South Haven, Mich., and Gingerman Raceway is NASA Great Lake’s traditional June event, and as usual, the weather did not disappoint with mostly sunny skies for the three-day event. A total of 18 Spec Miata racers competed during the race weekend.
The normally close qualifying times on Saturday morning seen the over the past few seasons were present, but not for the top three. Finningan was lucky enough to find an out-of-class car to draft from and best the Spec Miata field for P1 by .5 seconds over Jack Dorsey with a 1:47.3 and Clayton Cavell at 1:47.5. The next nine cars in class led by Ryan Roberson at 1:48.0 were within 1.2 seconds, guaranteeing some good racing for a majority of the field.
At the green for race one, Finnigan and Dorsey were in a class by themselves, gapping the remainder of the field by 2.5 seconds on lap five when the race went full-course yellow. Dorsey was never more than 0.3 seconds off Finnigan’s bumper prior to the yellow. John Allen, starting from P5 had an excellent race start, getting around Roberson and Cavell for P3 by lap two.
After the restart, Roberson, who followed Allen to P4, got the jump and took P3 during the final two laps under green. Teen Mazda Challenge and CRP Racing drivers Aryton Grim and Blake Korth were racing hard for P6 in the early going until a fuel pump sidelined Grim. Korth finished P7. Shout-out to Randy Summerville who started P10, passed Travis Lee and Bruce Myrehn on lap one and ultimately finished in P6 after a good restart to overtake Korth. The race ended under full-course yellow due to a spin beyond the blind crest of Turn 1.
For race two Sunday morning, the grid was set by fast lap times from race one. Finnigan started in P1 1:48.4, followed by Roberson at 1:48.6 and Cavell with a 1:49.0. Finnigan maintained his Saturday speed, holding P1 from flag to flag and building nearly a 2-second lead when the checkers flew. Jamie Clos, who started from P4, found a way around Cavell on lap one and the two racers were no more than 0.5 seconds off Roberson’s bumper the entire race. Roberson prevailed for P2, and Cavell nearly retook P3 at the stripe, losing out by only.09 seconds to Clos. Less than 0.5 seconds behind the top four drivers were Allen and Grim, with Grim finding a way around the veteran Allen after the restart.
The weekend finale Sunday afternoon saw Finnigan at P1 with a 1:48.3, followed by Dorsey with 1:48.4 and Grim at 1:48.7, as set by race three fast lap times. As in race one, Finnigan and Dorsey were in a class by themselves. Dorsey created an opportunity to get around Finnigan on lap three, and held a small lead through to the checkers. At the checkered flag, the duo were 7 seconds ahead of the field, but there was some good racing behind them.
P3 through P6 was contested by Grim, Korth, Allen, and Cavell, all separated by less than a second. From P4, Korth jumped Grim at the start, Allen relied on his veteran experience and passed Grim and Korth on lap six for P3, and Cavell waited patiently for an opportunity to pass Grim for P5, after starting P9. Clos and Summerville were less than .5 seconds behind those four racers, waiting to take advantage of any mistakes, and they finished P7 and P8 respectively.