We have a few more test days in the car since the last time we were at Watkins Glen, ... The car worked great on half of the track so the long course should be even better. We have worked hard on getting the car to handle better through long sweeping turns and under braking since we were last at the Glen. I hope that we can backup our first win there from July
This is a tough track for me since I've never raced here. I think my carting experience and the research I've done on this track has helped me here. It's the first time the GTO.R will be on the pole and it's been a hard road getting here. We've had some difficulties in qualifying since late June when these cars started racing, and we've made big improvements to the car each time. Now all we have to do is win.
This is awesome, ... It's been a long road for the GTO to get up on the pole position. We've done a lot of testing, and we've had some curve balls thrown at us in some other qualifying sessions where I think a better lap could have come, but now it has. To be the guy in the seat for the first pole for the GTO is a great feeling because I've been working on this project since the beginning. Pontiac has put up a huge effort. Jan got the first win and I got the first pole. I think the car will be good tomorrow.
I was exiting Turn 10 and heading to Turn 11 when the front left just dropped. I was lucky that I wasn't into the corner with that side loaded up. I was able to gather it back and get it slowed down. It is tough to bring in a car when it is so good and you are leading. Ron did a good job in his stint and was able to stay out of trouble. He really knows when to push and when to be patient I think I learned something today.
We had the opportunity to do some testing last week at VIR. We really worked on getting the car handling through the fast sweepers and it seems to be paying off here at Watkins Glen. The last time we were here we ran the short course, which is the only time that the GTO. R has run here. Jan and I will be looking to repeat our win here last month.
It was a pretty good battle we were a lot faster on the banking than the BMW. We were able to hold it tight and really get a run out of them. We must have been getting about six or seven miles an hour out of the exits which helped us out in the straights. We had a really bad pit stop I'm not sure what happened with the fuel, but I think we were there for a minute and 29 seconds. We'll have to look at that and make it better because that hurt us a lot.
I started the race on the tires that I qualified on, everyone else was on stickers. I ran them pretty hard early on and then wanted to cool them down. I think stickers at the start would have been a better call. I got caught in traffic and that put me to second for a few laps before I could get back by. Once I got by and was in clean air and had clear track I could focus on consistent lap times.
It's really slick out there. It's hard to see in the dark because of how dusty it is. The pavement all looks the same too. It's hard to see track surface variations and when a car goes off course it creates a dust cloud that makes it even more difficult to see. Then the car brings the dirt back on to the track. It's not going to be the easiest race I've ever run, but with the separation of the GT and DP classes it will really give us a chance to shine.
We were a lot faster on the banking, and the BMWs seemed to be going pretty wide. We were able to hold it tight and get a run out of there. We started out on scrubbed tires, and I overshot it a bit on the first couple laps, expecting too much from them. The balance of the tires came back and I was able to charge forward and give the car to Jan with the lead.