We had plenty of excitement at Sebring in April during the NASA Florida Spec Miata Challenge, with 15 cars taking the green flag for Saturday’s Lightning race. 5X Racing driver John Adamczyk and 74 Ranch driver Gar Robinson battled for the lead throughout the entire 30-minute race, and on the last lap in the last turn, Adamczyk made a daring move to the outside of Robinson, then ducked to the inside as Robinson tracked out midcorner.
Both cars came loose alongside each other in Sebring’s infamous Turn 17 bumps, and when the drift exhibition concluded, Adamczyk squeaked across the finish line just ahead of Robinson. Third place went to 5X Racing/Rossini Racing Products driver Jim Blaisdell with Mark Gibbons close behind.
Special mention should go to Gibbons for being the highest finishing Spec Miata in Saturday’s Twilight three-hour enduro. Gibbons participated in all race sessions, all HPDE4 sessions, and the three-hour enduro, which gave him more than five hours of track time for the day. He certainly is the undisputed NASA Florida Ironman!
Sunday’s Lightning race started off with a bang when several cars came together going into Turn 1 after the start. Unfortunately, several cars had to retire from the race due to damage, but most important, everyone was fine, and the cars will live to see another race. This is rare for NASA Florida, but common to Spec Miatas racing at Sebring, because Turn 1 can easily support four to five cars wide if the drivers are brave enough.
When the race resumed, Adamczyk and Robinson picked up where they left off Saturday, with Blaisdell close behind waiting for a misstep by the front two cars. Adamczyk and Robinson swapped the lead practically every lap, and in a strange turn of events for Adamczyk, déjà vu struck in the opposite direction when he led Robinson into the last corner of the last lap. However this time Robinson drafted Adamczyk down the back straight, and pulled the same move in Turn 17 as Adamczyk did in Saturday’s race to claim the victory!
Blaisdell again carried home the third-place trophy in his Rossini Racing powered and built 2001 Spec Miata. Special mention should go to Scott Dennewitz, who finished fourth despite being caught up in the Turn 1 melee. Even more impressive is that Dennewitz was visiting Sebring for the first time, all the way from Indiana!