NASA Great Lakes Super Touring had another great weekend in the beautiful vicinity of South Haven, Michigan, at Gingerman Raceway.
Chandler Premo reset the ST3 record with a 1:37.3. Greg Vannucci reset the ST1 track record with a stunning 1:34.2, and Michael Bagnoli reset the SU track record to a 1:32.2.
In Saturday’s ST3 race, Premo held off Jim McKamey in impressive fashion to continue his winning ways, followed by the steady driving of Ray Freundt. Justin Farber took his first podium this year, after McKamey was cited for a pass under yellow. In fact, seven cars in the Thunder race group were DQ’d for passing under yellow.
In ST1, Vannucci got off to an early lead, and Eric Kuhns gained some separation from Seth Palatnik in traffic early on. Palatnik kept up a qualifying pace, though, and steadily closed the gap to Kuhns, who struggled with an electrical stop/start condition. Vannucci’s car also struggled, going into limp mode, but a midrace extended yellow allowed the cars to cool off, and sort out. The cars were bunched up as the green flew again, but did not quite re-engage before the checker waved. The order was reshuffled post race, with Vannucci being among those DQ’d for a pass under yellow. Palatnik then took the win that boosted him to the top of the ST1 season’s points.
In SU, Bagnoli set a lap record, but also succumbed to gremlins late in the race. Sweer’s Viper continued its domination, follow by Davidson’s stock car.
Sunday’s first race threatened rain, but the downpour held off until the last lap. Most competitors went out on dry tires, but Kuhns and Freundt gambled on rains — and lost! A last-minute grid inversion scrambled competitors right off the start.
In ST3, Jon Cisler leveraged the inversion, and pulled off a strong start. With savvy traffic management, Cisler stretched a lead on season points leader Premo, who closed the gap in the final laps, but was unable to get around Cisler for the win this time. Cisler claimed his first win of the year in his first weekend out. Ray Freundt and Justin Farber had close lap times, but the more consistent Freundt nabbed the last podium spot.
In ST1, the inversion led to some close racing at the start, with Palatnik pulling out an early lead, followed closely by Kuhns, and a hard-charging Vannucci, who sliced his way up front, and into the sunset. Kuhns’ wet tires gave up on simmering dry pavement, dropping him far off Palatnik’s pace.
In SU, it was Sweers who charged off, and Bagnoli who fell off late, leaving the finishing order Sweers, Davidson, and Bagnoli.