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      10-12-2009, 08:57 PM   #8
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Insightful comments from Lou Gigliotti

Hi Guys,

First let me say that Jan is the only driver on the Chevy team that came to congratulate us last race for out qualifying the Factory team. He is a class act.

He is also one tough driver .

First incident in pit out lane: the rule is there because there are always cars coming out of the pits and they have to travel around past turn 2 to enter the track. So driving 4 wheels into that lane is just asking for trouble. If there was a car coming out of the pits then, it would have been really bad for them.

Let me also say that in practice (yes practice) there was only one car that constantly hit us (yes hit us) or shoved our corvette into the dirt and they were the Corvette factory cars. Even when we were waiving them by, they would brush us or squeeze us. even at Atlanta, on the long straight as we were passing them they squeezed our driver (on video) against the grass for some reason.
I can only assume that the drivers were "Instructed" to intimidate us so we might be off our game and not repeat the Atlanta qualifying scenario.

No other cars on the track do that. Not to us and not to the others. Just the factory Corvette team. (must be the foreigners)

At any rate, at Laguna, which is Government owned, they did not want to move the inside pit wall toward the paddock to widen the exit of the pits to make room for the flagger's stand at start finish. So they pushed the pit wall toward the track side. so the pit wall curves toward the track side. If you look at the video, you will see that if you run within inches of the pit wall and stay totally straight on your steering, you WILL hit the part of the wall that is pushed toward the track side.

This is a common crash at Laguna. It would not require the 45 car to do anything for this crash to happen.

If you look at the video, you will see that Jan sees the wall coming and he turns to the right to avoid the wall. Bergmeister just provided the pivot that turned the Corvette to the right.
The Porsche then touches his brakes to avoid the Corvette as it crosses in front of the 45 car. The porsche just got out of the way and let the Corvette continue across the track and unfortunately into the wall. Thankfully Jan was ok because the hit was not a dead straight hit but rather a glancing blow to the wall.

Now to turn 11, the last turn. Jan is a hard racer. He saw that he was not going to be able to pass him cleanly so he released his brakes and actually accelerated into the Porsche with the intention of spinning him.

The contact only wiggled the Porsche enough to cause a drag race against the pit wall. "A wall that has a curve in it that protrudes toward the track side.

Once they were an inch away from the wall and an inch away from each other, there was no other outcome that could be had without the Corvette or Porsche giving up and lifting. And this was a high contact sport for some laps.
And to ask the porsche to lift and hand over the just after the Porsche got tagged intentionally and cleaqrly smashed in the rear by Jan, would be asking a racer too much.

So that is the way I see it. The Corvette drivers are getting a reputation as the "dirty" drivers in the series. When Johnny O pushed the Porsche into the gravel earlier, it was considered a good thing by the team. "Rah rah rah, good job" is what came over their radio.

So there you have it. You reap what you sow and if you rough drive too much, this kind of thing WILl happen more often.

Oh, and during the race, we lost a few laps for a couple of reasons, and bad calls on our part but while we were on track, our #28 car was hit in the door by the #3 car really hard in turn 9, while trying to let them by. and again in turn 2, they drove across my right front splitter and bumper. Weird!


Lou Gigliotti
A 1/2 and 1/4 speed replay of the event.