So much for being off during the winter season. In the Southeast, we race! 2020 started in Savannah, Ga., with an open-track day full of test-and-tune drivers, competition school students, and an instructors clinic. It ended with a two-hour TREC race, which every comp school student completed. Those guys were tired at the end of the day!
When the racing weekend kicked off Saturday, H2 racers Karl Kondor, Michael Kramer and Shane Lovely got a great start passing one of the H1 cars before they entered Turn 1. As they settled into their race, they began swapping the lead among all three of them. Kondor was in the lead at the beginning, but slid to track edge a few times, allowing Lovely and Kramer take advantage and get around him. By midrace, Lovely was in second, trying to reel in Kramer when he put four wheels off in Turn 9 leading onto the front straight.
He hung on, did not spin, but lost a few seconds by the time he got back on track. The battle continued until Kondor developed tire issues and had to come in three laps early with corded tires. Now we know why the car was pushing so badly. Lovely set his focus on Kramer and went a little too hard on the trail brake and spun. Michael Kramer held on strong and took the well-earned win with Lovely in second place and Kondor in third.
H1 pole setter Rob Oxford selected the wrong gear on the start and handed the lead to Daniel Madamba followed by rookie Jeff Bankston in his newly built Civic Type R. Rob also handed his position to the H2 field, but passed them back quickly. Before the first lap was complete, Oxford also got around Bankston and settled in behind Madamba, and within a few laps these two set a small gap on Bankston. A few times late in the race Oxford was able to pull up beside Madamba’s door going down the front straight but he could not out brake him. Madamba took the win with Oxford in second and Bankston third.
Sunday H1 had the rookie Bankston on pole followed by Oxford and Madamba. Oxford chose a better gear for the start and went door to door with Bankston into Turn 1, through turns 2, 3 and 4 and the whole time Madamba was looking for an opening to stick his nose in. Finally in Turn 5 Oxford was able to get around Bankston for the lead and put Bankston between him and Madamba. Now while Madamba and Bankston worked for position, Oxford put a three-second gap between them to tried and keep them behind. As the race went on, Bankston and Madamba closed the gap on the lead, got within striking distance, but were not able to maintain the momentum through traffic, and the gap remained. They all finished within three seconds of one another, with Rob Oxford taking the win followed by Bankston in second and Madamba in third.
Sunday H2 Karl Kondor got a good start, but Kramer and Lovely were hot on his rear bumper. Kondor started to set a good gap on Kramer and Lovely, so I think we can conclude “The Kondor” mounted newer tires. While Kondor stayed out front and put a sizeable gap on the rest of the field, Kramer and Lovely continued their battle from Saturday. They swapped positions a few times, but they both stayed on track, so this was good close wheel-to-wheel racing. Kondor took the win with Kramer in second and Lovely in third.