The Thunder Roadster Series moved to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for races 18 and 19 of the 2016 NASA Great Lakes schedule. The event featured a rare opportunity for defending champions Ralph Nolan from the Southeast region and Brian Bohlander from the Great Lakes region to race head to head. The anticipated battle didn’t disappoint.
On Saturday, the drivers squared off on the pro course with Bohlander in his Yamaha powered Roadster qualifying on the pole over Nolan in his Hayabusa powered car by 0.065 seconds. When the race began, Nolan got the jump and pulled out to a four-second lead until the Thunder Roadsters caught the Spec Miata field. Shortly after, a full-course caution slowed the pace for several laps. Twenty-five minutes into the race, the track was clear and racing resumed for less than two laps until another accident in the Carousel forced the race to end under caution. Nolan took the win over Bohlander while Phil Gehlhausen rounded out the podium.
On Sunday the drivers moved to the original Mid-Ohio club course layout. Qualifying was close again, with Nolan taking the pole over Bohlander by .339 seconds. Unlike Saturday’s race, Sunday was green for the duration, with Nolan and Bohlander racing under the track record. Nolan again got the jump over Bohlander and Gehlhausen, but as they caught the first race group, Bohlander closed the gap. Nolan and Bohlander diced though traffic with the two side-by-side in the Carousel with a few laps to go. Nolan was able to hang on for the win and the new track record, crossing the line 2.205 seconds ahead of Bohlander in the fifth-closest finish in the Thunder Roadster Series. Phil Gehlhausen again rounded out the podium in third.