Temperatures were cool, but the lap times were hot at the NASA Northeast “Battle of the East” at Watkins Glen. The Northeast region weekend hosted racers and HPDE drivers from six different NASA regions as 110 racers and 109 HPDE drivers discovered the thrill that is Watkins Glen!
Spec Miata had the largest field of the weekend with 19 cars. There were battles throughout the field, with Will Lambros No. 777, Rob Casella No. 36, and Paul Redante No. 51 fighting for the podium. Lambros landed on top of the podium both days with a fast lap of 2:18.406, with Casella just .003 second behind with a 2:18.409.
Honda Challenge 2 had a great showing, with 11 cars, and the battle raged between Ronnie Vajdak No. 1 and Leland Wamboldt No. 204. Leland can boast a new H2 track record of 2:11.84, but Ronnie took the checkers both days to lead the H2 points race into the last event at New Jersey Motorsports Park in November.
ST2 had an impressive 12 cars take the green. The regular Northeast racers had tough competition from four Great Lakes racers and one from Mid-Atlantic. Eric Magnussen in his No. 330 BMW fought hard against the Corvettes of Jonathan Giahn No. 5 and Jeffrey Lewis No. 927, but held off all challengers with two more wins and a fast lap of 1:57.7.
The GTS fields were solid, with eight cars in GTS2 and in GTS3. In GTS2, Frank Millan No. 311, Brian Goodman No. 428 and Doug Horton No. 121 battled on Saturday, with Millan in his M3 topping the podium. On Sunday, Millan had a DNF and Horton’s M3 secured the win followed by Jose Suero No. 738 in his S2000. In GTS3, Luis Serva No. 19 had the pole with a 2:00.6 and topped the podium, followed closely by Chris Petersen No. 712 and Mid-Atlantic’s No. 121Eric Wong. On Sunday, Petersen had a DNS and Serva retired after eight laps. No. 470 Curt Wickett, who had a DNS on Saturday, found his way to the top of the podium, followed by Leo Zick No. 527 and Eric Wong.
Spec E46 had eight starters, including five from outside the Northeast region. Patrick Harris No. 27 from Mid-Atlantic took the top spot on Saturday, followed by Jonathan Adams No. 004 also Mid-Atlantic and Rich Brainerd No. 183 from the NE. On Sunday, Harris secured a second victory, followed by Oner Khera No. 29 from Arizona Region and Jonathan Adams.
Rounding out the multi-region event, NASA Northeast welcomed 11 Thunder Roadsters, which were all from out of region. Jason Oehler No. 74, Alex Wolenski No. 314 and John Spain No. 47 filled the podium on Saturday. On Sunday, it was Spain, Wolenski and Glenn Schattman No. 160 with the honors. Fastest lap of the weekend came from the Super Unlimited Radical of Yixiao Yang No. 4 at 1:54.95.
On the Time Trial side, TT3 saw the beautiful M3 of WayTooFast Motorsport No. 351 take the trophy with a 2:01.94 followed by Chris Keeley’s No. 724 Camaro laying down a 2:03.17 and Eric Wong No. 121 with 2:03.36. TT5 was led by Ricardo Soares’ No. 35 S2000, followed by Ahmad Lutfeali and Orlando Reyes in his No. 911 BRZ to round out the podium. The TTU trophy was claimed by Eric Magnussen with a 1:56.28, then Michael Neophytou No. 128 from the Florida region in his Corvette Z06 followed by Justin Dexter No. 171 in his Cayman.
Windshadow StudiosNo. 330 Eric Magnussen took two wins in Super Touring 2 and a win in Time Trial Unlimited at Watkins Glen in October.