Rainy and wet. Dry and sunny. Lots of grip. No grip at all. Competitors faced all those conditions and more at picturesque Virginia International Raceway during the 2015 Eastern States Championships presented by Toyo Tires.
During Friday’s qualifying race in Spec Miata, the southern half of the track was dry, but the northern portion was wet at the finish line. By lap four, the skies had opened up with a downpour so thunderous and heavy that visibility was reduced to near zero. Grip was as elusive as a politician is to a pointed question. About a third of the field slid off the track, many of them colliding in the slick wet grass.
The rains returned for the Super Touring race and visibility after Start/Finish once again was nil. One ST2 competitor described the scene pretty succinctly: “By the time I hit fourth gear, I couldn’t see anything.”
Saturday was searing, hot and sticky, making in-car conditions tough for competitors without driver-cooling systems. However, by the time the races for all the marbles took place on Sunday, the heat and the rain had relented, leaving warm and dry conditions with the welcome relief of an overcast sky — about as good as can be expected in the Mid-Atlantic in early September.
The rest of the run groups faced equally varying conditions in addition to the challenges posed by their competitors, but by the end of the weekend, NASA had crowned 27 new Champions. Here are their stories.