44 OCTOBER 2020 scca.comTECHNICAL
twice if you don’t get a good exit.
“The entry to Turn 14 is keyas it is not configured in such away to where you use the biggestarc. To do so you’d have to giveup quite a bit of entry speedto get left for turn-in. The bestcompromise I’ve found in bighorsepower cars is to try and beabout five to six feet from the leftbut carrying good speed bothat turn-in and throughout.
“A lot of people will also pointto the Carousel…it’s importantto search out maximum grip asit seems to change throughoutthe day, particularly in the wet.”
Danger areas: “Withoutquestion, the kink. There arewalls on both sides, and they arevery close. You can write off your[Runoffs] in the blink of an eye.
A lot of drivers also get into troubleexiting Turn 1 by getting loose andtheir attempts to correct throwthem into the inside wall which,again, is quite close to track edge.”
Weather considerations: “Ifthere’s rain in the area, it seemsto be magnetically drawn toRoad America. The track surfacehas enough tooth to stay onslicks through a light drizzleif your tires are warm, but ifthe tires cool, you are toast.
“This track is long enough thatit can be raining in the Carouseland dry at start/finish. It will remaindisastrously wet in the CanadaCorner area and in between allwooded spots long after the frontstraight appears dry. I won’t evenget into the running water acrossthe track back near the Kink.”
MICHAEL LEWIS: STRONG MANIN THE GROUND POUNDERS
Michael Lewis has some seriousexperience. He has run everythingfrom Trans Am to GT-1 to GT- 3to GT-L to FF to two entriesat Le Mans – yes, the one inFrance. He owned and ran aTrans Am team and an ALMSprototype teams for years.
During the five years theRunoffs was at Road America from
2009-’ 13, Lewis scored threegolds and a bronze in GT-1. Hehas a total of nine SCCA NationalChampionships, including sixin GT-1 and three in GT- 3. HisRunoffs hardware includes a totalof 11 poles and 19 podiums.
Aero vs. mechanical grip:
“Everyone wants to lay the
wings back because of the three
long straights, but like Daytona
International Speedway where the
infield is the key, Road America
is all about Sectors 2 and 3 and
getting the car working through
the twisty bits using mechanical
grip as much as possible.”
Hardest parts of the track:
“The Kink, when it comes to rawcourage, but carrying speedthrough Turn 1 and gettingmaximum braking into CanadaCorner are two of the moreimportant technical areas that willdrop more time from your lap.”
Common mistakes: “A lot ofpeople leave time on the table bybraking too timidly into CanadaCorner, and for good reason; if yougo off there, your day is probablydone. You can go surprisingly deepin that braking zone, but you mustwork up to it by moving your brakepoint in five-foot increments. InTurn 1, a lot of people over-slow.
Get off the brake pedal earlierand roll more speed in. Use all theexit curbing, and then some.”
Prioritizing corners: “The finalcorner is important because it leadsonto a long straight and is almostimmediately uphill. So, you pay
REPEAT PERFORMANCEWith nine Runoffs titles and 10other podium finishes, MichaelLewis (ABOVE and BELOW)knows what it takes to run fast.