**** GUEST BLOG – BY Donovan Brockway****
As racers we spend so much time in the off season prepping, strategizing and planning for the upcoming season. I have never felt more prepared than coming into this season. There was definitely a learning curve with the car over the last two seasons, but this time when I showed up in Orlando, I was more excited than ever and ready to prove what our team can do.
During practice on Thursday, I did a few follow laps to get a feel for the course. Even though we have been to Orlando Speed World before and have data from the venue, we have a new beast this year. The new control arms felt great and after a minor change to the fuel map, the new engine was ripping better than ever. The 2nd practice session we got my suspension and tire PSI dialed in and we were all set for qualifying! My first lap started off strong, putting the back end of the car close to outer zone 1, I came off the bank planning an on throttle transition. The tire debeaded when the car hit the flat causing an epic spin out and a zero for that run. The Orlando track has a nasty lip transition from the outer bank to the inner course which is notorious for debeading tires. Now the pressure is on. The 2nd run was a little more cautious than I intended but qualified us 15th and we were in the competition for Friday!
Friday practice was on and I decided to get a little more tandem work in before the competition. Doing mostly follow runs, l worked on my initiation proximity, got a feel for everyone’s speeds and saw when they pulled off outer zone 1. The transition from bank to flat is brutal and caused many issues for everyone that weekend. During a follow run with Travis Reeder, my car decided to sheer all of the lug studs off mid run and it sucked my driver side wheel under the rear of the car throwing the back end into the air. It was by far one of the weirdest experiences I’ve ever had driving! Not fully realizing what had just happened, my car skidded to a stop and all I could hear was metal on concrete. I thought the tire had just come off, I didn’t know I was on sliding on my brake rotor. After a flatbed tow back to the pit, we scrambled to find another rotor. With no such luck, the team managed to pull it off and straighten it as best we could before the top 16 competition. The car was heavily compromised and the e-brake basically didn’t work till the 2rd or 3rd pull but we went out and gave it our all anyway! We were faced up against Randal Waters for top 16. We had data numbers on him and we knew his car was fast. Following him, I initiated a little too far back, not really knowing when my car was going to slow down and I basically held that position the rest of the lap. On my lead run I laid down the best line I could but he was right there in proximity which put an end to our day.
We learned a lot in Orlando about the car and team. Once again, the car threw a curve ball at us but that’s how the program evolves. I can’t thank everyone enough: the team, my family, all my friends and all the amazing companies we are fortunate enough to be working with. See you guys in Atlanta!”
– Donovan Brockway
Donovan Brockway is the owner of Red Baron Racing and professional Formula Drift Pro 2 Driver. Brockway is a Konig sponsored driver and runs the flow formed Konig Rennform on his BMW E30.