EMS Racing competed in the North American Ferrari Challenge this weekend. On Monday, we caught up with Chairman JW, who raced to raise awareness for PETA, after his return from Montreal, Canada.
“The first practice session was wet,” JW recalled. “But I finished first in class by a second and 6th overall in a field of 35 split between the pro class and amateur. We were very pleased with the start. The second practice was dry and I finished second in class, 10th overall.”
The official qualifying session was scheduled next, but Mother Nature had other plans. The second practice times for all racers were used for positioning in Race 1 as a result of the qualifying lap being rained-out.
“They thought Race 1 would be wet,” JW explained. “We were on rain tires because of that. It ended up being dry, which was quite difficult. It was the same challenge for everyone, though, of course.”
Rain tires, for those who don’t know, have very little grip when it’s dry.
Despite the track conditions, EMS Racing got out to a great start in Race 1. On Lap 4, however, a move for the top spot ended up creating some adversity.
“I was running 2nd in Class, 6th Overall, on Lap 4 when I spun trying to chase down the car running in first,” JW said. “We kept the car on road but the blue, something-big-is-wrong, light lit up the dash. Apparently, the anti-lock brake computer frazzled while I was rolling backwards at the end of the spin.”
This sequence, eventually, would end EMS’ day.
“I had maintained position in second,” he explained, while recovering from the initial spin. “The next car was way behind me. But going into the next corner, as I braked, the front tires both locked. Amid giant puffs of smoke, I was tossed left into wall.”
“The worst part was that Race 2 slots were determined by Race 1’s final positions.”
Race 2, however, was a new day for JW and EMS.
“It was sunny and the stands were packed with around 200,000 people,” he said, recalling the scene surrounding Race 2.
“We got a storming start from 30th and worked up to 4th in Class, 14th overall, before I made one mistake where I got passed. Then I had another spin trying to pass and ended up 6th in Class. The second race was big fun, though, a great experience.”
JW added that the Ferrari Challenge weekend, overall, provided valuable racing lessons he can build on moving forward.
“The biggest takeaway on the positive side was that I showed I have the speed in practice,” he added. “The negative is that I am not closing the deal yet in races.
I very realistically should have podium’d or even won both races in Class. But it was only my second race weekend of my life and all these guys are way more experienced. Overall, it really was fun, fun experience.”