Grant West and Yan Dia Rule the Roost at Roebling Road

Teen Mazda Challenge driver Grant West started from fifth and went on to take the win at Roebling Road Raceway in September. No. 97 (blue/green) Bayani Dia took second, with Southern California transplant Jeremy Barnes in third in his first race at Roebling Road.

NASA Southeast Spec Miata rolled into Roebling Road for the Savannah Sizzler with a 17-car field. Keith Williamson grabbed pole position with a 1:23.832, with Yan Dia P2, Don Elvington P3, Matt Goodrich P4 and Grant West P5.

At the start, it was drag race to Turn 1, where Dia braked later and slipped by Williamson for the lead, with the front of the group sorting out by Turn 2 as Dia, Williamson, Elvington, Goodrich and West at the pointy end. West picked off Goodrich in Turn 3 to start his march to the front and Jeremy Barnes grabbed P6 in Turn 4. The front group settled in and ran laps until lap six when West out-braked Elvington to get beside him going into Turn 1 and finished the pass in Turn 2 for P3. Two laps later, West got a run on Williamson and made the inside pass at Turn 1 to move up to P2. At the same time Elvington got loose entering Turn 1 and went off, giving P4 to Barnes.

West then got a run on Dia on the next lap and was just able to clear Dia before some traffic to claim P1 going into Turn 1. On lap 10, Dia drafted up to Grant and tried to make an outside pass, but Grant held on and Dia dropped back in trail exiting Turn 2.

By lap 13, Williamson got a run drafting up to Dia and went to the outside to attempt a pass on Dia at Turn 1, but carried too much speed into the turn and went off and became stuck in the sand trap. A couple laps later, Dia got a run on West in Turn 9 but a yellow flag at the starter stand forced him to tuck back in and the race ended with Grant West winning, Yan Dia P2, Jeremy Barnes P3, Don Elvington P4 and Matt Goodrich P5.

On Sunday, Williamson again won pole with a 1:24.559 followed by Dia, Elvington, West and Goodrich. At the start, Dia and Williamson entered Turn 1 together, but Dia was able to get the better run out of Turn 2 to take the lead, with Williamson dropping in behind, followed by West, Elvington, and Goodrich. West got to the inside of Williamson at Turn 3 on the next lap and finished the pass exiting Turn 4 to take P2. West then set his sights on Dia and on the next lap, drafted up to Dia as Dia stayed left and made the inside pass going in to Turn 1. Dia and West then gapped the rest of the field and also started battling each other, trading position about every other lap. On lap six, the leaders started catching traffic and started working their way through.

On lap seven, Roger Burdette picked off Elvington in traffic at Turn 3 and started hounding Williamson for P3. On lap nine, Burdette drafted up to Williamson passing on the inside entering Turn 1 for P3. On lap 13, with West P1 followed closely by Dia, the pair started to lap two Spec Miatas. They got by the first Miata exiting Turn 4, and as West entered Turn 5 close behind the other Miata, an E30 spun exiting Turn 5. West jinked to the right when the Miata in front of him checked up and hit the E30 as it was rolling backward off the track.

Dia jinked left and got through while the Miata following Dia then hit West. The race went full-course yellow shortly later and eventually ended under caution. After four racers were disqualified for passing under yellow, the final order was Dia P1, Williamson P2, Elvington P3, Goodrich P4 and Connor DeYoung P5.

Sunday’s race at Roebling Road ended under a full-course yellow due to a Spec E30 that spun in Turn 5. In the end, Bayani Dia took the win, with Keith Williamson in second and Don Elvington in third.
Image courtesy of Jim Voss

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