In September, NASA Southeast took to the brand new pavement of Roebling Road Raceway. The Savannah Sizzler was a combined event with the NASA Southeast and Florida regions. Days were warm, nights were cool, and the track was fast! In qualifying, Jeremy Barnes claimed the pole with a lap time of 1:22.797.
In race one, 21 Miatas took to the track in the Lightning race. They were not alone, sharing the track with 40 other mixed-class cars, mostly BMW E30s. Barnes and Roger Burdette led the field as the green flag waved. Burdette got loose in Turn 1, paving the way for Don Elvington and Yan Dia to get by him. Barnes then got loose in Turn 5 where Evlington took the lead. On lap three, Barnes got a good run on Elvington, making a pass for the lead just before a full-course caution came out. During all this, Joe Tobin had made his way up to fourth place. When racing finally resumed, Tobin was able to work with Dia and push past Elvington for P2 and P3. The race finished with Barnes earning the win, followed by Dia in P2, Tobin in P3, Burdette in P4, and Teen Mazda Challenge driver Dean Dybdahl in P5.
Jim VossNASA Southeast Spec Miata series leader Yan Dia finished second in race one on Saturday.Race two started bright and early at 9 a.m. Sunday. Dia sat on the pole after setting the fastest time in Saturday’s race. TMC driver Dean Dybdahl sat on the outside of the front row. Dia led the first several laps, but lost four positions on lap five as Barnes, Dybdahl, and Tobin raced to the front. Unfortunately, the race was cut short due to several cars going off track. The finishing order was Barnes in P1, Dybdahl in P2, Tobin in P3, Dia in P4, and Capers Zentmeyer in P5.
Race three started in the same order as race two. Dybdahl got a nice run at the start and passed Dia on the outside of Turn 1. As they came back around for lap two, Dia caught Dybdahl’s bumper and pushed him along the front straight. Dybdahl, now entering Turn 1 a little faster, lost traction, and went off track between Turns 1 and 2. This now put Dia in the lead with Barnes, Tobin, and Zentmeyer chasing him down. On lap five, Tobin and Barnes drafted past Dia on the front stretch, taking over positions one and two. Caution came out due to several cars being stuck around the track.
The green flag resumed with three laps to go, making it a short sprint race to the finish. Tobin and Barnes battled for P1/P2 while Dia and Zentmeyer battled for P3/P4. Both sets of cars finished side by side at the line. Barnes edged out the win ahead of Tobin by .006 seconds while Zentmeyer finished ahead of Dia by just .023 seconds. The final finishing order was Barnes in P1, Tobin in P2, Zentmeyer in P3, Dia in P4, and KeithWilliamson in P5.
The new pavement proved to be smooth, fast, and fun. On Sunday, Williamson set a new track record for NASA Southeast with a time of 1:22.954!
Jim VossA fresh repave at Roebling Road Raceway set the stage for great racing and a new track record by Keith Williamson on Sunday.