Fourteen Spec3 cars and 15 Spec3 racers visited Savannah, Ga., to tackle the mesmerizing switchbacks of Roebling Road Raceway with NASA Southeast. Six Spec3s were racing, eight were in HPDE 2 and 3, and one Spec3 racer was borrowing a car for competition school to run GTS3 in lieu of Spec3 because of delays in getting their car back from the cage builder. All 15 were ready for a fantastic weekend.

Friday saw practice and competition school. Ryan Delvaux tackled it in a Spec3 owned by Andy Schmidt and Colin Swanger took on the challenge in an E36 M3, also owned by Andy Schmidt. Both cars were on loan from Schmidt so that racers could get their licenses and keep the Spec3 machine running in high gear. If there is a “track dealer” award in the Southeast region, we submit Andy’s name for that honor. At the end of the day, two new racers held a provisional race license in the Spec3 paddock.

Saturday saw Andy Schmidt on pole, followed by Justin Hite, and the rookie fresh out of comp school, Ryan Delvaux. Unfortunately for Delvaux, as a rookie, he was placed at the back of the grid for the race start, so Robby Hite took the honors of the inside lane on the second row. Chris Araj and Bob Ross, an established Super Touring racer, in their first Spec3 race finished out the starting grid.

Race one’s published starting time approached and cars shuffled up to the grid, but there was a Spec3 shaped gap between the classes. No racers were on grid as they were all huddled around Ryan Delvaux’s loaner Spec3 helping to fix a broken wheel stud at the last minute. As time ticked down, the other racers scurried to their cars to make the race, while the hoard of future Spec3 racers in HPDE took over to replace the wheel stud while the rookie racer suited up and got in the car. All but one Spec3 racer made it to grid in time and an exciting race ensued with Andy Schmidt fending off Justin Hite for the win while running the fastest lap time in the Lightning group with a 1:21.633. The rookie Delvaux made it onto the track six laps down after repairing his car and turned impressive laps while notching a completed race on his provisional license.

In race one at Roebling Road, (from left) Chris Araj finished third in Spec3, with Andreas Schmidt taking the win and Justin Hite in second.

Race two took place early Sunday morning and saw the rookie Delvaux charging through the field and battling door to door with Justin Hite for many laps while Chris Araj poked and prodded to find a chance to slip past the two as they clogged up the track with their jostling. Eventually the jostling led to Justin Hite on the outside in the marbles which pushed him off track, allowing the tightly packed Spec3 field to pass by. Andy Schmidt took the victory while setting a new Spec3 lap record of 1:20.929, also the fastest lap in the Lightning group. In impressive fashion, Chris Araj and the rookie Ryan Delvaux both turned 1:21 laps, which before this race, would have been lap records on their own. The finishing order was Schmidt with the win, Delvaux in second and Araj in third with, R. Hite, Ross, J. Hite just off the podium.

Race three saw an inverted grid and an exciting battle as the field worked itself out while also navigating Spec E30 and Spec Miata traffic, in between yellow flags. Andy Schmidt took the victory with Bob Ross finding his first podium finish in Spec3, Robby Hite in third, and Delvaux, J. Hite, and Araj following behind.

Beyond the blazing action on track, the Spec3 paddock was a party each night. Laughs were had, pranks were played (don’t take out any brake markers, or Spec3 series leader Katherine Agurkis will remind you in dramatic fashion!), and much delicious food was served. A group nearing 20 members in size has formed purely from their desire to race in Spec3, and has now grown into many deep friendships that extend beyond the race track.

To top this off, OG Racing supplied gift vouchers to be awarded to racers who created “memorable moments” throughout the weekend. Bob Ross and Ryan Delvaux took home the certificates good toward any purchase!



Images courtesy of Jim Pantas and Taylor Johnson


  1. The Spec3 southeast field is really coming along. Door-to-door racing is the norm and the paddock experience is second to none.

Join the Discussion