by Andrew Rains, driver Rains Racing
The Rains Racing team performed amazingly well at Road America, but unfortunately the high speed nature of the track bit us hard with brake cooling issues; which in turn caused our awesome Megan Racing shocks to overheat. I ended up really managing the car instead of racing during our two 40 minute sprint races, as Road America is notoriously fast with three hard braking zones per lap, making passing extremely difficult for us since the brakes just were not there. We did not really have a good solution to implement in our very brief two day only schedule, so our results did not reflect the speed we had in the car.
We qualified 8th for Race 1, and were the second fastest of six Accords behind championship contender Nick Wittmer. We finished Race 1 where we started, 8th out of a strong 22 car field. This was probably the most competitive field of the season thus far, so for our still young team it is quite an accomplishment. Yet, we are never happy unless we are at the front of the field so there is a lot of work to do to improve the car alongside our partners at Honda Motorsports Alabama for our next race at Laguna Seca October 7-9. I know I have some speed left in me, and our work on the car will be focused towards making it more preferable for my driving style. At this early stage in my career behind the wheel I am still learning my preferences as a driver, and the team is learning how to set the car up to make it as drivable as possible. With a front wheel drive platform, competing against mostly rear wheel drive cars, the challenge of setting up the car to stick with those cars mid-corner is ever-present! Our great J35 Honda V6 makes the straights nice compared to most of the other cars out there though!
We plan to test with our friends from Chin Motorsports at Barber Motorsports Park September 10-11, and will again be offering ride-alongs to those willing to purchase us a Pirelli P-Zero Racing Slick!
The next round for the Touring Car Classes is at Utah Motorsports Campus in August, but we will skip the Utah round to focus on improving the car, and to save some budget to test locally before making the long trip out west to Laguna Seca in October!
We are full force in preparations for 2017 as well, with the goal of raising the funding to compete the full 6 round championship season. Running a half season this year has been a great way to familiarize our team with the process of competing at this level. Since we will not be building a car in the off-season, and we have begun working on some customer projects at Alabama Gearheads, every dollar raised will go towards fielding the car as competitively as possible.
Visit our Facebook page to see video highlights from the Road America race: