This past weekend was the Mile High Indoor Championships at 5280 Raceway, here in Colorado. Being my home track, I was very focused on trying to get a good result at this event with both mod sedan and mod 12th.
The weekend started out frantic for me, as I had to work later on Thursday before I could go down for club racing and I also had to work again on Friday morning before I could really start getting some practice laps in. I also have been sleeping really poorly for the past week or so, which meant I was already sleep-deprived before the late nights of practice even started! As such, I felt a little out of it for most of the quals and racing, but I still think it was a pretty good weekend.
I ended up qualifying 2nd in F1 behind Ficco and finished 2nd in the main. Nice to get a podium, but a little frustrating that I never had the pace to really battle with Ficco. Huge thanks to Ehrlich for the rent-a-ride, it was funny hearing people talk about Ehrlich in F1 when it was actually me driving!
With mod sedan I always knew it was just going to be a learning experience and that I really wasn’t going to be competitive. As such, I was happy to be in the A main and I feel like I learned a lot about both setup and about driving mod sedan on carpet. I had a slight bobble with Paul in the main when my car spun on the sweeper and he then hit and rolled over me, but all is good. Most of my setup changes were focused on trying to make the car feel more direct and get more on-power steering. I think I succeeded with those items and the car ended up feeling really good, I just had trouble wheeling it in the quals and mains. Definitely not on my A-game this weekend with sedan.
My final D06 setup sheet is here: D06_hillierc_5280_MHIC_April_13_2014
With mod 12th I was really keen on getting a result, as it is the car I have the most experience with. The weekend started out good and I was always in the top-5 in the quals, but I never had the pace to be competitive with any of the big names. Josh’s car was on a different level and while I thought I might have something for Paul, it didn’t really work out that way. With the 12th scale the car was good from the beginning so most of my changes were pretty minor and predominately focused on trying different tire combinations. I used mainly blue rears, but tried all sorts of fronts. Magenta, Blue, Pink, Team Purple, XH, and some JFT fronts (shoutout to Teru!) are all on the list of what I tried, but for the last qual and the main I settled on blue fronts with blue rears. I also tried the Xenon front end for the last two quals and the main, but will need some more time testing back-to-back with the standard front end to really feel the difference and see what I like/don’t like. First impression is that it is incredibly well-made and the TiNi kingpins are awesome! Really looking forward to trying out the various inserts and improving the car!
The 12th main was a really good race and I put together a decent run. I started 5th on the grid, behind Josh, Keven, Paul, and Dave. Right off the start Ryan B got a pass on me, but I think I got it right back in the next corner! Unfortunately on the second lap there was a big pileup in the center chicane and I ended up back in 6th place, with Bodine and Ryan B in front of me. I knew my car was better than theirs though, so I started pushing and was able to get past Brian pretty quickly, but then really had to work hard to get Ryan. I was finally able to get him on the inside on the sweeper, coming into the infield, and then did my best to run away. I then held 4th and finished just off of the podium. Would have been nice to make the podium, but considering the only people in front of me are multi-time national champs, I am happy with the result!
My final Lightning 12 setup sheet is here: Lightning12_hillierc_5280_MHIC_April_13_2014
Overall, it was a great weekend of racing, even if I was sleep-deprived and not driving at my best. I am now going to take some time off to relax and then start preparing for worlds!