The Fitzgerald Chronicles: Brumos 250 at Daytona
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This past Thursday night was the Brumos 250, which was round seven of the Grand American Road Racing Association's Rolex series. The event was held on Thursday because we were the support race for the Nextel Cup race the following weekend.

I shared the #38 TPC Racing Porsche GT3 Cup car with Manuel Matos.

The entire event was held on Thursday including practice, qualifying and the race. The weather forecast was calling for thunderstorms all day, but when we arrived on Thursday morning the track was dry and it looked like we might get the morning practice sessions in without any weather issues.

PRACTICE AND QUALIFYING

We had two practice sessions on Thursday morning followed by an early afternoon qualifying session. The track had been repaved since the Daytona 24 Hour event in February and the grip level was tremendously improved in the infield section of the course. We had a softer car than what we ran in February, which was probably the wrong way to go, but overall the car seemed decent.

The most significant handling issue was with the rear of the car. At corner entry we would lose the back end of the car right at turn in. For the second session we made changes to the rebound adjustment in the rear dampers and the rear anti-roll bar. This seemed to help, but was about all the setup work we were able to do in the limited time available.

Manuel qualified the car at 1:00pm. He managed a 1:58.9, which qualified us in fifteenth position. There were no more practice sessions prior to the race, which didn't begin until 7:15 pm. Right after qualifying the rain finally came. It poured for the next several hours and we all started preparing ourselves for a wet race. I spent a lot of time trying to make sure that I would be able to see. I put a stick with a rag on the end inside the car and tried a few things that were intended to keep the inside of the windshield from fogging up. I drove blind in the race at Mt. Tremblant and I didn't want a repeat of that experience.

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