S2000 Takes On GRIDLIFE Street Class and Sets New Lap Record!
GRIDLIFE visited Autobahn Country Club’s three configurations, and the top competitors had their work cut out for them.
Many of you have seen coverage of Jackie Ding‘s S2000, and his adventures in numerous time attack series. This time, he’s entered into the triple header hosted by #GRIDLIFE at Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Illinois. With three different configurations to run over two days of action, there’s almost no down time, and concentration is a must.
Ding’s confidence is up though. In dyno tuning the car, power numbers were up for the event. However, Street class still limits mods, so no non-factory aero is at play here. Ding is excited for the new setup, “Last time we tuned, it was much colder. Now it’s 70, 80 degrees today and we made 7 more horsepower, that’s incredible!”
Saturday started with the North course. A 1.5 mile technical course that lends itself equal to light, nimble cars, as well as powerful horsepower cars. Ding’s main rivals would all have the latter, facing a Mustang GT, a 370Z and a C7 Corvette. Temperatures were in the mid 90’s all day long and this played a part on the physically demanding technical parts of the track. Still, Ding was able to net a time of 1:09.778. Not only did that put him in 1st place, but it also set the new record for RWD Street class for GRIDLIFE.
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Half way though Saturday’s activities and the track was re-configured to the full 3.5 mile course, the 4th longest in the US. Ding didn’t have as much luck here, netting a time of 2:42.437 for second place by 1.026 seconds. That tied him for 1st in points
Fast forward to Sunday morning, and now the time attack is held on the 2.1 mile South Course. With a little prep talk in pit lane, ding says, “come on little car, I know you have it in you!” After a few laps with tiny mistakes, Ding his a clean lap. After pulling into the pits for a cool down, Ding says, “I don’t know if you can see the swat on my face, but that was everything I had. If it’s not enough, it’s not enough.”
It wasn’t quite enough.
Ding managed a 1:35.443 on the South Course, but that was 1.058 off the pace of 1st. With a close field, that time slid him down to 4th place. With points based on performance in class divided by number of cars in field, that meant with all three courses added up, ding had 656 points. But a solid performance all weekend by a 370Z meant that driver had 4 more. Talk about a tough battle!