The Spec E30 weekend at started on a great note with a popular Friday night low-country boil hosted by Team Parkhurst/Patton. Saturday brought beautiful race weather with sunny skies and mild temperatures. The temperatures and the new Toyo RR tires combined to help produce some very quick Spec E30 Roebling Road laps in qualifying and in the race. For the first race, Team Palacio continued their winning ways with dual podium finishes. Eric Palacio took another win (with a notable 1:24.000 fast lap) while dad Julio took third place. David Walsh chased Eric for most of the race, finishing less than 3 seconds behind to take second place.
The second race of the day was the inaugural Bunny Chase. In the fine and longstanding tradition of Spec E30 Southeast’s annual Inverted Field Unlimited races, the normal race procedures were turned on their ear. The race began in Australian Pursuit format, which went like this. Laura Patton, driving the “bunny,” was released from pit lane followed by an inverted field in which each car left at a timed interval designed to get to get the entire field to the bunny at the same time. As if that weren’t enough, the field was stopped halfway through the race, reinverted on the grid for a wild standing start that saw a lot of shuffling of positions before Turn 1. Sandro Espinosa, followed very closely by David Walsh, managed to navigate the field and finish right behind Patton for the first ever Bunny Chase win.
The story on Sunday was the imminence of rain. With a lot of discussion and strategizing — and close examination of weather radar apps — some drivers decided to go with rain tires while others went with dry setups. Fortune favored the dry-tire folks because the rain held off until after the race. After an early full-course yellow that saw several cars off in Turn 3, David Walsh got the win Sunday by holding off a charging Scott McKay, who finished less than .01 seconds behind him. Despite starting on rains, Eric Palacio held on for a third-place finish.