Racing Through California...part 1
I recently had the opportunity to spend 5 weeks in California doing what I love, racing and working on fast cars. It was hard being away from home, the shop, the girlfriend and the dog for that long, but it was truly an incredible experience that I may not get again!
My first stop was in central California at Buttonwillow. It took me 3 days to get there and I was lucky to have planned it just right to get one night with my family in Dallas. It's always great when you get to pop in on family and visit, even if only for a short time!
While the drive was long it was anything but boring. I've never been cross country before and was fascinated by the different landscapes. The route from Jacksonville to Dallas looked like what I'm used to- green, flat and plenty of trees. But about half way through Texas, I enjoyed the change of scenery with the mountains. The landscape was so brown! The view along I-10 kept changing and that kept me occupied while I made the long journey alone.
Once I got to Buttonwillow, I met up with our driver Rodrigo. This was the first time myself or Rodrigo have raced at the Buttonwillow Raceway, which is just north of Bakersfield, CA where we stayed. Bakersfield is a very cool town with a rich history in both music and agriculture. Did you know that both Merle Haggard and Buck Owens lived most of their lives there? Or that Bakersfield is the largest carrot producer in the world? It was a neat little town with a cool vibe. Needless to say Rodrigo and I had a pretty good time!
The Buttonwillow Raceway
is a popular track among many types of speed chasers because it can change to over 40 different configurations and run in either direction. The track was challenging and boasted turn bankings up to 10%, negative chamber turns and crowned turns like what you see on street courses. It is a fast track but we were ready for it.
There were four other drivers racing in our PCA GTB1 class and I was thrilled with the Pulse Racing team's performance. For being the first time on this track, our Martini Cayman S did not go off track or turn the wheel wrong once. Rodrigo stayed composed throughout the weekend and it showed. In three races, Rodrigo came in 1st in class and even broke the track record and the PCA GTB1 class record with a lap time of 1 min 56.048 seconds.
But it's not just about winning at Pulse Racing Services, it's about having a good time too! And that's just what we did at Buttonwillow. Yeah we lead the pack and broke records, but we had a blast with the other drivers. Rodrigo knew quite a few them and we enjoyed the friendly competition.
Stay tuned...next week I'll share with you our time at the Laguna SECA race!
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