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Formula D Vegas Recap

Category : Events

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After Seattle, we stored the car in Las Vegas until Round 6. I flew out to Vegas on Wednesday and relaxed the rest of the day trying to stay up late to get acclimated to the time difference and the nighttime schedule for this event. We got to the track Thursday afternoon and did a few laps through the course in the rental car to get an idea of the new layout.

Practice was scheduled for 9pm – 1am, so we had some time to get organized and get the car ready to go. We changed the oil and went over the whole car to make sure nothing was damaged at Seattle. Then we aligned it to change the setup for the flat Vegas track.

We decided to use 245-wide tires instead of 255s for the Thursday practice to keep the car loose and make it easy to learn the course. I went out to grid early, as usual, to make sure I could get as many runs as possible. I only managed to get a couple of safe runs through the course before Odi had a big crash, which delayed practice for about two hours. That basically cut our 4-hour practice in half, so I only got a handful of runs after the crash had been cleaned up.

I had some decent runs during the practice session, but I wasn’t feeling comfortable with the track. I couldn’t get all the way out to the two outer clipping zones along the walls, which was the main focus of the course. The car was also too loose even though we were continuously adding grip throughout the practice, so I didn’t feel confident throwing it out to the wall.

After practice, we packed everything up and grabbed a very late dinner. I think it was about 5am when we finally went to sleep.

When I woke up on Friday, I took some time to watch the in-car videos we got from Thursday practice. I realized I was transitioning way too early after the initiation, which made it impossible to put the car close to the wall. I was also getting off throttle too early going towards the outer zones, which was killing my speed and not letting me reach the second outer clipping zone. So now I knew what I had to work on that day to get a good qualifying run.

We made sure to get to the track early enough to watch Pro-Am practice so I could see what lines the best drivers were taking. We had a one-hour practice at 7pm before qualifying. Before practice, we added more grip to the car and switched to 255-wide tires to make it feel more planted throughout the course. That was the right choice, and I instantly felt more comfortable on the track during the practice session. The plan was to progressively push harder throughout the practice and stay on throttle longer to be able to get to the outer zones. I felt the last two runs I had in practice were pretty good, and I knew I could qualify well if I pushed it a little harder in qualifying.

My first qualifying run was solid, but I lifted off the throttle too early coming to the wall, so I ended up far from the second outer clipping zone. I scored a 66. I couldn’t rely on that to get in top 32, so I had to step it up for the second run. I basically wanted to do the same as the first run but just stay on throttle a bit longer to get out to the wall. Unfortunately, I lifted off throttle too soon again and couldn’t drive all the way to the wall. My second run score was a 67.5, which wasn’t enough to make it into top 32.

I was disappointed that my weekend was done because I felt like I could have nailed this course if I just had a few more practice runs to dial in my driving. But the car is still in one piece, and I learned a lot, as always. Now it’s time to get ready for the final round at Irwindale.

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