NASA Northeast finally let go of winter and opened our racing season at New Jersey Motorsports Park April 15-17. It was a busy weekend, with comp school, an instructor clinic, HPDE, sprint races and Time Trial. As has been our custom for three years now, our first race of the season is dedicated to GTS racer Carl Mehne who passed in 2014, but whose love of racing and paddock friendships lives on.
By far, the Honda Challenge expansion was the excitement of the weekend with 14 racers taking the green flag. Michael Kanisczak in HC1, and Spencer Anderson, 2015 Eastern States HC2 Champion, both took first place on Saturday with new track records as well. The 11-car Spec Miata field was led by the infamous Joey G. and Paul Redante, who also set a new track record.
An exciting addition to the Northeast Lightning field was the first regional appearance of the Spec E46 class, with three newly built cars taking the grid. Rookie racer Rich Bocanegra took the win in Spec E46, his very first Northeast podium.
In the Thunder races, a strong GTS field of 19 racers yielded podium finishes for Michael Sousa in GTS2, Hugh Stewart in GTS3, and Jack Haberman in GTS4. The ST classes also saw expansion, with 11 racers taking the green flag on Saturday. The Corvettes led the way with Adrian Wlostowski in ST2 and Ziggy Miejski in ST1 both taking the checker.
The Saturday night festivities combined a weekend trophy presentation along with the annual 2015 regional class and driver points awards. In addition to those awards, regional awards were presented to 2015 Rookie of the Year, GTS3 driver Foad Razavi, Instructor of the Year, Dan Koch and Volunteer of the Year, Eric Viken.