Five drivers and teams packed up their rigs to brave the interstates, and descended upon Roebling Road Raceway for the fourth round of the NASA Southeast 2016 race season. A return to prominence by two drivers and their championship-winning cars emerged throughout the course of the weekend, and the arrival of a new DynoJet system to the Southeast Region played a major role in determining the GTS2 winner Saturday.
The weekend began for the Fandango Racing Inc. 2002 M3 much like they have since the team returned to the series after an 18-month hiatus: chasing electrical gremlins that were causing havoc in the SMG II electro-hydraulic system to enact a simple up or down shift. After thrashing feverishly again throughout the day and night of the Friday test, the car rolled onto the racing surface for Saturday morning warmup. The team fixed a couple of issues, but others remained, and after some communication between the head engineer and driver, tinkering on the car some more and developing a game plan for how an ill-shifting car should be driven for the weekend, the team devised a plan of attack for qualifying and racing. The plans paid off as Drew Ewing drove off to a clean sweep of qualifying and two first-place race results ahead of last year’s NASA Southeast GTS3 champion Phillip Franz.
Once a dominant competitor in the Southeast region, winning multiple championships, Rafael Torres and his BMW E36 GTS2 once again returned to NASA Southeast GTS competition after a hiatus following the German Touring Series 2014 NASA Eastern States Championships. He drove to a win on Saturday over second-place-finisher Patrick Laughton and his Audi A4. Once the race was over though, Torres reported to impound for a dynamometer compliance check. The GTS directors had to disqualify the car and driver for an infraction. Torres worked through the evening, though, with his car and the dyno operators, to bring the car back into compliance for Sunday. He turned in his updated dyno, which cleared him to return to GTS2 for Sunday. Again on Sunday Torres drove remarkably well, topping his best lap time on Saturday by 2 seconds en route to setting a new GTS2 track record with a time of 1:19.659. Laughton cruised to a second-place finish.
Jack Bell and his beautiful Porsche 911 GTS5 drove unopposed to wins Saturday and Sunday.