After Action Report – Daytona

Overview: A weekend full of learning, and self reflection. Or as Jay Leno, (and my Mom) like to say “a complex learning opportunity”

Goals and objectives: My goal for each race weekend (which I lost sight of) is to be consistent, and adaptable. I was very focused on Turn 6, and the bus stop for Daytona.

Analysis of outcomes: Daytona is an awesome track it has an oval banked section used for NASCAR, as well as an infield road course connected to, the challenge is to balance the high-speed sections with the in field, unfortunately, I did not get to achieve the outcome I was working toward. In the first test session of the morning I had an incident which damaged the car so severely that I was not able to race over the weekend.

Analysis of the performance shown on critical tasks: As is my usual approach, I flew in the day before practice to get settled, and rested. There was an opening lapping session setup for Friday morning between 8am-noon, then it would be official PCA practice, and qualifying. My normal approach is to reflect in my journal prior to stepping into the car, for some reason, I didn’t do that this time (this is where I failed). We went out on stickers, and I ran 6-7 laps then came in and checked tire pressures, I realized that I had not loaded the track into my data logger, and therefore was not getting any lap times, at this point, I should have called it, and come in to reset. However, I went back out, and ran 5 more laps, on the 6th lap a full course caution came out, I was coming into the bus stop and backed out of the throttle because of the caution, as I was braking into the bus stop I lost control, and spun backward into the tire wall, and did a lot of damage to the car. It need to go back to the garage on a flatbed.

The damage was such that there was no way to race the car, so I decided to head home back home that day. It gave me a weekend to reflect on what went wrong. On reflection I didn’t follow my process, focus on my goals (consistent, and adaptable) reflect before each session in my journal to help me keep focused, and raise my awareness level. Most importantly, there were multiple opportunities where I ignored my inner voice, which, I need to spend more time understanding. What is the noise of fear, anxiety, versus the important signals that should be heeded.

Summary: I feel embarrassed, disappointed, unfulfilled, and sad. As I am learning “that’s racing” the highest highs, the lowest lows, and still so much to learn. It has been a really incredible season, and I look forward to 2020. On a positive note, despite not being able to race that weekend I was able to maintain an overall finish of 3rd place nationally for the GTB1 class.

Recommendations: I will trust my instincts, listen to my inner voice, and stick to my process of self-reflection before I get in the car.