Feb18-20 – VIR – NASA – Part1

Mary writes …

The first event for 2011! Kyle was scheduled for comp school to start the new season and I was signed
up for time trials. The plan for me this year is to try to walk away as the 2011 Mid-Atlantic TTB champ!!

Kyle and Barry Battle headed down on Thursday night – he had comp school on Friday. I decided to work and get there in the evening, missing out on Friday’s open track day.

I was so excited for this event after what seemed to be a long wait during the winter (although
technically it was only about 9 or 10 weeks!). However, I was disappointed to learn that I was the only
one running in the TTB class- no one to compete with, and not able to win any tires!

I shook off the dust on Saturday; only doing 2:16 laps when my previous best was a 2:15 last year. I was
getting back up to speed and relearning the track. Kyle passed his comp school and had his 1st race on
Saturday taking 2nd place behind Josh Smith!! Way to go Kyle!! We head off to the awards banquet
after having our own BBQ at the trailer in the paddock along with some cold Coronas.

I push my way through the crowd being prepared to take photos of Kyle getting his 2nd place award
when much to my surprise, I hear MY name announced as taking 1st place in TTB! What?? I didn’t
realize they gave out awards when there is only 1 person competing! LOL. Oh well, I guess I still get to
chalk that up as a victory towards my year end goal! As a joke, I posted the plaque photo on facebook
and was mortified when the continuous congrats started rolling in over the next 24 hours! OMG- how
embarrassing but I had to just let it go….

Day 2- I manage to run a 2:15 during my 2nd session before lunch but I have my eye on doing a new
record of 2:14 before going home. The day seemed to drag a bit, having almost 5 hours to kill until I
return to the track. Kyle has a big 40 minute race in the afternoon. This was my opportunity to learn
the radios. Barry worked the start/finish line and I stood at the fence at T10 (remember this!). Here I
had a view of the ess’s, around oak tree, and most of the back straight. I would be able to give Kyle a
heads up should there be any incidents in those areas. I couldn’t imagine how exhausting it would be to
race for 40 minutes! Kyle does a fantastic job battling through this race, taking 3rd place as a rookie! I
am sure that he will share the details of his experiences.

I am now heading out for what will be my last session at 4:00, knowing that we plan to leave quickly
after I come off track and change my wheels.

Not so much… I was elated when I looked down after my 2nd lap and actually saw 2:14.3!! My best
time ever and goal for the weekend!! Hmmm…if I did that, then I must be able to find .4 seconds more
somewhere on the track to make it to 2:13. Eric Wong did a 2:13 in my car last fall so I know that it
is possible. I’m going for it!! I travel up the ess’s feeling like I am really pushing it as I feel the car get
light here and there. I had felt previously that I was over braking into T10 AND if you remember, I
watching the race from this point of view so I felt that I could carry much more speed through here. I
do a quick tap of the brake and get on the gas a quick as I can. Well, just as I am approaching the track
out, I realize that the rear got light again and I started to spin. The whole thing happened so fast that

I’m not really sure exactly how it went down but as soon as I hit the grass there was no stopping. I went
sliding sideways and right into the tire wall on the passenger side to left of the track. O-M-G! Did that
just happen?? Once I stopped and realized that I just crushed my car, I beat up the steering wheel and
yelled several choice words! The EMT/Tow arrived to drag me back. I was so embarrassed and feared
the shame of my car being paraded around the paddock for all to see my screw up! Ugh!

I felt much better when it was clear that everyone wanted to make sure that I was okay and assured me
that it has also happened to most of them as well!

Against all odds, Kyle and Barry randomly had spare parts (a much needed tie rod), and banged out the
wheel wells to make it possible for Kyle to drive it home 2 hours later. We all did get a good laugh at
how it appeared to other drivers on the highway; all smashed in down the right side.

So we did an evaluation last night to see what it will take to get my car put back together and ready for
the next March event—thankfully I am not experiencing a fear to get back in the seat but rather cannot
wait to go for that 2:13 again!!


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