Canada, again for the DG-Spec World Challenge Scion team. Once again we were racing with IRL, for the 2nd time this season north of the border. Another red eye flight from LA for Johnny, Dan, and myself, found us getting to the hotel around 8 am on Thursday. We decided to leave the hotel at around noon, to head to the track and meet up with Brad and Dave. The only thing we had going on Thursday, besides Media rides in the afternoon, was to prepare the cars. Brad had taken care of most of the prep work in Ohio, but there were still a few more things to work on.
Some adult beverages at the airport prior to the redeye. Johnny checks out his Blackberry.
Gardiner moving slowly, maybe the sign was trying to tell us something about the weekend.
A few boxes of parts that were shipped in from LA. How do they end up with so much damage?
Brad at the driver/crew chief meeting. The entire World Challenge paddock was within the convention center. A/C was a plus, pushing the cars outside to put fuel and start them was a minus. I still feel like I am pushing a car around.
Robert in the #18 Scion, during the media test day. Just in front of him the K-Pax / 3R Volvo. Robert got a chance to run a few extra laps, and get familiar with the track. After the media ride, we had to pull the passenger seat and belts, and put 90 lbs of Rewards weight into the car.
Robert posing with the Budweiser models.
One of the Trans-Am Corvettes. Due to the schedule, World Challenge, and Trans-Am moved into the pits, and out of the pits together. They got to come over 30 minutes early and wait on us. We got to stick around in the pits for 30 minutes and wait for them to clear the track, to head back to the paddock.
In the 18 car, looking into the convention center. Waiting on a tow from our golf cart.
Post qualifying tech. They wanted all the boost sensors from all the boosted cars. On the Scions, they are on the firewall, behind the intercoolers. Not that much fun to get to, right after the cars come off the track. Truspeeds Porsche, Go4Its VW , and the Realtime Civic are all visible.
Uh oh. The sky looks like its closing in. The weather reports say rain at 4 pm. We have to make a decision on a “wet” setup, or stick with the dry setup. The decision is to stick with the dry setup.
Robert started in 3rd place. Tried a move for the lead early, then settled in 2nd place. About 5 laps in, the RSX missed a braking zone, and hit the #18 Scion hard. Robert reported on the radio that the car had a vibration, and we got reports over the radio that the bumper was loose. Right after the Scion/Acura carnage, one of the VW’s hit the wall near the start finish line.
Shea Racings video of the touring car class at Toronto, and the hit.
This brought about the new “wave by” procedures. Nick Wittmer in the Realtime Honda Civic was at the back of the GTS field, and it took a few laps to get the VW cleared off the straight, and the touring car field sorted out. Robert was the last car, starting from the back of the field. Ken and Dave, our spotters on #18 reported the right rear wheel was noticeably vibrating.
Robert said over the radio “here, we go again.” And that is exactly what he did. Even with the damage, which turned out to be a very bent wheel, and bent hub, Robert started picking off cars. Not long after the restart, Robert was breathing back on Eric Meyer, in the RX-8’s bumper. Once again, Robert finished on the podium, his 6th time in 7 races.
Press Release on the Lucas Oil Site
It looks like Brad has some work to do before the next race at Mid-Ohio.
We put the bumper back on, it was in pretty good shape.
Sleep. Five hours of flying back to LA. One and a half hour delay, and we get home Sunday in the afternoon. Next race Mid-Ohio. I hate Mid-Ohio. Its tried to kill me twice. Right now in Mid-Ohio its raining/thunderstorming, and 90 degrees. Did I mention I hate Mid-Ohio?
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