Smooth pavement and cold temps were a perfect recipe for fast lap times in Spec Miata at Carolina Motorsports Park this November. The NASA Southeast racing weekend included a competition school on Friday where we added one new racer to the Spec Miata racing family. Capers Zentmeyer earned his provisional license and successfully finished both weekend races.
We had an 18-car field for Saturday’s race. From the start, Broderick Bauguess led, with Keith Williamson in P2 while Annika Carter, Don Elvington, and Yan Dia duked it out for positions three through five. They raced hard for several laps, but finally settled in by lap seven, with the front five pretty much single file at that point.
We saw some great racing through the pack and had two hard chargers starting from the last row. Jeremy Barnes missed qualifying and started in P17. Team Trinity Motorsports, with Joshua Caniglia at the wheel, had a problem with his transponder during qualifying, so he started in P18. Jeremy and Josh worked through the pack and made it all the way up to finish in P6 and P7 respectively. In the end, Broderick set a blistering pace and won the race by more than 18 seconds. To top it off, Broderick broke the track record with a time of 1:49.155 on lap three. The previous record of 1:49.425 was set by Aiden Baker Crouse. The remaining top five consisted of Keith Williamson in P2, Don Elvington in P3, Yan Dia in P4, and Annika Carter in P5.
Sunday’s race started with some unfortunate chaos in Turn 1 and four Miatas were wrecked in all. We hate to see crashes like this, but everyone walked away OK. This incident led to a full-course yellow before anyone even completed a lap. Now the race classes were bunched up, putting the Miatas, E30s, 944s and ST5 cars all in tight proximity. This made for some challenging racing at the restart.
Bauguess diced through the E30s with Williamson keeping him close in sight and Kimball Markham chasing for third. Markham went wide in Turn 6, which allowed Dia to get past him on the inside for P3. On lap three, Williamson was able to close in on Bauguess’ bumper entering Turn 14, but by Turn 7 they were once again separated by out-of-class traffic. On the next lap, Barnes and Cagniglia pushed by Dia entering Turn 8, taking over P3 and P4. A few laps later, Caniglia went off track exiting Turn 14, slowing Dia and allowing Elvington and Markham to push by on the front stretch.
Positions three through seven were constantly in flux as each car battled for position throughout the race. Bauguess and Williamson showed their consistency finishing P1 and P2 respectively. They were followed by Barnes in P3, Elvington in P4, and Dia in P5. One of the closest finishes was between Markham and John Palazzolo for eighth place. They raced each other hard on the last lap, but Markham edged ahead of Palazzolo by just .033 seconds at the finish line. This type of close racing is exactly what makes Spec Miata racing so exciting and fun!