Podium for Schmied and W2W Racing at High Plains

August 8th 2021 – Denver, CO.

Kenny Schmied and W2W Racing showed with a P2 during Saturday’s race and a P5 in Sunday’s race at High Plains Raceway near Denver Colorado. The team were on for a second podium on Sunday and running in P2 before a fuel pump issue caused the car to lose about 20 minutes in the pits. High plains is a uniquely challenging track on the WRL calendar because the track sits at nearly 5,000ft above sea level. The lower air density means the engine and gearbox run hotter, and managing water and oil temps become a large part of a drivers weekend when racing at High Plains.

High Plains Raceway is a 2.55 mile road course with 15 corners and ample elevation change. Nestled just outside Denver, Schmied was happy this track continues to be on the WRL calendar, and said “It’s such a fun track, and it’s quite accessible from a driving standpoint for all levels of talent. Compared to some of the other places we visit over a season, there is a ton of room to make a mistake and not end up in a wall, so that always give you a little more confidence to come into the weekend and really push things.” The race was a home race for Schmied who lives in Denver. 

2021-08-07-23.31.42The team qualified in P4 on Friday, with Schmied setting the fastest lap during the Friday qualifying sessions. Schmied took the grid for the start of Saturday’s 8-hour race, excited to be racing again at his local track. “The starts here can get a little hairy – you don’t want to be two wide by the time you get to turn 3 or you’re going to be slow down the first straight. Hopefully I can keep it clean at the start and then put in consistent and fast laps from there.”

Schmied quickly moved up to P2 by the end of his double-stint, but the first place runner – Stratus Racing in an NP01 Evo Prototype – proved much too fast to catch over the long haul. Keeping the race clean and without penalty or contact, the team brought the car home to the second step on the podium. After the podium ceremony, Schmied said “It may not be the win that we got last year, but I’m still really proud today of our second place finish.”

When asked if there was any way the team could have put Stratus racing under pressure, Schmied continued “There was just no way we were going to catch that Prototype. It’s not even their outright pace, but the fact that they can go so much longer than us on fuel because they’re so lightweight. I think the series is actually looking into a balance-of-performance adjustment for the NP01’s, so it will be interesting to see where the series ends up on that.”

For Sunday’s 8-hour race, Aidan Yoder took the start and once again the team was quickly outclassing the field with the exception of the Stratus Racing NP01, and were running in P2 shortly after the start of the race. The day before, wildfire smoke had blown in quite severely due to fires in California, which made the weekend harder for the drivers and the crew, and the smoke continued into Sunday. But keeping the pace up and without penalty, the team were again and looking at another podium when with a few hours to go in the race a fuel pump problem cost the car 20 minutes in the paddock for repairs. The team finished the race in P5 in class.

“It’s never fun to be in the position for a podium and then to lose that because of something unpredictable like a bad fuel pump, but sometimes that’s just how racing goes.” Schmied said on Sunday after the checkered flag fell. “I’m proud of the team and my co-drivers this weekend. If it weren’t for that unfortunate failure on Sunday, we would have brought home two podium finishes. As it is, the P2 on Saturday provided the team with some well-deserved points, so while Sunday’s finish might be a little disappointing, P5 is still a good finish in the grand scheme of things. We can be proud of the weekend as a whole.”

Schmied heads to Florida in September for two-days of private testing in preparation for the WRL 24-Hours of Sebring.

Photos from the event can be found below or at the photo gallery page here