It doesn’t matter if you are a diehard racer or a new HPDE driver, when you think about the perfect day at the track, a beautiful cool weekend at Watkins Glen is high on your list.
Saturday’s Lightning race included 49 racers on track covering eight classes. With 19 Spec E30 racers in the class, competition was fierce. Anthony Magagnoli took the win but was, surprisingly, a tenth slower on his fastest lap than Peter Thibault’s second-place finish, but who set a new track record at 2:18.817.
In Spec Miata, Marcus Mazza set a track record at a blazing 2:19.771 and won his race by more than a second. John Oldt also published a record time in his Honda Challenge 1 car, running a 2.11.689. Jeff Ricca and Spencer Anderson both won their races and set records, 2:13.611 in PTB and 2:14.732 in Honda Challenge 2, respectively.
Ultimately, the Lightning qualifying found Eric Wong the pole sitter in his GTS2 car. Wong had a great run, winning the class by over 2 seconds and setting a 2:08.794 track record.
Saturday’s Thunder run group included 57 high-horsepower cars. GTS3 field included nine drivers and some impressive lap times. Ultimately, Edgar Cabera took the win, beating the nearest finisher by almost a second. GTS4 was ruled by a strong field of M3s. Joshua Smith won and earned a new track record with a 2:04.712. Super Touring 2 included eight drivers taking the green flag, and Pete McIntosh ruled the day with an impressive 4-second lead and a fastest lap at 2:04.878.
NASA Northeast’s TT program has been growing in leaps and bounds over the past few years. With 31 drivers, the competition was red hot. Scott Mandel set a blistering pace in his TT3 Corvette, setting a track record 2:05.6 over a field of eight. John Putnam posted an impressive new track record of 2:21.7 and David Santillo drove his TTU Corvette to a 1:57.982, the fastest time of the day!
Sunday dawned gloriously, and the chalk blue sky gave rise to more track records throughout the day. Marcus Mazza in his Spec Miata had another spectacular run with a record 2:19.582 and winning his class. Peter Thibault and Jeff Ricca demonstrated the best just get better, with new track records in Spec E30 and PTB, beating their times from the previous day. James Wilby showed some mad driving skills navigating a giant field of 16 Spec E30 drivers to the checkered flag and another track record.
The Thunder Race group generated similar results, looking at the prior day’s records and throwing them away. Pete McIntosh drove to a record 2:01.487 in Super Touring 2 though ultimately Michael Fuchswanz won the class with a hot 2:01.77. Will Stukas broke a long-standing record in American Iron, winning the race with a 2:06.753. Joshua Smith, unsatisfied with his record-setting laps from Saturday turned a 2:02.532 and took the checker for GTS4. Eric Wong, one of the busiest drivers of the weekend, set another record in GTS3 with a 2:03.264. Scott Mohr stepped in and deftly showed us how it’s done with a 1:55.63, the fastest lap of the weekend, which was good for his win in Super Unlimited.