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Landon Yee Diaries

Rounds 5 and 6 at Grattan Raceway Park
Landon Yee
July 4, 2001

Editors Note:  19-year old aspiring Champ Car driver Landon Yee is moving  to the open wheel formula ranks. After winning the Horstman STAART (Series To Advance American Racing Talent) Pro-Invitational, he was awarded a partial scholarship to compete in the Jim Russell Racing Series and am also a winner of CART Skip Barber Karting Scholarship.  He has agreed to be a Guest Columnist so we can hear first hand 'What it's Like to climb the CART Ladder system' (Photo Credit: Mark LaCour)

Go to our forums to discuss this article

Others by Landon


Landon Yee

Fifth and eleventh place finishes were not what I had in mind going into this past weekend but that's just how racing goes sometimes. I arrived in Grattan, Michigan on Tuesday and used Wednesday and Thursday as lapping days to reacquaint myself with the track that I had enjoyed so much success at last year.

After the first of two sessions on Wednesday, I was quite pleased with my lap times because they were within a second of the track record that I had set the previous year. I received feedback from the instructors and used this valuable information by coming within one tenth of my track record in the second and final session of the day.

Thursday was identical in that we had two practice sessions both of which I thought I was the fastest driver on the track. With one warm-up session left before qualifying on Friday, I felt like it was going to be my weekend where I would score my first victory. Once the lapping day was over, I went to lunch with fellow competitors and then to a local beach where we played beach volleyball. It was North America versus Brazil and unfortunately, North America lost. Now tired from practice and volleyball, we returned to our respective hotels to get some rest before Friday's qualifying.

With the weather being in the mid to high 80's, many of the drivers began to make sway bar adjustments to their cars to correct handling problems. I made a few changes that seemed to improve handling and after the morning warm-up, I found myself third quickest heading into qualifying. I did about five or six hot laps where I tried to establish a good time but the times seemed pretty far off. At this point, I waited for someone to draft with and improve my time but as the session wore on, more and more dirt was compiled on the track in turns 5 through 7 which made it nearly impossible to get a good lap time in. With two laps to go, I tried to put in a flyer but as I was finishing up the lap, a driver in front spit up a large rock that came within millimeters of my helmet to hit the kill switch right next to the head rest ending my session and hopes of improving my time. When I came into the pits, I was disappointed and then found out that I had qualified seventh. I went back to the hotel and had a good dinner before thinking over what I had to do to improve my times and what my game plan would be for the race.

Saturday's schedule had the National Championship do an eighteen-minute qualifying session before our race and with it being in the morning, I expected the times to be faster and also to improve on my previous qualifying session. With only eighteen minutes to qualify, I pushed very hard in the beginning and posted a reasonable time. Like Friday's qualifying session, a large amount of dirt was thrown onto the track between turns 5 and 7 which made it difficult to establish a good lap time. By the end of the session, I posted the fifth fastest time, which was a solid improvement from the previous qualifying session.

The National Championship rolled out onto the track and did three warm-up laps before lining up on the track. As we came around to the front straightaway, the pole sitter brought the field down at an extremely slow pace but I was able to time the start fairly well and moved up two spots into fifth by the first turn. As the race wore on, I moved up two more spots into third and began to pull away to a sizeable margin. Just when I thought that it was going to be easy sailing the setup on my car began to fade and the fourth place driver, Maia, began to close the gap. With only two laps left, Maia made a move and passed me going into turn one. I tried to retake this valuable position but lost my front nose in the next corner and nearly all my aerodynamics. On the last lap I tried to stay in Maia's draft but without a front nose, it was very difficult and I was passed by the fifth place driver to finish fifth and moved into third in the championship fight.

Knowing that I had the speed to run up front, I was looking forward to Sunday's race and my fifth place starting position. Once again the pole sitter brought the field down at a very slow pace and as luck would have it, the entire right side of the field got a good start and I was able to move into third by the first turn. Now right behind first and second place, I thought I would be able to compete for the lead but the changes I had made before the race seemed to have made the car understeer. I was fighting a big understeer and by the halfway point, I had fallen back to sixth place. As I was being passed for sixth, I tried to re-pass Levi Simoes going into turn two but had car contact and damaged both of my front wings. I was passed by a few more competitors struggled to hang onto tenth position. On the white flag lap, Damian Della-Santina used my wounded car to his advantage and passed me going down the front straightaway. I was planning on making a move in the hairpin turn but was not close enough and had to settle for an eleventh place finish.

Mediocre results in the season opener, good results at rounds 3 and 4, and now mediocre results yet again. This season could not be more tumultuous, but what would racing be without hard times. Our next race will be held at Putnam Park in Indiana, which is a track that seems to suit my style of driving. As for now, I will return to the drawing board to see where I can improve and learn from these mistakes.

Until next time, speed on!

Landon Yee

Go to our forums to discuss this article

For more information on Landon Yee you can visit his website at www.landonyee.com

Comments can be sent to the author at contacts@autoracing1.com.

