It was a topsy-turvy week! Most of the Lotus guys waiting around until Thursday/Friday to get going. John Ma really represented for the SS guys, and the east course was the more power intensive and the west was speed-maintenance ie. lots of room to hang oneself.
Our mechanical fun started on the practice course Sunday. Ryan in SSP broke an Axle at the transmission. We loaned Ryan one of our spares. Monday the XP car was hit with a monster shudder under 25% power. Looking at the axles, they looked OK, so then it became an all-nighter to pull the transmission and check clutch. Nope. Tear down transmission. Nope. Tear down OS giken Diff. Nope. Back to axles. Just the slightest play in the outer at one spot. Put in our 2nd set of spares and it was good but ton of work.
On Tuesday/Wednesday, Mark Huffman in the Yellow Elan won DM. Mark dismantled the class on Day 1 on the technical west and held on to the win on the high-speed East.
On Thursday/Friday, John Ma came so close to wrapping up a Super Street title in his Elise only 0.062 of a second behind the GT3. Jake Dawson had a fantastic 4th place in a rush build. Bryan Carbon on his 1st trip to nationals got 7th in in the Trophies, with Iain Mannix and Billy Sapp finishing 10th and 12th respectively.
Next came SSM with Matt Glagola looking quite a ways out (0.8 second) after the power course, but the technical west course he just destroyed the competition with a 0.5 second advantage of the next closest competitor, winning his 2nd national championship.
In XP, we had a tough time on west with apparently 2 studs backing out of the hub causing the other nuts to loosen and ultimately trash the wheel bearing. We didn't find this until after the days runs. Net result, is that ultimately gave us massive amounts of dynamic toe change on the left side rear of the car making it very difficult to drive. Alex got really punished by it as compensating for crap handling with left foot braking is what I do. I put in a banker lap on the second run but it was slow and was lucky enough to land a pretty good one on the last run for just under a 3 tenth lead.
Day 2 the car was better but we had to battle weather. The last part of group 2 was damp but it marginally dried out before our runs. Bitterly cold and windy, tires had zero heat for either of our first 2 runs. I had a great run I coned away and got a clean one but a bit faster on the 3rd. Alex was the hero battling back for the second fastest clean time in XP and beating her co-driver. Her bad luck continued as one competitor got a re-run for McKee's muffler falling off in the finish chute. His 4th run bumped Alex out of the trophies. In the end, about a 1 second win for me.
In SSP, Ryan Johnson was about 4 tenths back on the fast east course and then jumped into the lead with his second run. After the 2nd drivers got their runs, the skies opened up and that was all she wrote. Everyone got 2 dry runs and Ryan secured his first championship.
Great to see everyone and congrats to all the Lotus competitors on the strong showing this year! Attached are a couple pics. Hopefully we'll see some videos!