2023 Winter Meltdown

NASA Southeast Time Trial continued the 2023 season February 18-19, 2023, for the first of three scheduled race weekends at the always-challenging 2.279 mile, 14-turn Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC. Friday’s competition license school saw the successful completion of the challenging day on track and in the classroom by three NASA Southeast Time Trial regulars: Justin Hite, Chris Drum and Jon Kozlow. On behalf of TT Directors Danny Parkhurst and Brendan Shattles, congratulations to all three drivers.

Saturday competition started out sunny, with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark when most of the 28 Time Trial drivers rolled off the grid for the Saturday morning qualifying and warmup session. By the time the first competition session rolled around in the 10 a.m. hour, the track had warmed up a bit, and lap times were predictably fast in the cooler air.

With six competitors, the TT6 class saw the closest competition on Saturday, with first through fourth place posting their fastest lap times of the day within 3 seconds of one another, which resulted in a P1 finish for Thomas Lathrop in the No. 74 E30 BMW M3 with a fastest lap time of 1:48.517. The P2 spot for the day went to TT6 regular, Nishant Patel in his No. 9 NB Mazda Miata, with a fast lap of 1:49.785. Rounding out the podium in P3 was NASA Southeast expert Timing and Scoring official, David Escobar, who stepped out of the control tower and crawled into his No. 24 Nissan Sentra to put down a fastest a lap time of 1:50.633.

2023 Winter Meltdown

With six competitors, as was the case in last month’s season opener at Roebling Road Raceway, the TT3 class saw the closest competition out of all classes on Saturday, with P1 through P3 posting their fastest lap times of the day within a mere 0.5 seconds of one another. When the dust settled, the results yielded a P1 finish for Gary Trickett in his No. 706 E92 BMW M3, with a fastest lap time of 1:43.336. The P2 slot went to the No. 849 C5 Corvette driven by Tim Spittle, with a fast lap time of 1:43.764, and the P3 position went to TT5 driver, Ryan Delvaux, driving his No. 717 Honda S2000 in TT3 to have more competition for the weekend, with a fastest lap time of 1:43.856. Rookie TT driver, Bernard Filipski, came in a distant P4 with a respectable fastest lap of 1:45.244.

2023 Winter Meltdown

With two entries, the TT1 class consisted of veteran TT driver, Kirk Lawrence, in his Big Bird yellow No. 6X C6 Corvette, and Rob Turczany, in his No. 192 supercharged BMW M3. The P1 slot went to Lawrence, who put down a fast time of 1:41.518, while the P2 spot went to Turczany, who while battling overheating issues, put down a fast lap of 1:49.072.

2023 Winter Meltdown

The largest class in TT for the weekend was TTU, fielding a total of eight entries going into Saturday competition. The P1 finishing position went to the No. 67 Ford Mustang Boss 302 of NASA Mid-Atlantic driver, Bobby Byrd, with a fast lap time of 1:42.327. Rookie driver, Barry Pettit, nabbed the P2 spot in his No. 32 BMW M3, with a fast lap time of 1:44.124, with veteran racer, Ed McGuire, earning the P3 spot in his No. 525 Ford Mustang FR500S, with a fast lap of 1:45.082. Just off the podium in P4 was veteran Spec Miata and motorcycle racer, Brad Miller, in his first outing in NASA Southeast Time Trial competition, placing a respectable 1:46.256 in his No. 8 Ford Legends entry.

The TT2 and TT4 classes both saw two competitors in each class for the weekend, with TT2 drivers Jerry Digges and Mark Hill battling for top spot, while TT4 drivers Roy Parsons and Eddie Jackson had a close battle for fastest time.

In TT2, P1 went to the No. 32X C7 Corvette of Jerry Digges, with a fast time of 1:41.297. Not far behind Digges was the No. 440 Ford Mustang of Mark Hill, who put down a fast lap of 1:42.558 to finish in the P2 spot.

In TT4, the P1 and P2 fastest lap times were separated by a mere 0.515 seconds, which saw the No. 18 BMW Spec E9X of Roy Parsons take P1 with a fast lap of 1:50.270, and the No. 14X Roush Ford Mustang of Eddie Jackson take P2 with a fast lap of 1:50.785.

2023 Winter Meltdown

As the lone competitor in the TT5 class, rookie driver Brendan Donaldson drove his No. 81 Subaru BRZ to a fast lap of the day of 1:53.864

2023 Winter Meltdown

Sunday’s competition saw an overcast day with slightly warmer temperatures as Time Trial took the track first thing Sunday morning where once more, competition was tight in all the same classes as on Saturday. In TT3 competition, the No. 706 BWM M3 of Gary Trickett improved over his Saturday time, with a blistering 1:42.954 to retain the P1 spot. Sunday also saw a switch of the P2 and P3 spots, with the No. 717 of Ryan Delvaux turning a fast lap of 1:43.775, besting the No. 849 Corvette of Tim Spittle’s time of 1:44.371 by just 0.6 seconds, to secure the P2 and P3 spots respectively.

TT6 saw the P1 and P2 positions retained from Saturday by the No. 74 BMW of Thomas Lathrop and the No. 9 Miata of Nishant Patel respectively. However, the P3 position saw the No. 188 NB Miata of Fred Kumpel come from a P5 finish on Saturday to take the P3 spot on Sunday, with a fast time of 1:51.194, jumping over Saturday P3 finisher, No. 24 David Escobar, and Saturday P4 finisher, the No. 124 Miata of Ernie Johnson.

The posted results for the TT1, TT2, TT4, and TTU classes saw no changes from the podium results on Saturday, with competition equally as close in all.


Image courtesy of Tony Politi

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