The Spec Thunder Roadsters raced in the Thunder Class for the first time at Carolina Motorsports Park May 18 and 19. It went surprisingly well, and it was one of the few times the Thunder Roadsters were not the fastest cars on track.
A record 17 Roadsters registered and raced at CMP. The Thunder Roadster race group continues to grow, and there were two first-time drivers, Robert Summers and Aaron Rice in attendance in May. Three veterans also returned for the first time this year, with Lee Barnard in a brand new car, Rod Hall and Jordan Anderson.
Saturday morning weather was perfect for qualifying, cool and dry. Anderson set the fast lap of the weekend with a 1:46:240 with Hall second and Randy Suddreth third.
The race Saturday afternoon was a good one. Anderson led early but had mechanical problems and was forced to retire. His problems caused a full-course caution. On the restart, Suddreth got a great run and went to the lead. Darrel Hamilton after starting 15th pulled into second place with Mike Rea on his bumper. Suddreth was able to maintain his lead for the win. Rea passed Hamilton on the final lap for second place, leaving Hamilton to take third.
Late Saturday afternoon was the inaugural Roadster Run, a 30-minute non-points race just for Thunder Roadsters. With no qualifying, the field was inverted based on the fastest lap time in the earlier race. It was exciting to watch the faster drivers come through the field. Rea, who started near the back, came roaring through the pack to win his first race. Bandon Pantas was second, Sonny Tu third, Ralph Nolan fourth and Kevin Mewborn rounded out the top five.
Sunday was anything but sunny, and the Thunder Roadsters ran their qualifying laps on a damp track.
Hall sat on the pole with Rea second and Suddreth third. The race however, took place in the rain. With no one running rain tires, there was much slipping and sliding around. Rob Hall finished first, with Randy Suddreth second and Mike Rea third. Brandon Pantas was fourth and Ralph Nolan fifth. Mike Rea was on all three steps of the podium over the weekend, his best ever.