The undulating Barber Motorsports Park was a roller-coaster ride of a weekend for me. We came in with high hopes after a very successful test at Autobahn Country Club. The weekend started off a little bumpy after finding out that my teammate would not be participating in the races. We had to change our game plan a bit but we managed and were on track for our first session of the weekend.
Having already driven on this track from the series test days earlier in the year, I felt fairly comfortable in the car on the track almost immediately. We were out of the gate strong but as the day went on, our position on the timing charts seemed to slide further and further down. Barber is one of those tracks that is challenging in all aspects of racing. The setup is crucial with the amount of long duration corners the track has, as well as being able to put together that perfect lap. As other teams were getting faster, we seemed to have hit a wall on our performance, up until the rain came. For one of our final practice sessions, the clouds opened up and I was driving in the wet for my first time in the USF2000 car. We managed p3 overall on the timing and were running with great pace throughout that practice session. This was a great boost to our morale going into the race days.
Not to our liking, the day remained completely dry on Friday for qualifying and Race 1. After a rough qualifying, we started Race 1 in P16. A very good first few corners found us a couple spots ahead of where we started, but a bit of side to side contact coming around turn 5 relegated us all the way to last coming around lap 1. It was a fight to come back through the field but we managed P17 in race one, not nearly what we were hoping for. We had a more clean start in race 2 and found ourselves in position 11 at one point until I had an off that moved us back into p13 where I remained for the rest of the race. All in all, Barber is something that we as a team need to learn from and move forward heading into the Indianapolis GP.
Thank you to all of our supporters and for everyone that stopped by our pit during the race weekend.