NASA SE had the Hotlanta Challenge event at Road Atlanta August 3rd and 4th. The temperature was warm but the racing was indeed hot. While several of the NASA SE Spec Thunder Roadster regulars were not at this event we had Gary Tinker, Rick Fergusson, Lloyd Federle, and Rod Hatfield from South Florida with Firouz Haghighi from Texas join us for the weekend.
Saturday’s qualifying had Lloyd Federle on pole with a 1:40.584 followed by Mike Rea and Randy Suddreth. The sprint race was in the late afternoon in the hottest part of the day, with temps in the 90’s cool suits were needed. Lloyd Federle took the lead early, followed by Mike Rea and Rick Fergusson. Gary Tinker came charging through the field on the first lap. He and Fergusson both ran down Mike Rea on the back straight and pulled out to past him with one on each side going into the braking zone for 10A. Somehow contract was made and both Tinker and Rea were in the paddock for the remainder of the race. The race went to a full course caution. On the restart Federle grabbed the lead followed closely by Fergusson and Randy Suddreth. Federle continued to battle with Fergusson for the remaining 12 laps and won by less than 3 tenths of a second. Suddreth finished third with Darrel Hamilton, who started last, came through the sixteen car field for a fourth place finish with Dave Schram in fifth.
Sunday’s qualifying put Mike Rea on the pole with Gary Tinker second and Randy Suddreth third. The Sunday’s race marred by a first lap, first turn incident when 3 cars attempted to run side by side through turn one. Sonny Tu was on the outside and was forced off the track. He spun and came back across the track where he collected Lee Bernard. In doing so, the rumble strip damaged his oil pan and caused the lost of all his oil in turn one. The race was red flagged while the Road Atlanta track crews cleaned turn one. On the restart Gary Tinker and Randy Suddreth got by Mike Rea with Tinker taking the lead. Tinker held the lead for the remainder in the shorten race, Suddreth finished second. Darrel Hamilton got by Rea on the next to last lap to hang on to third followed closely by Rea fourth and Robert Summers rounding out the top five.