Thursday, 7am alarm goes off, time to get up, get some breakfast, head over to the track and deal with Orlando’s intense heat and humidity… oh wait, we need a sweater, that’s weird. Whether it was because of the date changes this year (switching the Orlando and Atlanta rounds) or we just got lucky, it seemed that this time we were not going to be overwhelmed by Florida’s typical heat and humidity.
We were feeling confident about our power steering setup this time as all the issues from Long Beach were fixed now, we went out to the track and the car was feeling great, we were able to get that infamous bank-into-midfield drop dialed in on our coilovers pretty early in practice and work on dialing in the rest of the car. We were having some slight over heating issues once in a while but nothing major and they can be attributed to the heat, even though it’s not the hottest we’ve seen here, it was definitely taking its toll on the engine.
We matched last round’s qualifying ending up again on the 21st spot which put us up against one of the fastest drivers on the grid, Kristaps Bluss, so we knew it was going to be a tough battle to make it into the Top 16.
On the chase run against Kristaps we weren’t able to jump the start properly to initiate side by side so a gap was created right away putting us at a disadvantage. Now we knew we had to run a killer lead lap in order to compensate, so Jeff did what he knows best and went all out. We had a good line all around but Kristaps was doing a good job at keeping proximity, on the infield we put some distance between us but on the second outer zone the unexpected happened, our belt fell off making Jeff straighten out and handing Kristaps the win.
It just goes to show that when things go bad, they can go bad in the worst possible moment. We didn’t have belt issues all weekend but somehow we lost one when it mattered the most. We will keep our heads down and focus on the next round which is almost everybody’s favorite track, Atlanta here we go!