Factor X Racing
When we were first ap-proached to run in the Super Lap Battle at the Long Beach Grand Prix we felt like kids on Christmas Eve. We circled this race early in the year as a must-show, must-win event. The nostalgia of running in the final Champ Car event at the Long Beach Grand Prix and running with the top time attack teams in the nation in front of tens of thousands of spectators drew us to the race.
Although we did as much as we possibly could to prepare for the event, we ran into some problems on our first session out that caused us to run Sixth in the group and several seconds behind the leader. Electrical gremlins are the worst kind, especially since we only had one run session a day and no opportunity to test the car to see if our fix worked. Thankfully, on the second day of practice we solved about 90 percent of our electrical issues that allowed our driver, Billy Johnson, the ability to jump to Second Place, only 0.07 of a second behind the leader.
On competition day, we made some more changes in the right direction in regards to suspension, tires (thanks Yokohama), and our reoccurring electrical issues. The final day proved to be the most treacherous, as the track was littered with car parts and fluids. Several cars ended up blowing up and some, including us, even caught on fire. On the second to the last lap, our transmission scattered and caused fluid to leak on the header and start quite a fire. It was surreal seeing the car roll into the pit billowing smoke. Thankfully, our crew had fire extinguishers ready to go and quickly put out the fire with help from the other great pit crew teams.
The smell from the fire extinguisher and the humility of having to push the car back to the pits had us feeling defeated. However, while assessing the damage, word came in that we clocked the fastest time overall by over a second. This quickly quelled our depression, and our anxiety quickly turned to exhilaration and excitement. Looking back, this experience has given our team the most fulfilling sense of accomplishment.
Big thanks to our sponsors, Elliott Moran, and Super Street for putting on this top-notch event!
Factor X Racing