year! When we race at Daytona we use a modified version of the circuit which combines the Oval (think Jeff Gordon) and the road course infield (think drunken Motorhomes full of fans) We ended up leading two of the practice sessions and only suffered a minor setback where one of the Snuffleupagus* tubes or brake ducts as they're more commonly known, was filled with debris and we over roasted a couple of brake pads.
|With so much time spent on the Daytona banking, it's a real tradeoff between the turbo cars with lots of horsepower, and the 'handling' cars which are good in the infield.|
My teammate Kyle Gimple qualified us in 5th spot and our game plan was to save the brakes and be there at the end. And that's exactly what we did. Unfortunately, our good friend and teammate David Thilenius was involved and a crash and had to go to the hospital with some broken ribs. He's expected to make a full recovery and we'll miss him these next few races.
|It's pretty common to have a lot of cautions because the racing is so close. Luckily, Kyle handed the car over to me in perfect shape.|
With about 45 minutes left in the race we found ourselves working through the top 5 until we were P2 behind a very fast and slighty Feckless* Nissan. In fact the Nissan was so quick in a straight line that we couldn't keep in its draft! Yikes!
|This is about what the ST-battle looked like throughout the whole race.|
With about 15 minutes left the 81 BMW of Greg Liefooghe stopped for fuel and fresh tires and was having a massive run through the field and with 4 laps to go was passing his teammate Seth Thomas and was now on my bumper. Greg managed to draft past me with 3 laps to go and I followed suit and drafted back past him on the apron of the oval across the start finish line into turn 1! Great stuff and we never touched once!
|And this is what the finish looked like – although it was the no. 81 BMW, not the no. 82 BMW, that I was pushing in the final laps.|
At this point the Nissan had just left the rest of the field behind so it was best of the rest, Honda vs BMW. Greg slid past me into turn 5 and I honestly didn't mind because I wanted the draft to the finish line on the last lap. We went flying into the bus stop chicane the final turn before the oval back to the line. I had a bit better run than the 3 series coming out and I tucked right up on his bumper and waited to make my move to slingshot past just like you see in NASCAR.