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Cordeiro report; A “cheesy” weekend! Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Road America

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Cordeiro report; A “cheesy” weekend! Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Road America

Old 08-23-2009, 06:24 PM
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Cordeiro report; A “cheesy” weekend! Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Road America

Cordeiro report; A “cheesy” weekend! Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, Road America

The next stop of the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup was the dairy capital of the United States, Wisconsin and more specifically Elkhart Lake, Road America.

Once again, we hit the road a day early with the camper in tow. Not so lucky as I have been, to avoid traffic. Chicago was utterly insane. Toronto to Chicago takes about 8 hours and Chicago to Road America is supposed to be just under 3 hours. This was not the case. Arriving just 15 minutes into Chicago rush hour, I paid the price of being late. It took exactly 4 hours and 24 minutes to reach the track. I was so zonked out it's not funny. Initially we planned to take the ferry across Lake Michigan, but decided we wanted to take the scenic route and check out Chi Town. Omg... 12 and a half hours, straight... too much. I wish we stuck to the original plan.

Road America is a very interesting track as it is incredibly fast with little room for error. What is my favourite corner? Canada corner (T12), of course! Canada corner is a tricky right hander uphill but before that, it is 6th gear, redline, in the Jetta TDI Cup car. Fast fun.

I found myself having difficulties with the track, particularily corners 1 & 5. In Turn 1, I always caught myself over slowing the car. The billboard I was using as a braking reference was OK, but I never let myself become comfortable with the immense grip and speed of T1. Turn 5 was also tricky. The reason T5 is tricky, at least for me in the TDI Cup car, is that the normal racing line is super bumpy. Somewhere near the inside apex is a huge dip that upsets the car and spits it out towards the gator curbing. Sometimes this dip would even cause sudden oversteer and would require throttle off or countersteer, slowing me down even more. I qualified 19th, yeah I was stressed; this was my worst qualifying of the year. I didn’t let my inexperience, tiredness from the drive over and once hot streak-turned-ice-cold bother me, too much. What was done was just that and I had to focus on more important things, the fans.

The Chicago Autobahn race was supposed to be the debut of the CORDEIRO racing shirt but alas, it was canceled due to a wardrobe malfunction. With things taken care of, we were ready to hand out the shirts during the autograph session. Wow! The place was rammed! I swear people came out of the woodwork, the Volkswagen section was crowded all kinds. It was totally awesome to interact with the fans and hear great things about the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup series. I am happy that the debut was such a success and we were able to raise awareness of Clean Diesel racing. We gave out over 200 shirts!

Race Mode. No chance to relax and catch some shuteye this time. It was a busy weekend. Crack open the fridge and read directions. RECOMMENDED USE: Drink one whole bottle for maximum energy. Do not exceed two bottles daily, consume several hours apart. I’m JACKED up now!

Red lights off, great start! Passed three cars for P16. We reach T1 and there goes Jake Thompson, spun off the track and rolled back on! Everyone swerved around him like a swarm of bees, intense! Now I am P15 and we are heading into T5. Remember that dip in T5? Two guys are fighting for a pass and get sucked out wide to the alligator curbing and now I’m P13. It is still the first lap! On a roll, AWESOME!

A few laps go by and I’ve made it down to P8. We are heading down the back straight into Canada corner. Whammo! Derek Jones and Devin Cates collide. Devin flies off the track, front digs into the sand trap and trampolines him WRONG-SIDE-UP onto the wall. OUCH! What a buzzkill. It was terrifying to watch. All the dust and that bang imitated a land mine. Double Yellow, full course caution. One lap around and we are back at T12 (Canada Corner), Devin is out of his car walking around, good sight.

After some time we went green again. Here we go again, flying into T12, I was setting up to pass for P7. The guy ahead did not seem to realize and began his early apex (Roll Eyes). Under full brakes I couldn’t add to that so I let up a bit and steered around to the outside of him, off the track I go! All I could think of was Devin! I managed to keep my foot in it and made it out of the gravel. I lost two positions, now P10.

A few laps went by and another double yellow came out. Not sure what the reason, but it wasn’t what I needed. The gap behind me now closed onto my rear bumper. Green flag with very few minutes left. Good restart but he’s stuck to me like glue. The draft is HUGE at Road America. It came down to the last corner on the last lap. He passed me on the entry to T14 and I passed him on the exit of T14. We are heading to the finish line, neck and neck! Ten seconds to go! I begin hopping up and down in my seat wishing I had a push to pass button. We crest the hill and he begins to overtake me… Nooooooooo!!!!!!!! We cross the finish line and he got me by a foot and an inch! So dramatic. Good race Ryan!

Thank You Volkswagen, Hyperfuels, ViON, Track Mart, Inside Track Racing News, HotBits, Can-Alignment and Smile Seating for helping to make the CORDEIRO shirts successful. It was great to see the fans in the stands sporting the gear and supporting Clean Diesel racing.

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