The month long break in the racing season has reminded me of what it is like to be a normal teenager – sort of. I am back in school now (I’m a senior) and my hybrid, e-learning schedule is keeping me exceptionally busy but allowing me to continue to concentrate on my racing too. I am happy to report that I was able to return from the racing break and put up great results in rounds 10 through 12 of the FRP F1600 Championship at Summit Point Raceway in Summit Point, West Virginia.
More than anything, it was a lot of fun to get back in the car. And despite the absence of track time, I was able to show quick pace out of the gate. I was very comfortable with the car from the first practice which showed in my lap times. This momentum carried over to qualifying and I was able to put the car on the front row for race one.
During race one I went back and forth with another car for the lead most of the race. My strategy was to make clean passes that would not slow us down in an attempt to gap the rest of the field. Unfortunately the draft was too strong and kept the following cars near us. Once the third, fourth and fifth place cars got close enough, they fought me for position, which slowed me down just enough to allow the leader to break the draft. Towards the end of the race, I was able to control the group and hold on to second place. I had strong pace which resulted in me clocking the fastest lap of the race, but not enough for the win.
I started the second race from the top spot. Again, I was able to show fast pace and take early control of the race. I led all but 5 laps of the race. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough to break the draft. I led coming to the white flag, but lost the lead on the final lap and ran out of time to regain it. I ended up on the bottom step on of the podium in 3rd place just missing the win by .01.
Race three, I started a little further back in P6. But, I made quick work of positions and by lap 2 I had made my was up to second place. Two laps later I took the lead. I again led for most of the race, with passes back and forth every so often. Unfortunately at the end of the race, I had fallen back to third again with a close finish, this time missing 1st place by only .05.
Even though I wasn’t able to bring home a win from Summit Point, I still had a very successful weekend. I kept my streak alive by delivering my 7th podium in a row- proving the consistency of the RiceRace team. I was also able to move up to second in championship points. With 2 events and 6 races remaining, it is shaping up to be a close championship between me and my teammate, Simon. Plus, the close racing was amazing. I had a great time!