Jump to content

Putnam Park 5/09 report?


Recommended Posts

Hey you all....come'on, give us some details. How was the event? I really wanna hear about GTS2, cried all weekend cuz I wasn't there. Sniff sniff...



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey you all....come'on, give us some details. How was the event? I really wanna hear about GTS2, cried all weekend cuz I wasn't there. Sniff sniff...






You should have done what I did.....put in a good 16 hours of work on your car each day!


....it took my mind off missing the first three races.


But, now that I'm back at my real job.....I want to hear the stories!


Damon in STL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There were about 7 gts-2 cars for the weekend. Scott Good won Sat and Jim Child won on Sun. I think the top 4 in qualifing were at or under 1:20. I Q'ed 4th on Sun and had a 1:20.3.


Jim Beat Scott on Sunday by about a fender!!!!!



It really was some great, exciting close racing and for GTS really clean with no incidents that I know of.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, so here's the scoop. My apologies for being long-winded.


Saturday there was rain all morning but for reasons unknown all the on-track sessions were dry (or at least dry enough). Sunday was cool but absolutely gorgeous all day. GTS ran with the big cars all weekend...CMC, AI/X, SU, and Factory Fives but we were the second start in the races both days.


Everybody agreed that the Factory Fives were (a) slow and (b) oblivious to passing cars so they provided the weekend's rolling chicanes.


Scott Berkowitz (GTS3) was the fast GTS qualifier both days with a 1:17 Saturday and a 1:16 that was not (quite) a track record but--damn. Jeff Herrmann (GTS5) qualified second both days. Scotty B won GTS overall on Saturday, beating Jeff by 0.149 seconds, which sounded close until Sunday's race. Korey Deason qualified 2nd in GTS3 but zinged his motor partway through the race leaving 2nd in GTS3 to Vince Ko who had a very nice run.


On Sunday, Scotty B was leading again when his fan belt let go, retiring him with 5 or so laps to go. Jeff Herrmann took the overall GTS win with Vince Ko taking the GTS3 win.


But, the real action of the weekend was in GTS2 (if I may say so). Saturday, I qualified first in class (4th GTS overall) with Korey to my right (3rd overall) and Vince directly behind him. At the start, it was like I was tied to a tree because Korey left, then Vince went by, then Mike Ward went by and then Brad Waite got most of the way by, all before turn 1. Eventually, after a few laps of work, I managed to get back in front and then pull out a bit (eventually taking Saturday's win) but the real battle in GTS2 was between Mike Ward and Brad Waite who went at it tooth-and-nail for the entirety of the race. Eventually Mike was 2nd, Brad 3rd.


That was good, but Sunday was better.


Consider that going into the weekend the GTS2 track record for Putnam was 1:19.306 and that Jim Child qualified first in GTS2 with a 1:19.233, followed by me (1:19.371), then Brad Waite (1:19.627), then Mike Ward (1:20.390) and you'll get an idea of how competitive it really was.


Jim started 4th overall while I was 5th, a row back, behind Vince Ko. On the run down to the first corner I was able to pull even with Jim but he wasn't giving up. In fact, the two of us went side-by-side through the first four turns of the track, neither giving ground. On the way up to turn 5, my inside line gave me the edge and we went single file as me, Jim, then Mike Ward, all behind Vince Ko driving with his hair on fire (OK, his head is shaved...go with me on this).


For several laps (3? 4? not sure) we all ran nose to tail--Vince, me, Jim, Mike--until coming up on, you guessed it, a Factory Five, Vince guessed the wrong side for the pass and the three of us freight-trained him, moving Vince from 3rd overall to 6th in about 50 yards.


With clear track ahead we were able to pick up the pace a touch and I pulled out a bit of a gap on Jim until more you-know-what traffic got in the way and suddenly he was literally right back on my bumper. Through the traffic, the gap between us widened again to the point where, 2 laps from the end, as I saw the flagger getting the white flag ready, Jim was about 5 seconds behind. Easy sailing.


I thought.


