With almost 230 entries, for both Sedan and 1:8 scale, Capitol Classic at the beautiful 301 Raceway is definitely one of the top US event in 2008. Despite a really strong storm with a Tornado watch on Wednesday, weather was pretty good for the rest of the week. Actually it was really hot (around 85% humidity and 99F in the pits) with the track temp around 140F. Team Serpent was present with a its drivers to participate in the event and support the other Serpent racers competing there.
After the Qualys, DJ and I where in the A Main respectively in 4th and 7th position. We had the opportunity to have couple more drivers in the main but unfortunately some bad luck did not allow this. Gianni was really fast in his warm up but the trigger on his radio broke in the first lap of the race. So for him it was really difficult to drive the car in those conditions and he had no chance to contend for the bump up spot.
At the start of the Final, both DJ and I had a really good start and we where in 3rd and 4th position. Unfortunately I had a massive radio hit crashing my car in the straightway at full speed. Fortunately only the steering linkage popped off and after the repair I was able to keep going. This happen to me couple more time so for me there was no chance, even if the package was really good. I ended up 6th after all.
DJ had a good pace and actually was second but a defective glow plug caused his engine to stall after the pit stop. His mechanic change the plug and restarted the engine. His pace was fast and in 7 minutes was able to recover from 10th to 4th but at that point something happen to the engine and he had to retire.
This was the first big race for DJ in 1:8. He actually was doing really good but was really unfortunate. In the end he qualified in the B but was not able to bump. Another fast Serpent driver was Nigel. He was on pace the whole week but was also a little unfortunate in the Qualys. So he end up in the B. In his race, he definitely had everything in place to bump up, but unfortunately, his engine decided to quit after couple of minutes into the race.
On my side, I was kind of struggling with the traction the first day - so much that 8th scales where traction rolling. Then I found a good balance and I was really fast. As always 5 minutes was really difficult so I had to play safe and I qualified 6th. I had a really good start in the final and at the end of the first lap I was already second. The chassis was really good but the engine was acting really strange. It was fine for a couple of laps and then a few laps later was rich. I decided to keep going like that even if I knew that was going hard to win in those conditions. At the end, even with the penalty of a tire change compared to the first 2 drivers, I end up in third position.
Overall a positive weekend for Team Serpent. We learned a lot of new things about our cars, especially in this racing conditions. Both our cars performed really well. Even if the result did not show we had the speed to do really well at this event.
We had a really good time and we enjoyed meeting old friends and making new ones. A big thanks and congrats to all the 301 staff for a well run event and a wonderful facility
'Till the next one,