This morning was all about horsepower. The awesome 4 mile course at Road America definitely favors lots of power and a lightweight vehicle. We had part of the equation, but lacked in the weight department. There were two sessions scheduled, a similar formula applies to all the other tracks we visit during the event. In the morning, we ran the long course, and after lunch, we took one the short one. The time trials consist of one recce lap followed by three timed laps, and a cool down lap.
Normally you’ll find One Lappers walking the course prior to their runs, to get a better feel of the layout of the course, but with this track being the longest in North America, measured at 4.048 miles, only those with bicycles were up for the task. In our case Mike decided to watch a few laps on YouTube with Brun Junqueria.
In our SUV class, we had identified our main competition as being the race prepared/road legal Mazda 5 entered by Autobarn Motors, Chicago. This SUV was seriously fast with a gutted interior, turbocharged motor, race suspension and full roll-cage, and two excellent drives; Richard Fisher and Jason Sani.
In yesterdays skid pad event they were fourth overall and we finished 12th.
Mike realized he would have to drive a perfect series of laps, if we were hoping to keep the Mazda in check. With 550hp having to move 5300 lbs, he is certainly going to need to dig deep to keep in contention with the Mazda. He ran a great series of laps with a cumulative time of 8:74.351 minutes over 3 laps, just 4.256 seconds behind the Mazda after 3 laps.
Unfortunately, Howard LaFever in his Cadillac CTV had a moment at Canada Corner and slid through the gravel trap and over the armco! The good news was Howard escaped with only a cut on his hand, a great testimony to the safety of today’s cars. And he is now looking for another car to complete the event.
During the lunch break the track was reconfigured for the short course, a 2.2 mile layout. This configuration enters the circuit at turn 5 and continues around until just after turn 13 where it makes a hard right back towards turn 5. Being a tighter track we weren’t too sure we could stay on the pace of the Mazda, but Mike is always up for a challenge! Our run was relatively uneventful and we finished with a time of 5:37.951.
As soon as our session was over, we packed up the X6 M and headed for Mid America Motorplex; a 560 mile drive, finally arriving at our hotel in Council Bluffs, IA at 11:30pm.