Enjoy the Track Featuring Driver Steven R. Rochlin -- Formula Continental and Ferrari 308GTS QV






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  This was another challenging weekend, as the weather was ever-changing on both the Test & Tune and Saturday's event due to the storms that were passing through the country. On Friday i attended the Test & Tune sessions where the morning was cool and overcast, whereas after lunch there was rain. Tuning and becoming familiar with the WGI in the wet paid dividends during the qualification session on Saturday. Watkins Glen International (WGI) is a great track and was, at one time, a place Americans could enjoy watching Formula 1 races. You truly feel like you are going somewhere plus the track is much smoother than most tracks within the United States.

Saturday Qualification

The car was still setup for rain and the skies were dark and gloomy. Still, the track was in drying condition and if the rain held off i would need to change to a dry setup. About an hour before qualification it was still dry conditions and so made the setup change. As i was, literally, torquing the very last wheel bolt for finalization of the dry setup the rain began to fall. So the past nearly 25 minutes of work has to be completely undone back to the original setup that was on the car. Argh! Keep in mind that the time to be on the false grid for qualification was getting very close.

i finished the changeover, for the second time of the morning, and made it to the false grid near the very back of the pack. The good thing about WGI is that the track is very long and was able to get good spacing to achieve two clean qualification laps (one for the records and one 'just in case'). Some guys went out on slicks, others, like me, were on rains. During the sessions a few cars spun off the track while others simply pulled off. The car felt great and was not sure where i would be positioned, as was extremely tired for making the dual changeovers in setup. They say hard hard work reaps it's rewards and when they posted the official timing sheets on the board i was in awe! Frankly, and while the car did feel extremely good and the Friday Test & Tune prepared me WGI in the rain, i was not expecting the amazing results. End result was that i was a staggering 4+ seconds faster than the next fastest car! Must admit, i am the type of guy who likes being on the track in the rain once i know the car/track.


Saturday Race  

Was on the pole position and ready to rock! The skies were clear and the car was on a dry setup. Of note is that two other Formula Continental drivers at the event were 'hot shoes' and really knew this track far better than myself. The green flag waved and i launched the car well, yet missed an upshift after T1 and that cost me dearly. In these cars, one simple mistake can be such that you may never recover. The end result was that i slowly lost positions, thereby finishing third in classification and fifth overall. Still, a good result given the hot shoes, my mistake, and the cars ahead of me included a Formula Atlantic (twice the power, same weight) and a Formula B (30 percent more power, nearly same weight).


Sunday Qualification

Conditions were dry and i was now on old eight heat cycle (their last cycle) tires. Qualification did not go well and found myself down to seventh position. i could feel the tires were not optimum and while it would be great to have new tires for all events, finances are such that i was doing the best with the equipment chosen. Of note is that the upcoming Lime Rock Park (LRP) event is more important, per se, as am leading SCCA's NARRC division and so have a brand new set for that event.


Sunday Race

Decided that the four heat cycle tires, same ones i used at the previous NHMS event, needed to be used if there was be any semblance of a good result. The green flagged waved, got a good start, yet the car was not gripping anywhere near the way it should have. The older tires previous used were better! Unfortunately, overestimated the four heat cycle tires as i must have 'fried' them during the NHMS event fighting for SCCA's NER title. As such, while i had even grip, it was consistently at such a decreased level that the car was sliding during all of the turns. It was as though the tires had multiple times more heat cycles on them than the four they endured. End results was third in class and a lackluster tenth overall.

PDF of qualification and race results.


Appreciation And Thanks

Thanks go out to my race engineer Glenn Philips at GTP Motorsports. My appreciation also extends to the Enjoy the Track's sponsors for showing their support so early in my racing career. If you are reading this, please visit the Sponsors page and learn about each company's excellent products and services! They truly offer outstanding items you really should consider before making your next home audio purchase. As always, in the end what really matters is that we all...

Enjoy the Track,

Steven R. Rochlin



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