NorCal racer Charlie Hayes took the PTD win by more than 40 seconds to put an exclamation point on earning a Championship.

Charlie Hayes took the PTD win in his 1990 Mazda Miata by over 40 seconds at the 2016 NASA Western States Championships at Buttonwillow Raceway. J.D. Koos’ dyno failure meant that Charles Buzzetti grabbed second place and Lee Papageorge claimed the final spot on the podium.

“We started up on pole with the No. 22 Toyo Tires Mazda Miata and we just kind of drove away,” Hayes said. “The conditions got people confused … but there was still plenty of grip. The car had no problems, just ticking off laps.”

Before J.D. Koos was disqualified for a dyno failure, he was ecstatic over his last lap pass for second, but all that was for naught.

“It went pretty good,” said Koos. “I held third position for the entire race and then I got lucky. On the last lap, my friend Charles decided to go off with one and a half turns from the last straight. Definitely got a gift there and got lucky with the second place. We could have contacted lots of times but we were being nice about it.”

Charles Buzzetti insisted that, “I didn’t give it to J.D.,” but in the end it didn’t matter due to the dyno failure. “We raced clean and hard and it was an excellent race. I can’t say enough about the sportsmanship we are showing each other, leaving room and no touching. You just never knew if there was going to be grip in the next corner.”

Charlie Buzzetti finished third, but a post-race DQ bumped him up to second place in PTD.
Charlie Buzzetti finished third, but a post-race DQ bumped him up to second place in PTD.

Following the disqualification of J.D. Koos, Lee Papageorge achieved a third-place finish to round out the PTD podium.

Lee Papageorge finished off the podium, but a post-race DQ advanced him to a third-place finish.
Lee Papageorge finished off the podium, but a post-race DQ advanced him to a third-place finish.
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