Rounds 3 & 4 at IRP

1st Race - Sebring

My first step up CART's ladder

e-mail us:
contacts@autoracing1.com

Back to the top

AutoRacing1 is an independent internet online publication and is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by CART Inc., NASCAR, FIA,  FedEx, Winston, or any other series sponsor. This material may not be published, broadcast, or redistributed without permission.
User agreement & disclaimer

Copyright 1999 - 2001, AutoRacing1, Hamilton, NJ

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Landon Yee Diaries

Rounds 5 and 6 at Grattan Raceway Park
Landon Yee
July 4, 2001

Editors Note:  19-year old aspiring Champ Car driver Landon Yee is moving  to the open wheel formula ranks. After winning the Horstman STAART (Series To Advance American Racing Talent) Pro-Invitational, he was awarded a partial scholarship to compete in the Jim Russell Racing Series and am also a winner of CART Skip Barber Karting Scholarship.  He has agreed to be a Guest Columnist so we can hear first hand 'What it's Like to climb the CART Ladder system' (Photo Credit: Mark LaCour)

Go to our forums to discuss this article

Others by Landon


Landon Yee

Fifth and eleventh place finishes were not what I had in mind going into this past weekend but that's just how racing goes sometimes. I arrived in Grattan, Michigan on Tuesday and used Wednesday and Thursday as lapping days to reacquaint myself with the track that I had enjoyed so much success at last year.

After the first of two sessions on Wednesday, I was quite pleased with my lap times because they were within a second of the track record that I had set the previous year. I received feedback from the instructors and used this valuable information by coming within one tenth of my track record in the second and final session of the day.

Thursday was identical in that we had two practice sessions both of which I thought I was the fastest driver on the track. With one warm-up session left before qualifying on Friday, I felt like it was going to be my weekend where I would score my first victory. Once the lapping day was over, I went to lunch with fellow competitors and then to a local beach where we played beach volleyball. It was North America versus Brazil and unfortunately, North America lost. Now tired from practice and volleyball, we returned to our respective hotels to get some rest before Friday's qualifying.

With the weather being in the mid to high 80's, many of the drivers began to make sway bar adjustments to their cars to correct handling problems. I made a few changes that seemed to improve handling and after the morning warm-up, I found myself third quickest heading into qualifying. I did about five or six hot laps where I tried to establish a good time but the times seemed pretty far off. At this point, I waited for someone to draft with and improve my time but as the session wore on, more and more dirt was compiled on the track in turns 5 through 7 which made it nearly impossible to get a good lap time in. With two laps to go, I tried to put in a flyer but as I was finishing up the lap, a driver in front spit up a large rock that came within millimeters of my helmet to hit the kill switch right next to the head rest ending my session and hopes of improving my time. When I came into the pits, I was disappointed and then found out that I had qualified seventh. I went back to the hotel and had a good dinner before thinking over what I had to do to improve my times and what my game plan would be for the race.

Saturday's schedule had the National Championship do an eighteen-minute qualifying session before our race and with it being in the morning, I expected the times to be faster and also to improve on my previous qualifying session. With only eighteen minutes to qualify, I pushed very hard in the beginning and posted a reasonable time. Like Friday's qualifying session, a large amount of dirt was thrown onto the track between turns 5 and 7 which made it difficult to establish a good lap time. By the end of the session, I posted the fifth fastest time, which was a solid improvement from the previous qualifying session.

The National Championship rolled out onto the track and did three warm-up laps before lining up on the track. As we came around to the front straightaway, the pole sitter brought the field down at an extremely slow pace but I was able to time the start fairly well and moved up two spots into fifth by the first turn. As the race wore on, I moved up two more spots into third and began to pull away to a sizeable margin. Just when I thought that it was going to be easy sailing the setup on my car began to fade and the fourth place driver, Maia, began to close the gap. With only two laps left, Maia made a move and passed me going into turn one. I tried to retake this valuable position but lost my front nose in the next corner and nearly all my aerodynamics. On the last lap I tried to stay in Maia's draft but without a front nose, it was very difficult and I was passed by the fifth place driver to finish fifth and moved into third in the championship fight.

Knowing that I had the speed to run up front, I was looking forward to Sunday's race and my fifth place starting position. Once again the pole sitter brought the field down at a very slow pace and as luck would have it, the entire right side of the field got a good start and I was able to move into third by the first turn. Now right behind first and second place, I thought I would be able to compete for the lead but the changes I had made before the race seemed to have made the car understeer. I was fighting a big understeer and by the halfway point, I had fallen back to sixth place. As I was being passed for sixth, I tried to re-pass Levi Simoes going into turn two but had car contact and damaged both of my front wings. I was passed by a few more competitors struggled to hang onto tenth position. On the white flag lap, Damian Della-Santina used my wounded car to his advantage and passed me going down the front straightaway. I was planning on making a move in the hairpin turn but was not close enough and had to settle for an eleventh place finish.

Mediocre results in the season opener, good results at rounds 3 and 4, and now mediocre results yet again. This season could not be more tumultuous, but what would racing be without hard times. Our next race will be held at Putnam Park in Indiana, which is a track that seems to suit my style of driving. As for now, I will return to the drawing board to see where I can improve and learn from these mistakes.

Until next time, speed on!

Landon Yee

Go to our forums to discuss this article

For more information on Landon Yee you can visit his website at www.landonyee.com

Comments can be sent to the author at contacts@autoracing1.com.

Rounds 3 & 4 at IRP

1st Race - Sebring

My first step up CART's ladder

e-mail us:
contacts@autoracing1.com

Back to the top

AutoRacing1 is an independent internet online publication and is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by CART Inc., NASCAR, FIA,  FedEx, Winston, or any other series sponsor. This material may not be published, broadcast, or redistributed without permission.
User agreement & disclaimer

Copyright 1999 - 2001, AutoRacing1, Hamilton, NJ