Dodging Hurricane Harvey at Circuit of the Americas
Rounds 15 and 16 of the Pirelli World Challenge 2017 season were held at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. Hurricane Harvey was making landfall in Corpus Christi and flooding Houston in the days before the scheduled move in day at the track, and things were looking dicey for awhile. Fortunately for the competitors, Harvey spun away from Austin and the rain the city got was easily handled by existing infrastructure. The race was declared “on”!
Mark had experienced shifting difficulties with the car at Utah and McLaren sent one of their top engineers to work the race with the KPR team. Things got sorted, with the steering wheel found to be the culprit of the problems. Mark set out to qualify after 2 good practice sessions but things just did not gel and he qualified P23.
Race 1, Round 15 of the season saw Mark have a couple of good on track battles and a much improved P14 finish. Rolling starts are not Mark’s favorites, so getting that out of the way is always a good thing and having a good finish added to the satisfaction of the day.
Race 2, Round 16 featured the popular standing start format, a favorite both Mark’s and the McLaren’s. He started the race P15 and immediately jumped to P11. A great battle ensued between Mark and 3 other cars for the majority of the race. Unfortunately with less than 5 minutes to go Mark slipped to P13, where he finished the day.
After the event, the Championship Point Standings have Mark in P8 overall and P3 (by 1 point!) in Amateur. The penultimate round will be held at Sonoma Raceway, September 16-17. Thanks again to our delicious sponsor Tender Belly as well as both Premiere Copier and Racing Radios.