Saturday qualifying saw Sandro Espinosa at the top of the charts with a blistering 1:51.3, the second fastest time ever for a SpecE30 at Carolina Motorsports Park in May. Youngster Alex Barroso and Spec E30 veteran Bill Zawrotny started second and third. In Saturday’s race, Zawrotny aced the start and took the lead with Espinosa in hot pursuit. While Zawrotny and Espinosa dueled in front, Ryan Whitinger and Colin Fabeny moved quickly to close in on the leaders. After several lead changes, the race turned into a Whitinger/Espinosa battle — a common sight in Spec E30 — with Fabeny holding a solid third, and hoping to pounce if the dicing race leaders got too “enthusiastic.” With 15 minutes remaining, Whitinger had managed to pull a 2-second lead, but then Espinosa started to close the gap. Working through traffic, Espinosa caught Whitinger at the 10-minute mark and took the lead. But those last 10 minutes saw another epic battle between the two leaders, with Espinosa managing to cross Start-Finish a mere 0.948 seconds ahead of Whitinger for the win. Barroso, a newcomer to Spec E30 drove a solid race to snag the last step on the podium.
Sunday’s race again saw great weather and some fast lap times. Whitinger took the pole position with Barroso and Zawrotny starting second and third, with Fabeny less than a tenth of a second behind in fourth. Sandro Espinosa had missed the qualifying session so he started at the back of the 15-car field. Whitinger took a clean start and led the pack from green to checker for the win. Barroso, Zawrotny and Fabeny likewise held their positions for most of the race. That is, until a charging Sandro Espinosa, doing his own version of the traditional Spec E30 inverted field unlimited challenge, worked his way through the entire field to move into second place by the time the checkered flag fell.
Congratulations to the entire SpecE30 field for the weekend of hard but incident-free racing.