A Learning Experience at Virginia International Raceway
For the weekend of April 26-27 2003, David Jurca traveled to Virginia
to participate in rounds two and three of the Formula Dodge National
Championship. Qualifying for the first race of the weekend was held
in the wet. Having never driven in the wet before with these cars,
Jurca was able to put in a solid qualifying effort for tenth out
of the 26 car field. In race one, David was up to 7th around the
3rd lap when a fellow competitor drove off the track and spun back
onto it just in front of Jurca. Jurca would be forced to the dirt
to avoid. This dropped David all the way down to 20th and he was
able to climb back up to 14th.
For race two, Jurca would qualify
20th. During qualifying, the sun came out and started to dry the
track at such a rapid pace that for every lap most drivers would
gain about three to four seconds. On lap 8 of 11, Jurca had the
provisional pole and he immediately came into the pits to change
his car setup from a wet setup to a dry setup. When Jurca came back
onto the track to do his fast lap, another driver blocked him through
a fast section of corners costing Jurca precious time. This "slow"
lap would end up being Jurca's fastest qualifying lap, and he would
drop all the way down to 20th. The race was very eventful and Jurca
would climb all the way up to 12th before getting mixed up with
some other drivers and falling down to 17th.
It was not the best weekend of
Jurca's life, but he knows there are still 10 of 13 races left to
improve on his championship position. Most importantly, Jurca gained
valuable experience to take to his next race at Road America, Wisconsin.
After the race, Jurca has this to say: "Racing in these cars,
you definitely have to qualify up front, otherwise your chances
of finishing up front are greatly reduced. I made a bad call by
going into the pits during my second qualifying, but had there not
been a slow car on the track in front of me it might have paid off.
Nonetheless, I am going to Road America with a lot more experience
under my belt."