Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Life's been busy again. I haven't had a chance to blog about individual events. Just too much else to do. Now it's time to look back on the first third of the 2014 season. The key conclusion I've reached is that there is a strong emotional component to my performance. I need to work on my drive as much as my driving.

I've participated in 6 events so far this year, 3 of them SCCA events. The most recent was a national match tour. Stats-wise I seem to be showing a bit of progress over last year. At SCCA events I've scored 93.42, 89.89, and 93.82 placing me at 27th in the season pax standings vs 42nd at the end of last year. The place doesn't mean much yet because there are a number of good drivers haven't made it to all 3 events. If you average my results you get 92.38. If you then extrapolate to 5 events and rank me in last year's stats, I come out at 35th (of 86 people who had at least 5 events). That's 7 places higher than last year, so while I haven't entered the top 30 yet, there *is* real improvement.

That said, the pattern of my results is of more interest.

The first event of the year was a new high point, just like last year. And the first day of the match tour was yet another best ever. If you look at the results from last year in the graph above, you will note that I never matched my performance on the first event through the rest of the year, so it's my 3rd best result ever. On the Sept 9 race where I posted a time in the top 5 ever (for me at the time) including a 2 second penalty for a cone. That run, I was motivated. I felt I had a good chance to beat Leafy, which would have clinched the season championship. I drove as hard as I could, but clipped a cone and came up short. The fastest times are the events I spent a lot of time anticipating and prepping for, and where I am pushing myself.

The second event this year I was pleased by my results in the first event and felt more relaxed. The result was a that I drove like crap and my 89.89 can only be described as lackluster.

On Sunday of the match tour, I was feeling good. Based on my day 1 results, I was 47th in PAX. The top 24 were removed for the super shootout on the second day, and thus I had the 23rd fastest Saturday time of the remaining 122 drivers. Making the first cut should have been a breeze (top 48 drivers after 2 runs). I figured that making the second cut would be difficult but possible (top 30 drivers after 3 runs). Getting into the club shootout (top 16 after 4 runs) would likely take a new best ever run, but only by a few tenths.

My co-driver Dan commented to me after my second run on Sunday that I didn't seem have as much wheel spin off the starting line as Saturday. After each run, but before I saw my times I felt good about my runs. I had controled my line in several places I was sloppy the day before. But after 2 runs, my times were still a second slower than the day before. I missed the first cut by 0.018 seconds....  Any tidbit of time anywhere would have done it. Even a slightly more enthusiastic start.

I need to work on treating EVERY run like it's the first race of the year, or "The big one," or the one that could win it all. Confidence or a relaxed attitude kills my results. I need to forget all that went before and remember that nothing is guaranteed.

Or to put it another way... I need to drive myself harder.