Performance Touring D was essentially Eric Powell’s to win. He had the speed, although he didn’t have the best qualifying position — third of three in class — but he has proven he has the will to win. Chris Viscovich had pole position for PTD, followed by Jason Fitzpatrick in his Volkswagen Passat.
It looked as though it would be a runaway win for Powell over Fitzpatrick, who overtook Viscovich to claim the second spot. Four laps in, Powell had a commanding lead over Fitzpatrick. Powell was running 2:12s to Fitzpatrick’s 2:15s. However, about that time, Powell’s car started to pop and misfire. He eventually pulled off track.
“It’s been a challenging year,” Powell said, adding that he suspected the trouble lay with the cam-angle sensor. “The car has been dead reliable up until this year, and we keep having little issues.
With Powell out of the race, Fitzpatrick had inherited first place. Being in the lead meant managing brake and tire wear. At 3,400 pounds, the Passat works better early in the race than it does later in the race.
“I managed to do a little agricultural coming up on the front straight, Fitzpatrick said. “That’s the first time it happened. I put a full tank of fuel in. I don’t know if it was the extra weight, or what. Eric got a pretty good gap on me. It’s a shame to win it this way, but I guess it proves that the Volkswagen is durable.”
Second-place finisher was dealing with mechanical issues all his own. At about the midpoint in the race, Viscovich began having transmission troubles and he had to compensate just to finish.
“It was quite a trial,” Viscovich said. “I had the car working really well and then I lost the transmission about halfway through the race. I lost the syncros. I had to run the rest of the race, all in fourth gear.”