As the old saying goes "You win some and you lose some".
Las Vegas has been a place I've done well in the past. In 2010 I was 2nd at the XDC round. In 2011 I won the Pro-Am series granting my Formula D pro license for 2012. But this year lady luck would not be on my side.
The weekend would start with a late arrival to the track for Thursday practice. An electrical issue would keep the car from being loaded on time. We arrived at the track ready for some practice only to show up right when Odi Bachkis(another Pro) would suffer a serious crash. The crash would take 1.5hrs to clean up and severely limit the amount of time we would have left to learn the new layout. Luckily he was ok.
On the 2nd pass I would suffer axle failure. No big deal, we come prepared with plenty of spares and had the part fixed and the car back on track in no time. I would only make 3 more passes before the clock wound down and FD would close practice for Thursday night.
Friday would open up another 1hr of practice to get the course dialed in. I put down another 6 passes and felt confident. I was also going through tires rather quickly so I was having to take it easy to preserve the tires I brought. I also took a lot of grip out of the car as it was not able to make the outside zones as well as I wanted it to. Luckily it was still very very fast and able to keep up with the top cars.
The first qualifying pass you usually want to lay down a nice clean conservative run that will score you into the top 32. I played it a little too safe and scored lower than I had hoped. There was some confusion as to what the judges were looking for which hurt my score as well.
The 2nd qualifying pass was a make it or break it pass. I knew I had to drive hard and fast to get into the show. Entering turn one full throttle and heavy angle set me up on a good line through the transition. I was still a little further from the wall than I wanted to be but had a good deal of angle and speed. The rest of the run was clean and quick. My spotter came on the radio and informed me that I had the highest trap speed of the night! Even after all the other cars had completed their passes and qualifying was over the speed stood and I was fastest.
The 2nd run would be the higher run and it would be in the high 20's. After a few more passes I would eventually get bumped out and end up in 33rd place. I was gutted as well as the team. We had worked so hard and thought it was enough but came up short.
We chalked it up to a learning experience. I learned a lot more about my cars setup and how judges want to see the runs. We headed back to the pits and spent the rest of the night talking with fans and friends. Everybody loved the car and the style it has. Many claim that this is the best looking car in Formula D and I am really proud of that. A lot of fans can really relate to the car since it's a very mild build that is still very competitive and fast.
The final round is set to go down at the House of Drift, Irwindale Speedway in October. I love irwindale and always have a good time out there. I will also be going and doing a 3 day event in Texas consisting of XDC and a local event which will open up more midwest fans to the team.
See you at the next round!
- George Marstanovic
for more on the event, please take a look at the fantastic Speedhunters article! Speedhunters coverage of FD Vegas
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