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GLTC Race Update - Gingerman Raceway 2024

GLTC Race Update - Gingerman Raceway 2024

Midwest Fest is the flagship Gridlife event of the year. There’s music, racing, drifting & time attack. This was Mendez's second visit and Lathrop's first to GingerMan Racetrack in Michigan.

After the last event at CMP, the team made significant modifications to car 83. They shipped a spare differential to Diffsonline for a gear set swap to a shorter ratio, along with refreshing the clutches and bearings. Additionally, they removed the leading edge of the front splitter. In GLTC, a power-to-weight class where all performance modifications affect weight calculations, this change allowed Mendez to shed 60 pounds of unnecessary ballast. However, the team was cautious about potential increased understeer following this adjustment. Meanwhile, car 84 remained unchanged between CMP and the current race weekend. Overall, the team felt well-prepared as they made the long journey from South Florida to Michigan.

The team utilized two open sessions on Thursday and one on Friday for testing purposes. After making some minor setup adjustments, both cars were dialed in and prepared for Friday's 30-minute qualifying session. Mendez steadily improved his lap times throughout the session, culminating in a quick final lap (lap 8), where he shaved off 9/10s of a second from his previous best, securing the 12th position in the competitive 57-car field with a time of 1:41.283. Lathrop, in his inaugural visit to GMan Raceway, achieved an impressive 25th place qualification with a time of 1:42.664. Needless to say, the team was thrilled with these results.

Race 1 was scheduled for early Friday afternoon, and anticipation filled the air as the teams geared up for the start.

As the green flag dropped, Mendez swiftly gained two spots, but a slight mistake in turn 8 allowed two competitors to slip past. A mid-race collision prompted a full course caution, bringing the race to a temporary halt for three laps. When racing resumed, Lathrop showcased strong performance, advancing by two positions in the latter stages. Despite their efforts, Mendez held steady in 12th place at the checkered flag, while Lathrop made gains, finishing three places higher in 22nd position.

At the Midwest Fest, there was a 10-car qualifying session scheduled after race 2. The goal for Mendez this race was to gain two positions to secure a spot in the top ten shootout. However, As the green flag dropped early misfortune struck when a competitor behind Mendez missed their braking point, triggering a multi-car pileup that involved car 83 on turn 1 of the first lap. As a result of this incident, Mendez was unable to complete a single hot lap in race 2.

Lathrop avoided the mele from this and made up 7 positions in the short race.

In the paddock, the team got to work removing the damaged rear bumper and repairing the bent sheet metal. With the superficial damage addressed, their focus shifted to realigning the car, particularly the left-hand wheels which had borne some of the contact.

For Race 3, Mendez faced a challenging start from near the back of the pack, beginning from p43 on the grid. Despite not starting dead last, his primary objective remained clear: to progress forward.

Lathrop kicked off the race from P15, a solid spot that had him close to snagging a top-ten finish. The stage was set for him to push hard and aim for a strong result in the race ahead.

During the race, Mendez advanced 15 positions, the most of any driver in the field. However, his momentum was abruptly halted when another on-track incident forced the race to conclude under full course caution after just two laps. Despite the shortened race distance, he managed to advance up to p27 by the time the checkered flag fell. Lathrop held his ground and crossed the finish line in P15, maintaining his position throughout the race.

Race 4 was late in the day, and the weather outlook was questionable. It started to rain 1 hour before the race, but clearing skies tempted the team to take a chance and forego the rain tires.

Unfortunately, the skies opened up seconds before the green flag dropped and the usually sticky Kumho v730 tires were not up to the task on a wet and slippery track. The goal quickly became to survive. By the end of the only caution-free race, Mendez had slipped back to P25, while Lathrop also faced a challenging finish, landing in P37.

Overall, it was a decent weekend for the Condor Race Team. The e90s have continued to be reliable. Lathrop scored points in 2 of the 4 races and finished 19th for the weekend. Mendez scored points in only his first race and finished 20th for the weekend. The team is looking forward to their next event at Mid Ohio. This wouldn't be possible without the support from the team back in the Florida HQ and our sponsor, HRE Wheels.

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