NASA Time Trial drivers face a herculean task. They have to drive faster than their competition without really knowing how their competition is doing. They need to learn the track quickly. They need to get up to speed and keep improving their lap times until they’re driving the car as fast as it can go. They need to do it quickly before tires get hot and track conditions deteriorate.
That’s Time Trial competition and NASA drivers thrive on it. Nowhere is the competition greater than at the NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires. This year’s event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course attracted nearly 50 drivers from across the country to take their shot at greatness. It’s a game measured in seconds and decided by thousandths of a second. Here are the drivers who came out on top.
Time Trial Unlimited 1st place – James Paul drove his turbocharged, Mazda-powered Elan RSR to a fast lap of 1:20.595, the fastest time of any car all weekend at the NASA Championships Presented by Toyo Tires. 2nd place – No stranger to the TTU podium, multiple-time champion Jon Van Caneghem drove his Mazda-powered Élan DP02 to a fast lap of 1:22.336. 3rd place – Brian Faessler, who won the Super Unlimited Championship in his Ford Mustang, finished third in the same car in TTU with a 1:23.269-second lap time. Time Trial 1 1st place – Johnny Miller’s 1:27.569-second lap time landed him on top of the podium in TT1. 2nd place – Driven by NASA Texas Paul Costas, Team GSpeed’s C5 Corvette finished second in TT1 with a 1:28.138-second lap time. 3rd place – Driving the only Porsche 911 in Time Trial competition, Dez White took third in TT1 with a 1:28.236, just .054 seconds behind second place! Time Trial 3 1st place – Denis Clavette piloted his BMW M3 to a 1:31.981-second lap time, and took the TT3 Championship. 2nd place – With a full kit of aerodynamic aids on his Ford Mustang, Dan Westerwick took second in TT3 with 1:32.405 at Mid-Ohio. 3rd place -Driving the only Porsche 944 Turbo in Time Trial, Andrew Bakun laid down 1:34.058-second lap time to take third at Mid-Ohio. Time Trial 4 1st place – Driven by Andre Eisenbach, Team EDGE Motorworks’ntagen’s BMW M3 took the top spot in TT4 with a lap time of 1:32.760. 2nd place – Driven by Shawn Webster, Team EDGE ST MV nabbed second in TT4 with a 1:32.980-second lap time. 3rd place – Chase Johnston drove his Honda S2000 to a 1:33.510-second lap time to take third in TT4. Time Trial 5 1st place – Samed Rizvi came out on top in his Honda S2000 with a lap time of 1:36.474, just .048 seconds faster than second place in TT5, the tightest class in all of Time Trial in 2019. 2nd place – Also in a Honda S2000, Team John Wallace Racing – Red scampered to a lap time of 1:36.522, just .064 seconds ahead of third place! 3rd place – Robert Porter used the magic power of duct tape on his BMW M3 to take third in TT5 with a lap time of 1:36.586. Time Trial 6 1st place – After suffering contact that knocked him out of contention in the ST6 race, Sonny Watanasirisuk drove his Mazda Miata to a 1:40.714-second lap time to take the TT6 Championship. 2nd place – Christopher Armbruster drove his Mazda Miata to a 1:42.320, which was good for second place in TT6. 3rd place – Driving a Mazda Miata, Mike Cooper picked up third place in TT6 with a lap time of 1:46.197.
Image courtesy of Downforce Media