The Enhanced Performance, Good Cars Only, Gabo Solutions, Melanoma Canada #77 Formula Mazda Team had a reasonably good race weekend at the 2023 SVRA U.S. Vintage Grand Prix at Watkins Glen International.
We ran in Group 9 – Monoposto Wings and Slicks. The weather was mixed with very hot weather the first few days and rain on the final day with temperatures ranging from the high-teens to the low 30’s Celsius. Over the course of Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, we were on track a total of 8 times; 2 on track practices during the spilt Wednesday/Thursday test day, followed by 2 practices, 2 qualifying sessions, Race 1, and Race 2. There was a large speed differential within the qualifying group!! We definitely had our work cut out for us, as most everyone in our group had much more horsepower than we did. Lots of beautiful race cars!
In the first qualifying session, we placed 7th of 11 race cars, 1st in our 9F4 class with a time of 1:57.269. In the 2nd qualification session, we qualified 6th out of 7 cars, 2nd in our class with best lap time of 1:59.404 (we were scuffling in new tires).
For Race 1, on the afternoon of the 9th of September, our race Group 9 included 12 high powered open wheel race cars, including Lola’s, Elan’s, Ralt’s, Swift’s and a number of F5000’s. The weather was perfect for racing, clear and mild, about 24 Celsius. We started in 10th and finished in 9th position, 1st in our class, with a best lap time of 1:56.771, our best lap time of the weekend!! Here is the YouTube video link to our first race https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPWOh2Z7dxQ – our race begins at about time mark 5:07.22. In Race 2, on the 10th of September, weather was light rain, which continued throughout the race. We made the mistake of going out on slicks. The majority of the race, we were able to navigate our way around the track without too much trouble. Sadly, we hydroplaned in corner 11 and made contact with another car that had contacted the tire wall on drivers left. Our race car had too much damage to continue.
Lots of work to do over the winter to repair our #77 Formula Mazda – stay tuned for repair updates on our website www.subjectmotorsports.com, our YouTube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkrPKqGp6WSukj3qKzMiKhw, and our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SubjectMotorsports/.
Despite the damage to the #77 Formula Mazda, we did manage to finish 3rd in our class and 9th in our race group. A special thank you Bill and Shirley Vallis of Vallis Motor Sport for their trackside support.
A very big thank you to the SVRA for hosting such a great event!! And last, but certainly not least, once again we want to thank our long suffering and tormented family which follows us from racetrack to racetrack and allows us to continue to do the racing thing…….