GTS Mid-Atlantic welcomed Motion Control Suspension as a new contingency sponsor for the first race of 2013 at VIRginia International Raceway. One has to wonder if their shocks have any settings for “snow.”
After Friday’s practice, Mid-Atlantic GTS director Eric Wong played amateur weather forecaster and already was changing his tires and car setup to a wet configuration. He did warn people to expect rain/snow all day Saturday. Some listened, while others did not even have wet tires for this event. Saturday proved quite challenging as snow fell and temperatures hovered around 34 degrees. GTS2 competitor Jim Khoury dragged his brother John down to this event.
“If anyone told me my first ever rookie race would be in the snow, I would have laughed,” Khoury said. “Only thing that motivated me to run anyway was seeing you (Wong) and Max (Fischer GTS4) suit up in spite of the snow. Damn, now I have to race. One more thing checked off my bucket list.”
In GTS2, at least three competitors did not bring rain tires. They scrambled around the paddock asking to borrow wheels and tires. D.J. Fitzpatrick ended up borrowing a fellow HPDE driver’s street tires. Paul Newby borrowed some trailering wheels, which were all mismatched and Jim Khoury took advantage of some tires that became available when Donnie Weymer had a mechanical issue.
“You’d think the exciting and novel thing this weekend would be the snow race,” Newby said later, “but for me it was racing on three different tire sizes with three different brands of tires that was most unique.”
Fitzpatrick took the green and did not look back. Michael Dayton finished second, followed by John Carey. Khoury unfortunately bowed out early after trying to do a “Tough Mudder” run.
Sunday was sunny, with temperatures in the mid to upper 30s, nice conditions for challenging lap records. in GTS3, Wong would take down a prior record held by Josh Smith who is still completing a new car build. After battling through traffic, Wong backed off some to get some open laps and clicked off a 2:04.316, which is the new benchmark. In GTS2, Dayton suffered engine issues that dropped him back from second to fourth. Again, Fitzpatrick remained unchallenged while a nice battle ensued in the top four spots. Jeff Emanuelson took second early but Carey battled and was able to take the position in the longer 40-minute race session.
A market leader for high-quality, race-proven and race-winning setups, MCS will award winners of Mid-Atlantic GTS classes at the end of the year with generous awards for the top three finishers.