2019 SCCA Bristol Match Tour

We’ve reached a milestone:

I ran an event, and I have nothing significant about broken parts to talk about.

So I’ll talk about Match Tours for a bit.

The Match Tour format was devised to bring a Champ Tour-esque environment, but cram it into a single day, with a shootout on the second day. The idea is to increase the number of runs (from six to nine for everybody, and if you qualify for the shootout, it goes up from there) and have some more fun. All kinds of Champ tour bits are relaxed. The format has an entry cap of ~250 compared to a Champ Tour which can realistically handle nearly 500 drivers in a weekend.

The first day is a mini-champ tour. Three runs in the morning, three more in the afternoon. Combined best times from each session is your event time. Places where time is saved is both sessions run the same course, and there’s usually no impound after the morning session.

The second day is a completely new event. Three runs in the morning to qualify for the shootout. The top 16 from each heat move onward into a PAX indexed bracket where eventually there’s one winner. It’s a cool format.

So, this past week was the Bristol Match Tour on July 4-5. There’s a Champ Tour running right now, but I only did the Match.

The Bristol Motor Speedway site presents a very large, though uniquely bumpy lot. Cars were catching air in one spot. It was fun to watch. The only hiccup I had was my fuel pressure sensor appears to be crapping itself when it gets warm. I have a new one on the way.

But this was my first event since adding Flex Fuel capability to the car. Nothing to report beyond that it worked. Perfectly. So, I’m free of the yoke of $10/gallon race gas. My local Thornton’s gas station provides reliable, high quality E85 for under $2 a gallon most of the time. I think it’s $2.18 right now, though.

But enough yakking, here are the videos!

My best run from Day 1, a 55.6:

My best run from day 2 (though this one had a cone), a 54.6:

And, for comparison, my slowest run of the weekend next to my fastest:

Final thoughts?

At the National SCCA Level, I have a lot of work to do. These folks are fast. I was second out of two on Saturday… 7.4 seconds behind. That’s an embarassing gap. But it’s my fault. The car worked. I’m not driving fast enough.

If I had run the 54.6 clean twice on the first day, I still would have been 4.3 seconds behind my competition. But, even on my fastest run, the car didn’t do anything bad. I wasn’t on the limit yet. I need to get faster. A lot faster.


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