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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."