May 2, 2021 – Area 81 Racing endured wild weather swings in its Mid Ohio debut to log respectable 6th and 4th place finishes. Cold weather during Practice 1 and a rain shortened Practice 2 session on Friday made learning the track extremely difficult, however lap times improved drastically with every session throughout the weekend.
After qualifying 8th during Q1, Tim settled into a rhythm behind the #93 JDR to finish 6th in Race 1. Track conditions worsened during Q2 on Sunday morning, but his continued improvement put him 6th on the grid for Race 2. Grip improved in Race 2 and Tim set his sights on the #39 JDR, who he would overtake and hold off until the checker. The performance earned him the Sonoco Hard Charger award.
Tim Pierce, driver #81 – “I have to say this is the most challenging track that I have ever been on. There are so many little things that you don’t notice in the car at speed, so I walked the track and went around to all the corners to try to gain a different perspective. Grip level changes dramatically with the weather here. P1 was freezing and I couldn’t get any heat in my tires because I was still trying to figure out which way the track went. It was a catch 22. P2 was warmer but it was a rain shortened session. Q1 was in the low 30s, so we really didn’t get fast until Race 1. That was when the light came on and I finally started to get comfortable. I improved every session and finished in the top half of the field. At the end of the day, that’s all you can ask for at a new track.”
The next event on the schedule is Barber Motorsports Park near Birmingham, Alabama on May 20th. It will be another track debut for the team. Thanks to the crew, series, sponsors, and competitors for a fantastic weekend.