After finishing seventh at the Mazda Race of NASA Champions in May, Dan Williams started from last and went on to take the win and the Championship in 944 Spec.

Ten Porsches took the green flag for a flying start in the 944 Spec class. The field had Alberto Fonseca on the pole with Daniel Williams starting at the back of the grid. However, that didn’t last for long, because Williams moved his red No. 74 Porsche 944 up through the field quickly. Thomas Atteberry was in second place up to lap five when he went off track in Turn 11, moving him down to eighth place. After Atteberry’s off, Fonseca had a nice gap during the midpoint of the race, but the back markers of the Spec E30 field began to slow Fonseca a bit as Williams continued his battle from the back of the grid to catch up. Williams got by Simon Peck, who was driving his No. 382 Porsche, and then all that was left was Fonseca. Williams closed the gap to less than a tenth of a second and then with 15 minutes left in the race, Williams made the pass on Fonseca for the lead. When the checkered flag dropped on 944 Spec, it was Williams in first, Peck in second and Jim Hicks finishing third.

“I want to thank NASA and Toyo Tires, as well as Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, for this event,” Williams said. “My friends and I have been working for a couple of years together on this sport. As a team, it is really special to see it all come together. There was a pretty good gap between myself and first place for a while, and then we got into some Spec E30 traffic, but I don’t think it really affected the race. I didn’t feel held up by it in any way. The Spec E30 guys were pretty good about staying out of it.”

Simon Peck, finishing second in his No. 382 Porsche 944, said, “It was a fantastic race, I was battling from flag to flag. Finishing on the podium was the best I could hope for during my first time at nationals. Jim Hicks behind me was running a faster race than I was, but I just made my car as wide as possible so he couldn’t get by for at least 10 laps. It was really a great race, with a battle every minute during the race.”

Simon Peck battled SoCal standout Jim Hicks on his way to a second-place finish in 944 Spec.
Simon Peck battled SoCal standout Jim Hicks on his way to a second-place finish in 944 Spec.
Jim Hicks was running faster lap times, but couldn’t get past Simon Peck and ended up finishing third in 944 Spec.
Jim Hicks was running faster lap times, but couldn’t get past Simon Peck and ended up finishing third in 944 Spec.
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Image courtesy of Rob Krider