Jason Fraser had never driven the Circuit of The Americas, but spent plenty of time on a simulator to prepare for the weekend. The homework paid off for Fraser, who started from pole and took home the National Championship in Spec E46.
At the start, Aristotle Balogh came from third and challenged Fraser for the inside of Turn 1, but Fraser carried more speed and came out with the lead. Everything was textbook — until it wasn’t. By the time the field arrived back at Turn 1, Mark Drennan had advanced 11 positions to take third. That’s when Charles Hurley and Mark Andrews spun in Turn 1, collecting Rina Balogh, causing Andrews and Balogh to retire then and there.
That brought out double-yellows and a pace car, but when the race resumed, the craziness of mixed-class racing ensued. In the end, it was Fraser taking the win.
“I’m not a rookie, but I’m newer to the road racing stuff,” Fraser said. “This is the first road racecar I ever built, I ever raced. I came from NASCAR—circle track stuff—so I feel I had that expectation coming in. We had plenty of practice time. The way I look at it, if I can’t figure this place out in three days, I don’t deserve to win.”
After suffering a puncture in the qualifying race, Mark Drennan started from way back and finished in second.
“Some flags were green when there were still double-yellows out, so a bunch of cars got in between me and first and second,” Drennan said. “Cars started passing me and I probably had six or seven cars get in front of me, but I got around them finally and started chasing Jason down and I just ran out of time — and energy.”
Aristotle Balogh, started from third, and that’s where he finished despite all the mayhem between green and checkers.
“It was going great till the full-course yellow, and then the restart was just crazy. Flags were dropped earlier. There were still yellows up front. I saw the yellows I just braked. Cars were passing me left and right and then a Mustang wanted to get into the pits and banged into me like three or four times, almost drove me into the wall. I just recovered, drove and got through traffic and it was good.”