RYDQUIST REVELS IN TA2 LEAD AFTER WILD WEST COAST WOES
May 6, 2021
Two races into the 2021 West Coast Championship, Carl Rydquist sits atop of the TA2 points standings with 2019 Champion Brad McAllister in hot pursuit.
Laguna Seca, CA (May 4, 2021) - In his first season of TA2 racing, driving the No. 47 Nelson Motorsports/Racecars4Rent/Optimal Stunt TA2 Mustang in the West Coast Championship, Carl Rydquist has so far captured West Coast pole positions at Sonoma and Laguna Seca, won and led most laps at Sonoma, led the most laps at Laguna Seca, and is at the top of the championship standings. 2019 TA2 West Coast Champion Brad McAllister are on his heels along with other TA2 regulars and newcomers.
“Making the move to TA2, it’s been great,” Rydquist says. “It’s competitive, the cars are extremely rewarding to drive, the long sprint races generate a lot of action. Coming in I was just hoping for some decent points at this stage, but the results have come faster than expected and I have Nelson Motorsports to thank for providing such a great racecar.”
Coming from mid and rear engined GT cars, Rydquist first focused on gaining experience of the specific elements of driving TA2 cars. TA2 brakes are of smaller diameter compared to GT cars, the TA2 tires have tall sidewalls and are a hybrid construction between a radial and a bias ply, intended to mimic the driving behaviors of a 60s bias ply tire. A TA2 chassis uses different sets of adjustments to achieve the desired balance and transition behaviors. With four gears rather than five, six or seven gears, choosing correct gearing has a great impact.
“There is a lot to learn, details you can only pick up from being in the seat and trying different things. Since it’s similar to spec racing in many ways, gearing can make or break your chances,” Rydquist says. “The transitions are different, the usable slip angle is much greater. Two restarts at Sonoma and three at Laguna gave a lot of insight to the TA2 tires, how they re-heat at different phases. Brakes felt unnerving at first but after some changes I’m good with them now.”
Rydquist had a promising race at Laguna Seca, led the West Coast field for most of the race and worked his way from 12th to 8th overall. A late race incident in Turn 3 saw his podium chances vanish although he recovered to 5th in the TA2 West Coast category to retain the championship lead.
“Laguna Seca was great in many ways, but I kept getting dusted down the straights. I’d inch my way back only to be left in the dust again, especially down the long front straight. Gearing or tuning, we’re looking into it. It was very hard work,” Carl says. “I needed extraordinary braking into the Andretti hairpin to avoid getting overtaken. For the last restart I set a bit too much rear brake bias. It was great for the hairpin but into Turn 3 the rear just walked out. It was savage. You can and must push these things, but there are limits. Those kinds of moments teach you a lot and make you better armed for the championship.”
Data is a key to performance in racing. Detailed analysis provides answers and direction. TA2 cars use an AEM Infinity engine computer that records numerous parameters. Complemented by a GPS logger and onboard cameras, teams and drivers can analyze the car and driver performance from any situation on the track.
“We see everything and can find ways to better the car as well as my performance.” Rydquist shares. “We hope to resolve the acceleration deficit quickly and are excited to come back strong.”
Round 3 will take place at Thunderhill Raceway Park, the track where Rydquist has turned the most amount of laps of any track. It is known for its fast sweeping turns and blind crests. Qualifying takes place on Saturday May 15, followed by a 100-mile race on Sunday May 16.
Live Timing is available on the Trans Am app and via www.gotransam.com
Carl Rydquist social media hub www.carlrydquist.com
About Nelson Motorsports:
Nelson Motorsports is expanding its services into a rental race car program called Racecars4Rent. We began as a family passionate about racing and the life lessons it brings. Road course racing is where we have landed our racing passion, setting track records on the West Coast and winning races at big time circuits like Circuit of the Americas.
Learn more at https://www.racecars4rent.com/
Parties interested in the 2021 R4R “Arrive and Drive” Program in TA2, can contact the team office at (509) 948-5785 or email email@example.com