Kevin Jander was a man on fire in Camaro-Mustang Challenge at the NASA Championships. After scoring the fastest time in Friday’s first qualifying session and winning Saturday’s qualifying race to nab pole position, Jander still had to prove himself through 45 minutes of hard racing.
That’s what the Championships are about, the challenges that come as races develop. In the CMC race, Jander had to cool his jets a bit while crews cleaned up a Spec E46 crash in Turn 1 at the beginning of lap two. When the race resumed, the classes were fully mingled, so awareness became paramount. In the end, Jander came away with the win and the 2018 CMC Championship.
“The cautions made things fairly interesting, and with the full-course caution, once we got grouped back up and did the restart, we were right at the back of the Spec E46’s and it was a bit tough navigating the traffic,” Jander said. “It was a good race. There was a little bit of frustration with some of the out-of-class cars, but I managed it and managed to get around them and everything ended up well.”
Farther back, the interclass racing might have prevented Bryan Curtis from battling for the win, but that is part of the challenge of a Championships race.
“I guess the caution stuff just bunched us up so bad, and we got into some out-of-class racing with the one BMW guy that kind of ruined it for me, I mean to have a chance, anyway,” said Curtis. “I think Kevin had me covered once he broke loose, but it was fun. Everybody knew coming that he was the one.”
Farther back, the order got shuffled around due to some contact and Josh Sooknanan finished third.
“We started out really aggressive,” Sooknanan said. “I knew it was a long race so I knew we were going to have to manage the tires, so we were really aggressive at the start, then kind of a lull in the middle and then pushed really hard near the end. But that yellow, where they grouped us all back up, that really changed the course of the race. But it was a good race, a good drive. I really enjoyed it.”