The Spec Miata Challenge racers of NASA Florida Region hit the historic runways of Sebring International Raceway for the first time in 2014 on March 29-30, with 13 cars taking the green flag on Saturday morning. With a combined race group format scheduled, competitors had four races to participate in over the course of the weekend to ink points for their 2014 season. Not only did the mixed-class racing prove to be an additional challenge in each race, but Florida’s uncertain spring weather decided to “drop in” and pay a visit on Saturday.
Rain dampened the circuit for the start of the first race, but conditions soon turned wet as the rain intensified throughout the race. With all competitors on Toyo RR spec tires, those who could tip-toe around the wet corners and find the grip were the ones who triumphed. 5X Racing drivers John Adamczyk and David Johnson were able to hold onto first and second, while Old Dogs Racing top dog Mark Gibbons was able to claw his way from the back of the pack to a third-place finish.
The rain certainly didn’t stop after the first race and made the second race of the day an absolute monsoon! Several competitors sat the race out due to not having rain tires — or out of caution — so seven racers took the green flag. However, the race was called early due to lightning in the area, and the trophy went to Mark Gibbons, who was followed by his Old Dogs Racing teammate John Watson in second and David Johnson in third.
Sunday brought the awesome spring Florida weather all had hoped for, with sunny skies and cool dry air. A freshly washed track provided more grip, allowing the racers to post their fastest times over the weekend. The only x-factors to come into play on Sunday were managing out-of-class traffic, faster and slower. Mark Gibbons once again showed everyone that he is fast in the dry as well as in the rain, and had the traffic figured out as he won both races by a good margin on Sunday. He was again joined by John Adamczyk and David Johnson on the podium.