2014 NASA NW Time Trial Round 1 – Portland International Raceway

First event of the season brought a pretty good turn out of cars in the Time Trial and wheel-to-wheel groups.  TT2 was again the largest Time Trial class with 6 competitors.  Weather was overcast with very light sprinkles all day.  Track was essentially dry but the painted curbs were a bit slippery during some sessions.

I started off slow on the first session to shake the rust off the driver and evaluate the changes to the car.  The higher rear roll stiffness bias made for some great corner entry in the slower corners but hindered corner exit speed as I had to feather the throttle and counter-steer on exit.  Was fun to run behind the #46 BMW and compare lines and times although we were both a full second off our normal pace.
I chose to leave the car as-is for the second session to focus on evaluating the cars behavior to make better informed choices on set-up changes.  Car was still very loose in the low speed corners.  Due to instructing in the group preceding the second session, I entered the track late and immediately hit traffic.  In my rush to get on the track, I also forgot to turn on the camera which I regret because I had some good footage behind the #02 997 GT3 Cup Car running in TTU.  I was able to drop 0.5 seconds to 1:23.5 but #46 dropped a full second with a 1:22.5 and was leading the class.
Based on the chassis behavior, I made some damper adjustments before the third session.  The damper changes helped a little and I was able to drop a bit of time to 1:22.9.
Forth session was a little wetter and between traffic and just not putting a complete lap together, I wasn’t able to improve my time.  #46 M3 took 1st place based on the 1:22.5 from Session 2 and I took 2nd with the 1:22.9 from Session 3.  This is about 0.5 seconds off the pace from my last trip to PIR.
Final Results:
Saturday: 2nd Place TT2, 1:22.940

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