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Formula D New Jersey Recap

Category : Events

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I apologize for the late update. I was busy getting the car ready for the west coast swing of Formula D, so I didn’t have a chance to sit down and write this up until now. Here goes!

Even though Wall Speedway is only an hour away from where I live, I’ve never had the opportunity to drive there. So I was excited to get on the track for Formula D Round 4, but I also didn’t know what to expect. I left the setup mostly the same as the last round in Florida to have a comfortable starting point. In Thursday practice, the first thing I noticed was the track was a lot slower than I expected. I tried to do the first two runs in fourth gear, which is what I use for most tracks but didn’t have enough power for that. Third gear worked a lot better, but I was high in the RPM range and had to be careful with the throttle not to be on the rev limiter too much. It would have been nice to have a 4.3 or 3.7 gear to swap in for this track.

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The track was simple for the most part. The difficult part was obviously running the high line on the bank. I didn’t push myself too hard in Thursday practice to get high on the wall because I only had a handful of runs and wasn’t yet comfortable with the bank. The course itself is pretty long, and Formula D was waiting for the smoke to clear between runs, so most of practice was spent waiting in line instead of drifting.

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On Friday, we had another 1.5 hours of practice before qualifying. This time, I tried to get higher on the bank to prepare for qualifying, but I was struggling with it. The car had a bit too much grip on the bank, but it was super slippery on the flat section, so I was hesitant to loosen it up any more. I was also entering a little too early and waiting too long to get back on throttle. I just didn’t have enough practice to get used to throwing the car high on the bank, and I couldn’t get my right foot to get on the throttle early enough. I had a couple of solid runs, but the majority were too low on the bank.

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In qualifying, luckily, I didn’t have to go first like the last two events, but I made mistakes in my first run. I was too low on the bank and wasn’t focused coming off the bank on the flat. I started transitioning too early coming off the bank and consequently straightened out for a second when I hit the flat section. Overall, it was a pretty bad run, and I think I scored around 45. As qualifying went on it started raining lightly, so my second run would have to be in the wet. I couldn’t nail the bank in the dry, so I wasn’t feeling too confident about trying it in the wet! Haha. I knew my first run would not be good enough for top 32, so I had to do something on my second run. I tried to get a feel for how slippery it was accelerating to the bank. It felt like no grip at all, but when I threw it into the bank, it had way more grip than I thought, so I ended up running the bank low again. The rest of the run was shaky, but I had no major mistakes. I scored a 57, but that may have been adjusted afterwards to account for the wet conditions. I ended up qualifying 31st and would be going against JR in top 32 the next day.

Here are my two qualifying runs from driftstream:

For top 32, I knew I couldn’t loosen the car up anymore to make it easier on the bank because I would get left behind on the flat infield. There was no strategy, just go as fast as possible when following to keep proximity and try to do a killer lead run with a lot of angle. After a short practice on Saturday, I lined up with JR to follow first. We left the line at the same time, and he got about a car length gap as we initiated into the first turn. I drove pretty shallow to catch up and was sort of closing in going into the infield, but went into the right turn too fast, and the car washed out with the left rear going up on the bank. I tried to catch up but couldn’t get any closer than about one car length. On my lead run, I just tried to get a lot of angle in the infield and force him into making a mistake. JR was on point and got the win.

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Overall, I didn’t drive as well as I wanted, but that was due, in part, to limited practice time on a brand new track for me. I did learn a lot though and had a blast driving on this track!

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