Singing in the rain

September 20, 2013

Singing in the rain

September 20, 2013


Teams are not only having to learn a new race track here at Circuit of The Americas this weekend, they are also having to learn about what the track is like in the wet.

Rain overnight in Austin was followed by a further heavy downpour during the opening practice session for the American Le Mans Series today.

For the SRT Viper squad, today was one of their first opportunities to try the car in wet conditions since its debut last year. The American Le Mans Series has been blessed with good weather in recent times – the wet tires have done very little on track work.

Mosport and Road America back-to-back GT pole winner Jonathan Bomarito was on track during this morning’s session.

“It was interesting to say the least. It was tricky conditions – half wet, half dry,” Bomarito said.

“Right at the end of the session we got a lot of rain and that made it tough. We worked a lot on traction control settings; there wasn’t a lot of work that we could do to the car under the wet conditions. We were just trying to get a feel for where we could drive the car and work on some TC (traction control) settings.”

“COTA is really smooth and the water sits on top of the track like a smooth sheet of water and the car tries to hydroplane everywhere. You really have to be careful and be aware of standing water across the track.

“Every new situation brings new lessons learned and we’re in that boat today. We are learning to adapt and now know that with that much rain we have to do something different with our setups and tires, etc. Bill (Riley) and the team will look at how the second practice shapes up and we’ll go from there.

“The forecast calls for rain all day and it’s a crapshoot right now as to what’s going to happen. When it’s that wet on the track it becomes high-risk for the cars. We’ll let Bill and Gary (Johnson) know how we feel and they’ll make the decision to what the plan will be. This rain changes everything and we’re just going to have to adapt.”

Teams are back on track today at 12:40pm followed by qualifying.

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