Post Race Recap

Post Race Recap

October 21st-23rd, 2022
Circuit of the Americas
Masters Historic Racing
Formula 1 weekend
Austin, TX

Hello, everyone in the Berg Brigade,

This past weekend, I competed in the Masters Historic Racing series in a support race event to Formula 1 at Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in Texas.

I had never been to an F1 race before, and to be racing at my first F1 event was truly a dream come true.

For those of you who did not see my last newsletter (#38), I was racing in an Elan DP-02, as I previously raced in IMSA Prototype Lites. My DP-02, which I have chosen to name “Jolene” (after the famous song by the fabulous Dolly Parton), had the lowest horsepower out of the 47 cars in my group. That meant I had to make up the lap time in the corners, as my car was lighter than most other cars in the field.

I was racing against many legendary Historic cars which were previously raced in world-renowned events, such as the Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in which these cars competed at the top level of their respective eras. Having about 1/3 of the HP of other cars made it difficult for me to compete on the straightaways, but it did not stop me from being my usual competitive self. I had to be extra clever while racing to make optimistic moves and pass in the middle of the high-speed corners (which was where my driving excelled).

Although I have been to COTA in the past, I have never driven in a car nearly as fast as the DP-02. We had no practice sessions to get to grips with the car and track. It was straight into qualifying.

I qualified in a respectable P7, with no prior running in this car. Saturday’s Race #1 was filled with various incidents and many full course cautions (FCC). In the 35-minute race, all drivers had a mandatory 90-second pitstop that was supposed to be done from 25mins-35mins. Because it was an F1 weekend, and F1 cars have extremely complex radio systems, no other series besides F1 was allowed to have in-car radio communication. A board was supposed to be placed on the front straight during the pit window time. Because of the complications with the FCCs, the pit board was not shown at the correct time. I was caught out (as were many other drivers) by this and eventually was dropped down to P11 coming out of the pitlane. The race ultimately ended behind the Safety Car, so I was unable to make up any more spots.

I led Race #1 for a brief period, and it was a spectacular feeling.

Race #2 went much better. I started P9 and had lots of fun battling with the cars around me. Somehow, I was able to work my way up to P4 before the first FCC of the race was thrown. Luckily, I pitted at the right time (just before the FCC) and did not gain or lose any spots. When the race restarted, I had to deal with some lapped traffic, but that did not stop me from advancing a few more spots.

After a battle-filled race against cars that had triple the HP as me, I was able to stand on the F1 Podium, with a P2 overall and a P1 in my class. It is not often that one can stand on an F1 Podium, especially on an F1 weekend.

I would also like to give a big thanks to Tim Mayer, Independent Director of ACCUS (Automobile Competition Committee of the United States). He was able to get me into the F1 paddock and set up some meetings with some driver academies. Tim opened some major doors for me, and now it is time for me to walk through them.

He also introduced me to Dennis Dean, an FIA International Steward. They spent a lot of time with me, explaining the complex rulebook of Formula 1 and lots of “behind the scenes” decision-making processes. It was an incredible experience. I now have a whole new respect for what the FIA stewards go through when making a decision.

I am so grateful to Penn Elcom Online, Rohde & Liesenfeld, and the entire Berg Brigade for all of their support to make my first “F1 Podium” a reality. I met a lot of key figures in the racing industry and was even able to meet AND see my childhood idol, Sebastian Vettel, lead a Grand Prix (sadly, probably for the last time ever) during the weekend.

This weekend, my Aunties and Uncles (family by choice), came down all the way from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, to support me throughout one of the most important weekends of my life and arguably the best weekend of my life as well. I want to give them a huge “thank you” for all their support, and it was so nice to see all of them again!

We will come back to COTA one final time this year to complete the 2022 F4 U.S. Championship Powered by Honda in two weeks’ time.

Until next time!

Alex Berg
“Back to making the world a better place… One lap at a time.”

Alex in Red Racing Car

You can follow me live Via the Race Monitor App or through my Social Media channels (listed below). I would like to thank my partners for supporting me throughout my career, you can find them listed below; without them, my racing would not be possible.

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