The Performance Touring C qualifying races had Dave Schotz in his freshly built No. 75 1991 Chevrolet Corvette battling against Tim Auger in his number 21 blue Acura Integra. The qualifying races had drama between these two as the Integra had great speed, but used up its front-wheel-drive tires quickly, allowing the Corvette to make a dramatic last-lap, last-corner pass for a qualifying race win.
When the green flag dropped for the Performance Touring C Championship race 12 cars took the start, with Dave Schotz on the pole. Auger had a tough start on the front row and quickly found himself in fourth place. Benny Pecqueur, driving an Acura TSX, moved into third and then made contact with Warren Dexter in his red Mazda RX-8, who was in second place. Auger tried desperately on the first lap to get his positions back, but the cold rear tires on his front-drive Integra made the Acura loose and difficult to control. On the third lap, Auger slid his Integra into a wall at Turn 9. Pecqueur slowed for Auger’s off, which allowed the No. 51 white Mazda Miata of Harold Dunn to move into the third spot. Pecqueur wasn’t happy about that and made a repass in Turn 2 to get back third place. As the PTC class leaders approached traffic, Schotz got through the congestion with ease, while second place Dexter made a gutsy pass in Turn 11 to keep Schotz in his sights.
Surprisingly, after going off course, Auger was back in the race and began to put pressure on third place Pecqueur. Auger made a big move in Turn 11 and got past Pecqueur’s TSX, but Pecqueur took the position back down the front straight. Dexter in the RX-8 was hanging behind Schotz’s Corvette up until 27 minutes into the race when the gap widened and second-place Dexter suddenly pulled the RX-8 behind the wall with a mechanical issue. After that, Schotz drove away as Auger and Pecqueur battled back and forth for second place.
When the checkered flag came out, it was Dave Schotz for the win, Tim Auger in second and Benny Pecqueur in third.
“It was an amazing weekend,” said Dave Schotz, who earned his fourth win of the weekend during the PTC race. “I couldn’t have done it without the help of a lot of the competitors who were here. I had welding I needed help with, hubs to swap out, and I can’t believe we were able to pull it all off. To earn this many national titles is just awesome, especially when there are so many great competitors here at NASA. It is amazing to see so many diverse cars on the track that are turning such fast laps. Next year I’m bringing three cars!”
“It’s such a great course and Dave is such a good driver,” said second-place finisher Tim Auger. “My car ran really well. Ron Carroll from Davidson Racing really helped set the car up. I had to run a little heavier with more fuel for the longer race. I was pushing hard early and just lost it in Turn 9. I didn’t get a lot of damage and I was able to work my way back. NASA ran a great show with, as it isn’t easy to run something like this here at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.”
“I was trying to keep up with the fast guys. That was my job all weekend, to keep up with the fast guys,” said third place finisher Benoit “Benny” Pecqueur. “I had a great battle with Tim, and toward the end of the race, I just ran out of tires and didn’t have it. Tim was too fast for me today.”