Global Time Attack – Round 1 – Road Atlanta
By Wes Dumalski
Quality images by Sarah Forst and mediocre shots by Wes Dumalski
Attacking time is a funny thing… All sorts of things happen during these 2 day race weekends and no one knows what mother nature or Newton has in store for us. This past weekend at Road Atlanta both of these personas had a chance to show us who's boss and utterly prove that we are in control of very little. In this case the Saturday forecast brought likely promises of rain and when the teams hit the track to sunny skies they were in a fury to set down fast laps as no one knew (not even the weather people; do they ever?) what would unfold. As luck would have it the rain held off and as teams pushed ever further it was Newton who would prevail on this day. Through 11 wins in a row and numerous track records the Professional Awesome EVO VII would turn its last laps in anger, its life cut short by Road Atlanta.
|The PA Evo would have issues Friday that kept them from turning in a fast lap the entire day. They would work to sort out their tune issues to return Saturday to see what they were capable of.
After pushing hard in the afternoon session 4 PA driver Daniel O'Donnell would turn his fastest lap of the weekend and better their previous time at this track. The very next session he would find himself carrying too much speed into turn one and getting loose. After dipping two, he careened across the track and smashed the passenger side of the car. It was a very hard impact to the rear wheel area that buckled the chassis and shattered suspension parts. As the wrecker pulled around with the battered EVO VII on its back, I swear I heard the sound of taps playing in the distance; blown in from the heavens by a zephyr. Dan was taken in by track medical and asked to perform various tasks to test his vitals and coherency; the teams good karma no doubt assisted in letting Dan walk away physically unscathed. The paddock was near silent and despite the fact that PA would win their class and turn the fastest time in that segment, it was a bittersweet victory that closed one book only to open another.
The video below was provided by the Professional Awesome Team. We show this at their request and to serve as a reminder that accidents are not a matter of if, but when! We always preach safety here at MIQ and thankfully Professional Awesome feels the same way.
I realize that this introduction sets a low tone and acknowledges very little with respect to the others that were present and racing, and this is not meant to leave them out in any way. The desired outcome of this text is that the end reader take away that when something like this happens, nothing matters but the driver involved in the crash! The same feeling loomed over the paddock like a fog late Saturday and despite handing out awards, checks, and spraying champagne; we all felt a bit off. The pick me up was the display of camaraderie between fellow racing souls and when one is down we reach out to lift them back up; for how that happened we need to return to the beginning of the weekend.
|Global Time Attack headquarters! All session times are posted here and this is where racers register and get their required decal packages including number plates, windshield banners, and sponsor stickers. Competitors at this round received MotoIQ license plate frames!
Round 1 of the Global Time Attack Series kicked off on May 10th and 11th at Road Atlanta. For this event GTA would be sharing the track with Formula Drift and that would bring a lot of eyes on the time attack cars. For those of you not familiar with Road Atlanta it is a big boy course featuring 2.54 miles and 12 turns with some of the best elevation changes of any track in the US. This is a very fast track and those unfamiliar with it would have to spend some time “getting to know her” before they went “flat out”.
|Kevin and Nik From K Parlett Racing and SOHO Motorsports discuss setup before heading out Friday morning. This was the first time the car would see the track since it's accident at the same event last year.