The Race for The Pi weekend March 14 and 15 at Road Atlanta with NASA Southeast started on a cold and rainy Saturday. GTS3 was first up, with qualifying in the Thunder group, and we were happy to hear the track announcer telling us that Philip Franz was fastest overall, with a 1:53.7 in his 1992 BMW E36. At the drivers meeting later, Franz said he hoped it would keep raining, but by race time later in the day, the track was drying out, and while Franz finished first in GTS3, he dropped to fifth overall. John Butler finished in second for GTS3 in his 1997 BMW M3.
In the Lightning race group Saturday, a couple of Thunder Roadsters and a 944 Spec car got tangled up going three wide in the middle of the first wave, and brought out a rarely seen flag combination to indicate an aborted start. While some racers understood the flags, others stopped on track, and it took a while to get everyone sorted out. At the end of 11 laps, Matthew Wasilewski won GTS2 in his BMW E36, with Jeff Emanuelson second and Matthew Agurkis dropping to third after only three laps.
The reigning Eastern States GTS1 Champion Tim Pruitt stayed out of trouble to win GTS1, with Jim Pantas driving the Team Fire Engine to second place, followed by John Mock in the Hurley Plumbing & Speedshop entry, and Jeff Coffey in fourth with his beautiful 1968 BMW 2002.
Sunday’s weather was race perfect, and the Lightning race group started just after lunch. In GTS2 Matthew Wasilewski would get the win, with Jeff Emanuelson in second, and Ira Ferguson bringing his 2007 Porsche Cayman in third. The GTS1 group saw a reversal of fortunes, with Jim Pantas breaking a rocker arm, and Tim Pruitt leaving a lap later with engine troubles, leaving the John Mock in the Hurley Plumbing & Speedshop car to take the win.
In the Thunder group race, Philip Franz put in a 1:38.9 to win GTS3 , with John Butler in second.