Qualifying: 3rd (Gen 2) Race 1: DNF (Gen 3) Race 2: 11th (Gen 3)
The team prepared as much as possible for our endeavor to Alton, Virginia. We checked everything on the car, re-packed the wheel bearings, and brought the car to Duane Neyer Motorsports to get a perfect set-up that would work well at the tricky circuit. We arrived late Thursday night, and used Friday to go over the car again, get some new tires, and mentally prepare for the weekend ahead. However, the weekend would prove to have many surprises.
Saturday morning, Quentin ventured onto the VIR circuit for the first time to complete his qualifying session. The track proved to be a much different challenge compared to the other tracks the team have visited. Quentin struggled to get to grips with the track in his 15 minute session, but bigger problems arose in the pitlane. As Quentin finished the qualifying session, the engine started overheating as the car started losing coolant. The car barely managed to make it into the pitlane before stalling as it lost most of its coolant. After further examination, the team determined the engine had a coolant leak due to faulty radiator caps, and the head gasket was gone. The rest of the weekend was put in jeopardy, as the only logical option was to replace the engine.
Fortunately, another team helped keep Quentin on track by lending the team a car. We can not thank Hagerman Racengineering enough for the help and support they provided to keep Quentin on track. The car they lent us was a Gen 3 SRF, which is quite a bit faster than our Gen 2 which Quentin usually pilots around tracks. This was a great opportunity to see if Quentin would be competitive in the larger, more modern Gen 3 class. So the team got the temporary race machine prepped for the Saturday sprint race. Quentin started the race in 23rd overall and made his way up to 14th overall before a harmless spin and an mildly overheating engine cut his race short. The race was a great learning experience, as Quentin got a much better flow around the track and re-acquainted himself with the Gen 3 class.
Sunday morning started with another qualifying session, but this time Quentin was able to qualify in the Gen 3 which gave him a chance start in a much better position than he did in the Saturday race. Unfortunately, the car didn’t respond well to the cold track conditions, and Quentin only managed to qualify in 17th overall. Although this was much better than 23rd, it was not the position the team hoped to attain. The team worked hard to improve the car for the Sunday race, as Quentin gathered some information from the other drivers on how to quickly navigate the tricky circuit.
The Sunday race proved to be wild, as Quentin moved up from 17th to 11th overall (5th in class). Quentin was able to set competitive lap times that were similar to the front runners and battled for 9th overall in the final laps before making a mistake on the last lap and settling for 11th. Overall, the team learned a lot over the course of the weekend. We also got to enjoy the beautiful scenery surrounding the track. Virginia International Raceway should be on every racers’ bucket list, and we are thankful we got the opportunity to visit it and become fairly competitive by the end of the weekend. Thank you again to Hagerman Racengineering for keeping us on track. Thank you to Duane Neyer Motorsports, Venturi Motorsport Management, and all of our supporters for being faithful and always lending a helping hand. We’ll be back on track in a few weeks at Sebring, so stay tuned as our Summer season ramps up! Don't forget to catch the entire Sunday race below!