NASA Southeast held its third race of 2013 April 13 and 14 in Savannah, Ga., atRoebling Road Raceway. The event had a great turnout from racers in more than a dozen classes broken down into two groups: Lightning, typically the lower-horsepower race cars; and Thunder, higher-horsepower cars.
All racers are encouraged to respect cars racing against one another in a different class when their position is secure in their own. They achieved that goal during the Thunder race both days in the Savannah Sizzler.
Lightning group had more than 40 cars listed, but Thunder had only 20, so Jim Pantas, NASA Southeast Regional Director, moved the Honda Challenge Series Presented by Honda Performance Development class to Thunder, a first for the Honda racers.
The best Honda Challenge qualifying times were from Ron Rigdon at 1:23.234 and John Reamer at 1:23.525, compared with Matt Isbell in V1 class at 1:14.601 and Cash Canada in AIX at 1:19.316. The comparison highlights the differences among the classes.
In Saturday’s race, Rigdon and Reamer were battling every lap, especially near the end. With two laps to go, Isbell caught the Hondas. However, he had a 19-second lead on the second-place car in V1. Isbell decided to hang behind the Hondas so as not to interfere with their race.
“This was a great example of respect for class racing,” said Rigdon. “I saw him in my mirror and noticed that he was hanging back, which gave me the opportunity to focus on Reamer.”
Rigdon, however, was not able to get by Reamer and took second place by .01 seconds.
During Sunday’s race, it was Rigdon’s chance to return the favor, so to speak. With four laps to go he came upon three slower Camaro-Mustang Challenge cars. Reamer was able to make the pass, but Rigdon could not because of the three cars racing door to door.
“I made the decision not to get in the way of these guys since they were side by side racing,” Rigdon stated. “It was fun to watch these guys change positions every lap and I didn’t want to mess them up, it was great racing.”
NASA Southeast drivers have great respect for one another, especially when it comes to mixed-class racing. This was only one example of the type of racing that you can expect when competing in NASA Southeast.