I started off my first run on Friday with a big spin. The following runs leading up to lunch time were very similar.
After lunch I was sitting with Ryan Clemens and he was saying that there were so many people being pussy's coming into the first corner. I decided that I didn't want to be a pussy so I manned up and came hauling in at 60+ mph and nailed the entire course. From there, things just got better.
So Saturday was the competition. I did my 4 practice runs trying to get more speed into the first corner and trying to link the LONG ass straight. Since the Judges were judging the drivers and not the cars, it wasn't a huge deduction of points to link it, but it defiantly helped. I never managed to make it.
So qualifying started. My first run I had what I like to call a "dead spin" coming out of turn to trying to link the straight. My second run I came really close to linking it, but my handbrake doesn't work so I didn't think I'd be able to make the following corner so I straighted to gain speed to finish the track. My last run I was hauling ass through the sweeper at nearly full lock and since it is decreasing radius, while I was slowing for the final corner I got myself into another dead spin.
Everyone else did their qualifying runs and by the last driver it started to rain heavily.
After a long wait with ZERO anticipation they call the drivers meeting. Everyone sits down and Ryan yell's "Brian! Do you have door bars?" Instantly my heart started pounding with a reply "Yeah!". I saw a lot of heads turn around.
So it turned out that they were picking top 8 instead of top 16 due to the lack of cars with cages and I qualified 8th!
Now I have done a lot of driving over the past 4-5 years, but this was only my 2nd track event, and my first event with the Z. The first event at DD14 I was a total mess and I would rather not talk about it.
So needless to say I have zero track experience let alone tandem experience and they put me up against the top qualifier Mike Pollard. Now the thing about Mike is he has got a RB powered S13 making loads of power and he can drive the shit out of this thing! He really had just been doing amazing all weekend.
Before the tandem I nervously asked Mike for some pointers and understandably he didn't have much to say since there was $1,000 on the line and I'm competing against him.
First run Mike leads and he took off fairly slow because of all the rain. We get into the first corner and I'm riding him pretty good, through the second I switched back just a hair too hard and had a spin. Fortunately he spun shortly after.
Second run I'm leading. I come into the first corner with lots of speed and Mike gapped me just a little. Through the second corner I already hear him coming fast. Down the long straight I straightened out, look in my mirror and Mike is filling it up and all I hear is the roar of his RB right on my ass! Go into the sweeper and he's following my line perfectly. Come into the last corner where your slowing down and I'm nearly full lock. Slowing slowly, I lift too much weight off the rear and go into a dead spin. I don't do anything except turn to Mike and start waving my hands like crazy for him not to hit me. Luckily Mike is an Awesome tandem driver and noticed with plenty of time to narrowly avoid me. Mike advanced and ended up placing 2nd to Brian Peter.
Looking back, if I would have had any idea that I could be out there for the top 8 I would have put on my 235/40/18's in hopes for some more grip. But woulda, coulda, shoulda... it was fucking AWESOME either way.
I just have to say thank you to Ryan, Clinton, Edgar, Mike, Terry, Andy, Brian, Simba, Eric, Swan, and all the other guys from Drift Indy, ClubFR, Drift STL, and everyone else that gave me pointers, support, and help during this entire event! And also I have to thank my G/F Stef for helping out and giving me pointers before my runs, and cheering me on. Happy Birthday Stef!
You can see pics from my picturepush account on the right.