After a five week layoff, NASA Central drivers reconvened at Mid-America Motorplex on September 21-22 for Round 7 of the Central Region Championship.
Time Trials saw a new TTU lap record of 1:31.620 set on Saturday by John Boos. The previous weekend, Boos set a new TTU lap record at Autobahn Country Club. On Sunday, Mark Kirby, who often runs ST1 and TT1 decided to give Boos some competition in TTU and won the class. Times were slower Sunday, with Boos complaining his tires had gone off.
The track was fast all weekend with four other TT drivers setting lap records on the way to winning their class: Chris Kopitski, TT2, 1:38.999; Chris Mayfield, TT3, 1:35.164; Greg Hagopian, TTD, 1:47.970; and Mark Milligan, TTE, 1:51.150. Other victors in TT were Ron Nolan in TT1 Saturday/Mark Kirby TT1 Sunday, Terry Bouge TT2 Saturday, Jim Lipari TTB both days, Mark Melchor TTC both days, Joel Karns TTE Sunday.
Rookie American Iron driver Cody Burt, part of Team Nemo, won Saturday’s Pursuit race and Sunday’s points race and a new lap record in his first weekend of racing. Look out fellow AI drivers, there is a new bad ass in town and his name is Cody Burt! Ted Johnson took pole and the AI win on Saturday.
Brett Westcott, fresh off a third-place finish at the NASA National Championships, took the PTE win both days, closing the gap on points leader Team Cohn, again with Bryan Cohn at the wheel, who took second Saturday and fifth Sunday. Newcomer Jason Whitney took third Saturday and second Sunday, with Justin Kaup nabbing third Sunday, improving on his fifth in Saturday’s race.
Team Pistora’s Steve finished Saturday’s race a blind fourth with his windshield covered in mud, thanks to a spin from Team Cohn early in the race. Teresa Pistora did her best to avenge husband Steve’s mud bath, holding off Team Cohn on Sunday for several laps, finishing up with another fourth. Rookie Chris Kopitski broke rocker arms in his Infiniti, saw his fellow competitors loan tools, parts and time to help get it back on track for Saturday’s race only to spin away a solid 3rd mid race to end up 5th on Saturday.
PTF saw three new drivers in brothers Paul and Eric Gregory and David Webb in their VW Golfs/Rabbits. They had a great time duking it out with the finishing order of Paul, David and Eric both days. Brother Eric might not have won, but he was fast, setting a lap record on Saturday with a 1:55.366!
Mark Kirby dominated ST1 both days, sitting on pole and winning both days over Matt Miller and Gary Pennington. Kirby set a new lap record on Sunday with a 1:35.874.
ST3 was split with L.J. Foster taking Saturday’s win and Ron Smith of Team STi Guys taking Sunday’s win and setting a new lap record in the process with a quick 1:41.180.
Steve Myers and Sam Mangiameli took STR1 and SU both days in their Panoz and Diasio respectively. Mangiameli set a new SU lap record at 1:34.527. Hank Arth took the PTD win and set a lap record of 1:55.117 on Saturday in his BMW 325. John Pennington won Spec E30 and set a new lap record at 1:52.129 on Saturday. John suffered a brake problem in the paddock Saturday afternoon and was unable to fix the car for Sunday’s racing.
PTC was all Warren Dexter both days with Tech Staffer and Honda Del Sol pilot Tim Oehlerking finishing second. Warren also set a new PTC lap record with a 1:45.091.
Spec Miata was a wild one on Saturday, with Joel Karns grabbing the lead early on and holding it till about five laps to go when his car started to overheat. Nursing it a few more laps while holding the lead, Karns finally had to pit when he started to lose power and heard a major hissing sound. With a used radiator cap, he was back the next day. Zane Dexter brought home the bacon, followed by Nicholas Duncan and Darren Hoffman. Sunday saw Karns car fixed and ready, but it also saw the appearance of Dillon Dexter, fresh off his 17th place Nationals finish in SM. Sunday’s race saw Dexter win over father Zane, followed by Karns, Duncan and Hoffmann.
Check out how you and your friends are doing in the 2013 NASA Central Points With one event to go the Region Championships are closer than ever!