We went to Watkins Glen this past weekend with no expectations - and came home with a first place trophy!
It was an exciting event at a historic and beautiful racetrack. We took the two shop cars, the White Model 3 Performance and the Grey Model 3 LR RWD on the seven hour journey out west. Located at the southern tip of the Finger Lakes, Watkins Glen is one of the highest speed tracks in the North East. Not an ideal track for the Model 3, I thought, given the fact that you're full throttle almost 80% of the time and the track features two very high speed straights.
The primary goal really was to get some media for the upcoming Model 3 Challenge and to have some fun with the cars. We got in a few practice sessions, just trying to learn the track and get accustomed to how the cars would handle it. Next up - qualifying. Despite being held up by a AMG GTS, I was able to run a quick enough time in TrackMod to qualify 4th. Despite two more qualifying sessions, that run would hold as the weather continued to deteriorate.
Going into the Podium Sprint, my numbers one goal was to keep the car in one piece, with the secondary goal being to win the class. I came through the first of two laps, checked the Track Mode lap timer and saw a 2:31. I knew that probably wasn't going to be enough to secure the win, so I pushed as far as I felt comfortable, and watched the delta gap grow through the lap. I'd cross the finish line having shaved about 3 seconds off my previous lap. But, I still wasn't sure I had done enough to secure the win.
I pulled into the pits to meet an excited team - we'd done it - first place in TrackMod at Watkins Glen! I still can't believe it, the thought hadn't even crossed my mind before the event.
It's a great accomplishment for the platform, and really goes to show how strong these cars can be when they are in their element. The rain absolutely gave us an advantage with these AWD cars and their instant torque. I can't wait until the next event!