More than 125 drivers turned out for the Hallett Summer Shootout, with 24 drivers from NASA Central Region making the trip south to duke it out with NASA Texas and Rocky Mountain drivers. If you weren’t there, you missed out on a great time at one of the best natural road courses in the country.
For the first time, HPDE was included as part of the event and 15 drivers took to the track, including Central drivers Lisa Georgieff, Cody Burt, Kevin Nelson and Matt Lo. Look out for Georgieff and Burt as they go through comp school August 9 at Motorsports Park Hastings.
Time Trials saw six Central drivers, with Mark Milligan, Mark Adams and Bryan Cohn running in TTE, Andy Brant in TT1, Bud Scott in TTF, Lisa Georgieff in TTU and hard-luck Quincy Burk, who tore off his front splitter while loading his car and then had a tire bead fail after session two. Luckily it happened moments after Burk parked in his paddock spot and not on track. With no spares on hand, he was done for the weekend. Milligan, Cohn and Adams fought the good fight with the seriously quick Chris Kearns, Dave Whitener and Ken Brewer. Scott had to miss Sunday due to business getting in the way of his fun. It seems keeping planes in the air trumps driving BMWs on the race track. Brant and Georgieff had solid debut weekends in their respective classes and we look forward to seeing them again in the future.
In Blitz we had Gary Pennington in his beautiful ST1 C6 Corvette and Nic Georgieff in his ’73 911 RS. Gary had a good weekend going till an alternator failure cost him the ability to start the championship final on Sunday. Nic, who drives his 911 to and from events had a good run to finish third in GTS4. Afterward he and his daughter Lisa loaded up their personal gear, tools and a few cool drinks and hit to road for home just outside St. Louis!
Cyclone saw Tom Lutker, Darren Hofmann and Teen SM Drivers Warren Dexter, Natalie Fenaroli ,Kane Greenleaf and Central Region Race Director Joel Karns, giving their all. Oddly, they finished together on track. Dexter was trailed by Lutker, Karns, Fenaroli and, one spot back, Greenleaf and Hofmann, who had a great run going till a last-lap spin dropped him down the order. Lutker had a trouble-free run, improved every session out. He’ll be a serious contender before long. Karns ran well but seemed to lose power late in the race while Dexter, Fenaroli and Greenleaf all suffered from a case of spin-itis.
Thunder saw the Team UBR Mustangs of Jim Thomas and Mark Adams out before things got serious, with Adams’ car suffering a massive engine failure on Friday in testing and Thomas losing all but fifth gear in Saturday’s first race. With no spares left (it has been a bit of a long season already) they were done early. Not to worry, they’ll be back in time for High Plains in July! Bill Tucker finally made his AI debut and started strong, finishing fourth of 10 starters in race one. Unfortunately, Bill was unable to start the Championship Final on Sunday.
The Lightning race saw Bryan Cohn, Doug Low and Central Region Director Matt Rivard having a great time in PTE. Also racing in PTE were Texas/Rocky Mountain Region Director Dave Balingit and newcomer Grant Phipps. Phipps was flying on Saturday and being late to grid wasn’t enough to slow him down. By lap five of race one, he took the lead from Cohn and never looked back. Following Cohn home was Rivard, then Balingit and Low, whose bad luck continued in his dare-to-be-different Fiero. Sunday’s final saw a four-car field, with Cohn winning over Balingit, Low and Rivard. With all the regional directors participating, PTE could have been called the “NASA staff class.” Cohn is chief of driver development for NASA Central Region. Low’s business, Service Automotive is a main sponsor of the Service Automotive Endurance Series!
Check out how you and your friends are doing in the points standings link below. With four events to go, all the regional championships are still up for grabs!