XDC Round 4 was held at Summit Point Motorsports Park in West Virginia. This is a pretty cool venue since it is held in conjunction with Hyperfest which draws huge crowds. The is everything from Car show, NASA Road Racing, Rollover Contest, and more. This by far was the most spectators i have seen for and XDC Event.
The weather was nice, a bit hot, but it was a clear weekend; at least until after the comp ended. Because this event was combined with other racing events, we had to share the main course. That left limited time for practice, especially if there were people breaking on the course or for course cleanup.
Practice and qualifying were both crammed in on Friday, and with 29 drivers, there weren’t many practice runs to be had. This was my 2nd time on Summit Main. The 1st time was last December for the 100 Drifters of December 2010 event. I only got a handful of runs that event because i broke my transmission.
1st practice session i was running on a new tire for me, Toyo R1R’s. Being an R Compound tire, the grip was way more than my 300hp could handle. I did a handful of runs so I could try to make them work, but it wasn’t happeneing. I brought some Nexen N3000’s as backup which i ran all last year. They dont have quite as much grip as I might want, but since i used them all last year, It was an easy task to adjust my driving style accordingly. My 2nd practice session went much better with the Nexen N3000’s. I was able to link the course, although i was having trouble holding the right line while carrying enough speed. It felt good throughout the last practice session.
Here are some shots from Practice
We went right into qualifying after the last practice session. The weather cooled down since practice started close to 7:00 so it was a bit more comfortable to drive. My 1st run I played it safe and wanted to just lay down a qualifying score. My 2nd run i came in a bit hot and went off the course at the entry. At that point I was really hoping that my 1st run would be enough to make it in the top 16.
After qualifying was over we had our drivers meeting. Petty proceeded to tell us how we all sucked and it was a sad day for drifting. I ended up Qualifying 16th out of 29. Not too great but i made it in the show! I was paired up with #1 Qualifier Doug Van Den Brink for the Top 16 Battle. I knew I had my work cut out for me the next day.
Saturday came and when we pulled in to the Park, we were quickly stopped by the Hyperfest line of cars.
We had one tandem practice session for an hour. I ran non-stop the entire session so i could get as much practice going faster than normal to prepare myself for my 1st battle with DVDB who purpose built racecar has more than twice the power of my street driven, track capable car. By the end of the session, I was feeling good. I ran a decent line with good speed every run with very little errors. There was a huge 6 hour break in between the practice session and top 16 eliminations. I we some time to get some food and relax for a while.
Top 16 Tandem Eliminations began around 7:00 and the grounds were packed with fans and spectators. I was up first with DVDB.
Because he was the #1 qualifier, he led 1st. He gave me the “break” and left the line after me. Just before the entry he passed me and threw the car. Instead of E-Brake initiating as I was doing on this layout, I clutch-kicked to get that extra jump and stay with him through the 1st turn. I came in super hot and threw in tons of angle, nearly backwards as I was doing during practice.
Unfortunately, he rode his foot break through the entry and into the 1st turn causing me to make contact just before the 1st clipping point. I stayed in it but before the carousel I had to correct a bit. I was able to keep it somewhat close until we got to the main straight.
Here is a shot of his Left Rear tire mark on my door… Really wasn’t that bad
On my lead run, I did everything i possibly could and had my best run of the weekend. When I came back to the line, they told me the Judges called a OMT. I lined back up in the staging lanes and a Few minutes later, they said that DVDB’s crew informed the judges that I made contact and they gave the win to Doug. It was kind of disappointing but i was happy i did as well as i did.
Here is some On-Car Footage i put together for my top 16 Battle with Doug Van Den Brink
I also Found this raw footage of My Top 16 Battle with DVDB from White Smoke Motorsorts
All in all it was a great Weekend. Congratulations to Doug for his 1st place spot, Dave Briggs for his 2nd place finish, and Miro Ovcharik for his 3rd place finish.
I am looking forward to Round 4 in Charlotte!