[C7RCENTRAL] RACING: Jan’s Column – busy weeks ahead
Jan’s Column – busy weeks ahead
I’ve got a busy few weeks ahead with five race weekends in six weeks in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and back home in the Danish Thundersports Championship – kicking off today at Watkins Glen.
Technically I actually have six races in six weeks, but unless I can find some way to clone myself – it’ll be tough to be doing IMSA and Thundersports at the same time over the first weekend in August.
We now have Le Mans behind us and our IMSA season really swings into high gear back in the US.
We gave Le Mans everything we could but didn’t quite have the overall pace to be a contender.
The competition in GTE Pro at Le Mans is so tough these days. It’s not a 24 hour endurance race, it’s a series of sprint battles between pit stops.
There are so many factors that can have an impact on the result. Traffic, safety cars, pit stops, punctures – you really can’t afford to have any issues and still be in contention.
We really didn’t have any issues at Le Mans. Antonio (Garcia) and Mike (Rockenfeller) were brilliant and the Corvette Racing crew were again at their very best.
The ACO and the FIA have a really hard job trying to balance all the cars with BOP. Sure, we’d all like more power and less weight but you have to race with the car you have.
But with that behind us we go back to the US this week and have a run of races where the Corvette has been pretty strong in the past.
The team has won races at Watkins Glen, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Lime Rock Park in recent years so we’re hopeful the Corvette will be strong in the weeks ahead.
Every week when we turn up for the IMSA series you never know who is going to be fast on any particular weekend.
Last year at Watkins Glen the BMW boys were on the money, the previous year it was Ford and in 2014, Antonio and I managed to take the win.
It looks like there will be a bit of rain around during the week but the weekend will be fine. One thing which could be a factor is the heat. It’ll be close to 37 degrees celsius, 100 degrees fahrenheit, with track temps well ahead of that.
Being inside the car isn’t bad because we have a great cooling package with air conditioning, helmet cooler, cooled seats etc., but making sure we’ve got the right Michelin tire at the right time in the heat of the day will be important. That’s where our Corvette Racing guys are at the top of their game with number crunching to make those correct decisions.
Getting on a run at this time of the year is really critical in the points battle. Both the No. 3 and No. 4 Corvettes both have 111 points so far – we are only 10 points off the championship lead.
One bad weekend can really knock you around. Whatever happens, you have to keep digging and pushing all the way to the finish.
So apart from four IMSA races and a Danish Thundersports weekend ahead, I’ll obviously be keeping an eye on what’s happening in Formula 1.
Kevin had another stellar race at Paul Ricard with another great haul of points. The fact that he has scored every one of Haas’s points this year is just incredible.
He really likes the car this year, he has been working really well with the team and reliability has been good.
There is still a long season ahead – another 13 races to go but he certainly loving life at the moment and looking forward to the race in Austria this weekend where he again qualified really well.