Saturday, January 26, 2013

Midnight Snacks

i'm still mostly on California time, so it doesn't really feel like midnight. But the hospitality crew came around with warm, cheesy rolls for everyone and the clock says it's midnight, so I guess it must be.

Mostly it just feels like cars have been circling for a very long time in the dark.

After a long period of green-flag racing, a Porsche ran into a tire wall (in Turn 5, I believe), and high drama ensued.

You see, there's a very detailed procedure for how cars are sorted out behind the safety car in a caution, which has to do with the fact that there are basically two classes in the race, and the safety car can only pick up one of them.

SinceTRG (and Sandham Swift Racing, in theory) run in the slower, GT class, they are not the class picked up by the safety car. Some cars get waved around at the start of the caution, sent around the track to the back of the pack. Then cars can pit or not, as they choose. Then some other cars are sent around the track to line up at the back of the pack.

It all has to do with making sure that the class leader is at the front of the line, and the result is that cars can pick up a lap if they're lucky and smart. And if other cars and/or race control don't make mistakes. There's a lot of calculating and list-making that happens very quickly after a yellow is thrown, and I have to be honest, it's fascinating and entertaining to watch.

In the end, the car that did something wrong was penalized, but their mistake affected TRG's choices and lessened the advantage they might have gained. Win some, lose some? Yes, but easier to say that when you're not the one playing the game.

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