Timothy Bidwill had earned pole for the start of the Super Touring 1 race, with Terry Mathis in second and Brian Goldburg in third and Michael Perkins in fourth. However, the wide line Bidwill used allowed Brian Goldburg to get under him in Turn 1.
What looked like a disadvantage turned into an advantage. That wide line benefitted Bidwill when Goldburg spun and collected Mathis and Super Touring 2 competitor Chris Wynne. Mark Burt found his way through the melee and emerged in first place, with Michael Eifling second and Bidwill in third. When the pace car came out, Bidwill had taken over second place, and Eifling was in third.
When the race got going again, Burt kept his nose clean for the remainder of the race, and came away with the ST1 Championship, a solid follow-up to his ST3 Championship in a different car last year at Sebring International Raceway.
“The top three or four got bottled up in Turn 1 and a couple of guys got taken out, and it was basically given to me at that point,” said Burt, who lives in Orange City, Fla. “I was just trying not to make a mistake. Keep it smooth, keep it going, tires down.”
Try as he did, Bidwill couldn’t match Burt’s lap times, so he came away with second place.
““I’ve got to thank my crew for having the car ready to go,” Bidwill said. “I was rushed. I was coming out of TT right before the race and had to go to impound, literally run to the garage, change my cool shirt and then rush to grid, and I never really had a minute to compose myself before the race rolled out onto the track.”
Eifling kept his Corvette in one piece and came away with third place in ST1.
“I’ve raced here at COTA one other time, but it was a year and a half ago, so there was a lot of learning the track for me,” he said. “But you know, it just goes to show on race day, you’ve just got to show up and race hard. Despite qualifying almost last, I ended up on the podium, so I’m super happy.”