NASA Southeast welcomed a record number of student racers to its first Competition School of 2013 at Road Atlanta in March. Thirteen students attended the classes and took to the track, each with the goal to get his NASA provisional racing license. The class was taught by Randy Suddreth, instructor and GTS director and Darrel Hamilton, instructor and Thunder Roadster director.

Suddreth and Hamilton are seasoned veterans, great drivers, and they brought a high level of professionalism and knowledge to the anxious attendees. Ron Rigdon, instructor and Honda Challenge director, and Carl Eckert, 2012 Thunder Roadster champion assisted them in the classroom and during on-track exercises. There were also several instructors and drivers that assisted with the mock races.

It was a full day for everyone, with six classroom sessions, three on-track exercises plus two mock races. Some of the more difficult track exercises included running off line and wheel-to-wheel switches every corner, which go a long way toward preparing them to become competent racers. Each of the drivers were strategically gridded for the mock races, and experienced a double-file standing start, a rolling start, plus a single-file restart. It was a demanding day for the students, and it came off without a single incident in perfect spring weather, a great start to the weekend of racing.

“It was one of the best classes ever,” Suddreth said afterward. “This group of students had lots of previous experience and seat time.”

It was one of the largest classes where everybody passed and received their provisional licenses. In attendance were: Peter Haferman, David Levine, Greg Mullin, Troy Talamantez, John Clark, Jon Manhood, John Duffy, James Contardi, Derek Hofmann, Lukas Johnson, Mark Issa, Joe Ippolito and Terry Mathis.

Congratulations for a job well done and welcome to NASA Pro Racing!

Image courtesy of Ron Rigdon

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