DB Racing kicks off its Majors Tour schedule at Michigan International Speedway

31. May 2013 11:04 by Don Bunt in Sports Car Racing  //  Tags: ,   //   Comments (0)

The road course at Michigan International Speedway is back in the SCCA rotation for the first time since 1994, and is the opener for the Northern Conference Majors Tour. This two day event is our first Majors event and we had high expectations.

This event offered no practice and all drivers were expected to qualify on Saturday with little knowledge of the track. Prior to arriving at MIS, we watched every in-car video of the track that we could put our hands on, in order to learn the track layout.

Within the first couple of laps of Saturday qualifying, we realized that the car would not stay in second gear. The car had popped out of second gear during a couple of upshifts at our last race, but we didn't think much of it. Now we were stuck using first, third and fourth gear. This was fine for the 140+ mph high banked turns and straight, but was a problem for some areas of the infield road course. Even with the gearbox issue and in a large 15 car field, we were able to qualify fifth of 15 E production cars with a time of 1:27.122.

The MIS infield was repaved in 2012 and there is no curbing installed yet. Instead, the apex of every corner is full of gravel. This is not a good mix with cars that have sticky slick tires on. On Saturday's race, we got caught out in the marbles and gravel during the start. With gravel stuck to the tires, the car pushed off track twice on the first lap and we lost several positions. We ended up finishing seventh of 14 cars with a best lap time of 1:27.926.

After racing on Saturday, we were left with a decision whether to swap out the Quaife dog ring gearbox for a stock gearbox. We decided that the gear ratios in the stock box would not be much better than when we had with the Quaife gearbox, so we decided to race with what we had.

Sunday introduced a new concept during qualifying. There would be a qualifying race; where finishing position would determine position for our race instead of best lap time. We finished the qualifying race fifth of nine cars, with a best lap time of 1:26.282.

Our Sunday race went well and it was obvious that we were learning the track. Our best lap was 1:25.587 and we again finished fifth of ten cars despite the missing second gear. Overall, we were pleased with our results and we know that had everything been working properly, we had a real chance of winning the races over the weekend.

We want to thank our crew chief, Caitlin Bunt and our crew: Eileen Bunt, Paul and Brandon Glinski for their help and support. We also want to thank family and friends for coming to support our effort. As always, thank you Doreen Bunt for supporting our racing effort.

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In-car Video

See video from our run at the 2013 SCCA Runoffs at Road America here. Scroll to the bottom of the post.

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