The NASA Southeast GTS series descended upon Roebling Road Raceway on April 12 and 13 for the fifth and sixth round of the GTS Championship Series. The battles on and off the track were intense. Matthew Wasilewski, who was signed up to run GTS3, ran into issues in the first practice session. That sidelined him for the weekend, but it did bring out the spirit of sportsmanship in the GTS family as multiple guys threw in their time, parts and tools to attempt to get the car out of limp mode. It was all to no avail, though, because they couldn’t find a crankshaft position sensor locally to get him back on track. This led to the GTS3 field being down a car, and brought about the old Southeast battle of Drew Ewing and Roebling Road track record holder, Werner Stark. Werner out-qualified Ewing on both days, but his luck was no better than Wasilewski’s during the race. During both races, Werner lost fifth gear, and the battle with Ewing never fully got going, which gave Ewing the win on both Saturday and Sunday.
The big battles on track took place in GTS2 and GTS1. On Saturday in GTS1, Larry Helm was able to secure his third win of the season in a field of six cars. He finished 16.3 seconds clear of the second-place car driven by GTS1 National Champion, John Mock, and 43 seconds ahead of last year’s Southeast GTS1 Champion, Thomas Crookston. Sunday saw a change of fortune for Tim Pruitt, the quickest car on the track in GTS1. After an early retirement Saturday, Pruitt was able to secure the win in GTS1 by a full lap, besting John Mock in second place and Team Fire Engine, which finished third. Pruitt’s fastest lap of the race on Sunday was a 1:24.975, which set a new track record in GTS1.
The closest racing action in GTS this season took place Saturday and Sunday in GTS2. Rafael Torres, last year’s dominant GTS2 championship winner, bested Jr. Burdette by a mere .034 seconds in a drag race between Torres’ E36 M3 and Burdette’s Porsche Boxster as they exited the last turn and headed down the front straight toward the finish line. Robert Lutz managed a solid third-place finish.
Sunday saw the battle between Torres and Burdette heat up again with Burdette taking the checkered flag first with a 2.3-second advantage. However, due to a pass under a waving yellow, Burdette was disqualified, elevating Torres to the winner’s spot once again. Lutz moved to second and Thomas Logan rounded out the podium in third.