Coming into turn 7, the tightest turn on the track, there were yellow flags and a car off the track past the turn. As I clamped down in the braking zone, I found out why: Somebody had oiled the track. I spun, went off the track into the grass, and found myself sliding backward parallel to the track but, thankfully, with the motor still running. Knowing Jim there was no time to waste I managed to use the momentum of the car to get it to spin back the right way while putting it into first gear, then started the agonizingly slow crawl back onto the pavement as I watched my win drain away.


Just as my front tires touched asphalt Jim shot by. By the time I was back up to speed he had a several-second lead and, sure enough, the white flag flew. I was determined to do everything I could to catch him and while he drove a slightly cautious lap in deference to tires that had gone a bit off, I drove as hard as I could in every turn.


Coming into turn 7 again for the last time, Jim knew there was oil but wasn't sure where and, not wanting to repeat my previous lap's antics, entered cautiously. I, on the other hand, having slid through the oil on the left, could attack down the right (and hope it was clear). As we came out of 7, Jim and I were nose-to-tail.


I tried to out-brake him into 8 but he'd seen me coming and moved to cover. So, I crossed over the back, rotated, and tried to get in a position to go under him on the exit of 8. Jim's speed was good, though, and I couldn't get fully alongside. Into 9, the penultimate turn, I looked inside again but he'd covered that, so I tried to go around on the outside. If you've ever tried to pass Jim Child you'll know that didn't work. To complicate matters, all the way through 9 and 10 we were catching Paul Milligan who was struggling with corded tires and a missing splitter that kept him from his usual quick laps.


Exiting 10 onto the front straight I got a bit of a run on Jim and went down the outside behind Paul in a last-ditch effort to get past before the line. Ultimately, my surge ran out of steam and Jim won by about the length of his front fender (.096 seconds difference) in a really terrific drive. As consolation, in that last lap I managed to set a new GTS2 lap record of 1:18.642.


While I didn't win, I couldn't have asked for a more fun way to lose. We all drove HARD the whole race and to have it come down to less than 1/10th of a second at the line, well, you can't ask for a lot more than that.


So, the GTS2 podium Sunday was Jim Child, Scott Good, Mike Ward. Mike Statnick, a rookie, made a very nice drive to 5th after taking about 60lbs of BBs out of his car to get down to weight. We'll be seeing more of him soon, I'm sure.


I drove the 3-1/2 hours home with a huge grin on my face. Great racing, great fun, great company. I'm sorry for all of you who weren't there!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Scott - Great recap of the weekend. Let's say I learned an important lesson on managing traffic...BE DECISIVE! Those FFRs were an annoyance the entire weekend as they just didn't seem to be aware of anything around them in qualifying or the races. I made a lot of mistakes with most of them being non-commital when approaching lap traffic.


I have great video from Sunday's race when the three of you completely freight-trained me coming out of T8 as I was trying really hard not to punt the red FFR in front of me. I saw a gap between Jim Child and his pursuer but I did not want to stick my nose into the GTS2 fight when it was so close between the three of you.


My camera battery gave up midway into the Sunday race but I remember watching you exit T10 and thinking you had a chance at catching Jim at the line. It was SOOOOO close.


Great job to everyone on a fun, fast, and clean weekend. I look forward to being on track with all the GTS drivers again soon.

Edited by Guest
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow! Great recap Scott!


I was on the edge of my seat reading through the descriptions of the races...and final laps. Great job!


Congrats to everyone!


I really...really....really need to get my car finished...


Damon in STL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I watched Mike pass the silver audi (Jim I believe) between 9/10 just as an early checker was thrown because of the oil incident. The two of them were back and forth for a good part of the race and it was great to watch the GTS pack out there. If you saw the bb's that Scott is talking about rolling around in the passenger floorpan of Mike's car you'd wonder how he didn't go nuts!

Nice meeting a bunch of the GTS-2 guys this weekend. Hopefully see you guys again at Grattan, and if the stars align join you guys for mid-o in august.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...