The Super Touring 4 field at New Jersey Motorsports Park on June 3-4 had the largest turnout ever in the Northeast Region, which is all the more remarkable in that no ST4 cars had raced there in 2022. From the eight-car field at Watkins Glen in April, 19 ST4 racers took the green flag at NJMP. The new Northeast ST series leader, Griffin Gamcsik-Uly, summed it up.
“The growth of ST4 in the Northeast is exactly what I had hoped for going into 2023,” he said. “Over the years, I’ve spoken with so many racers who were having fun, but weren’t really racing anyone in their respective classes once a few laps passed. We’re all here to have fun and be competitive, but if you’re driving by yourself, that’s a bummer! Jump into a series where you’ll have someone to race with, no matter your pace.”
With new allowances in ST4 this year, cars from other classes can jump over with minimal changes and be quick right off the bat.
“You know the formulas are working when a 2,400-pound K20 EG Civic battles hard with a 3,300-pound 350Z. When a 330-horsepower Mustang scraps it out with a K24 S2000,” Gamcsik-Uly said. “While ST may not be the perfect fit for every car, the goal is to get people to sign up and have fun no matter where they’re racing in the field. We all have our not-so-good days at the track, but the overall ST goal is ‘to maximize the smiles per gallon.’”
Fierce battles were found at the front of the ST4 field between Nick Barbato in his E36 M3 and Frank Millan in his E46 M3. Not far behind them, Jackie Andrews in her K20R Civic EG, Scott Smith from NASA NorCal in an N20 Turbo E46 M3, and Brian Casella in a Nissan 350Z Nismo had an epic battle.
Mid-pack battles were centered around Marty Raguckas in his BMW 135, Scott Rose in a Porsche 944, Kevin Hu in a Honda S2000, and Gamcsik-Uly in his S52 E36 M3. There was a wide variety of cars in ST4, with 15 of the 19 cars having unique engine/chassis setups.
Saturday’s podium saw Nick Barbato in first, Frank Millan second, and Jackie Andrews third. On Sunday, Scott Smith secured first, Brian Casella second, and Frank Millan third. The front of the pack also competed on three different tire setups, Maxxis, Hoosier and Toyo Tires. But how did the field grow so quickly?
“Through many ST racers being great ambassadors for NASA Northeast, let alone the ST series,” Gamcsik-Uly said. “The more people signed up, the more inquiries we got and it gave people motivation to prepare their cars and show up to compete.”