On the second run, I was still struggling back to my old time when I learned that Jason had beaten me again! This time he was 3 tenths ahead! Over the next few runs, I managed to close the lead to 0.267, but his time still stood. On an early afternoon run, I managed to pull out a time just 0.016 ahead of his best, only to learn that he had one-upped me again by 2 tenths! He was now 1.3 seconds ahead of the old record. Amazing!
At this point, I was trying to resist the urge to over brake into turn 1, a fast sweeper. It was HARD! The prospect of smacking the bank was none too appealing! I turned out a decent run with a slight improvement, closing the gap to 0.137 seconds. I feared this was our last run and he had me. Unfortunately, The Wall (turn 3) was as difficult as ever. I had a terrible time getting traction going out of there, and my speed was down to pathetic (sub 30 mph) levels. While this is not unusual, it was particularly frustrating when my primary advantage over Jason's GTI is the superior cornering. Could I just lift through 1? Could I turn out consistent performance through the hairpins? Could I make more time through turn 5 and the jump? During the weekend, as my speed increased, I was spinning my right rear tire through five. It's a steep uphill sweeper to the jump and I had been hugging the inside to minimize the distance traveled, but the right wheel breaking loose meant I was losing potential acceleration. Through Sunday I was debating the correct line, attempting to read my Traqmate data, and optimize the line in the shortest possible time.
I blasted into turn 1, just brushed the brakes, and screamed through turn 2. The Wall presented little obstacle, and I continued on. Over the jump the engine raced, and it seemed like I got more air time than usual. Through the final sweeper to the finish, and I shut down. I look at the Traqmate. It showed a 6 tenths improvement. I had him!
When I get to the bottom, I learn that, in fact it was a 7 tenths improvement, with a best time of 62.583. I had beaten the old record by nearly 1.9 seconds! Then I learn that Jason also picked up 7 tenths. My heart sank. He was sitting on a 0.163 second lead, holding the new record of 62.420. Apparently my fast time drove him to perform because he beat the old record by just over 2 seconds!
Jason and I finished the hillclimb season 3-3. We each won three events where we both competed. Unfortunately, he got me at Weatherly 0.110 in the spring, and 0.163 in the Fall. He also got me at Pagoda, but I'm confident that I can change that next year! Now for the car development. I'm sure I can get another 10 horsepower out of that engine under IT rules! Maybe a splitter is in my future ...