On site at the 2012 IFMAR World Championships in Argentina. I am here to do drivers support for the JConcepts team, along with pit duties for fellow Floridian JR Mitch, and anything else that needs to be done. At this time, we are into qualifiers, and things are going pretty well for the JConcepts drivers. Armed with a good selection of tires, and various compounds, we have the surface covered as we learn what compound works better in the condition that have presented itself. Being into the summer months here, it has been on the warm side. Being this far south, the sun feels brutal, everyone here is across the board on the color red. Some still in various stages of pink, different degrees of red, all the way to what should be described as purple. On the bright side, there are only 4 more days to go. 🙂
For the event, I believe it has overwhelmed the club here in Buenos Aries. With high expectations from the races I have attended in Europe this year, along with past Worlds, this has the feel of a mediocre regional racing event. Regardless, there is a race here, and many of the worlds finest drivers are present to do battle to determine who will be on the top step of the podium on Saturday.
With two days of practice consisting of 6 rounds of track time, the resort from the practice rounds have most of the drivers running within their group, and the heats are tight. Each of the 6 qualifying rounds are 10 minutes in duration. Mandatory pit stops for everyone on this large flowing circuit. Heavy on the throttle has fuel mileage low, and with the grouping being so close, a slight mistake will drop you a few spots in your heat, and several for the overall round. It is common to have a few drivers on the same second, and a driver on every second. A 6 second mistake being marshaled, will drop you about 10 positions.
For JR and myself, things are going well. Since I have worked with him at several large races this year, and a practice day weeks before this trip, we have not encountered any issues within our pit, and every time on the track has been a positive result, allowing JR to have a good pace in the practice rounds, along with the first day of qualifying.
All of the JConcepts drivers have had good moments throughout the event with some good positioning, a little luck, the team is working towards getting good results to put them in the position that they have expected from themselves. With the product that we have on hand, and the feel within the group, I feel this could be one of the most successful world events as a collective team result.
I guess we will know for sure in a few more days.