After my trip to Watkins Glen for the Porsche Clash, I was back at Summit Point for NASA Mid Atlantic’s D-Day Dogfight. Chris Cobetto and his staff always put on a good event. NASA track events are great events to attend as a spectator if you are thinking about getting into driving on the track and want to see what it’s all about. You get to see it all. There’s high performance driver education (HPDE), racing, and time trials, all rolled into a single event. The paddock was packed with cars and drivers participating in all three aforementioned activities.
For this event, I brought Chris Thompson, National Sales Manager for Motorsports for Alpinestars to do classroom sessions on safety gear for the HPDE participants. He explained the latest technology in fire resistant gear, and why if you are going to drive a car on a racetrack at triple digit speeds, you should consider adding some fire resistant gear to your gear bag. This wasn’t a sales pitch to buy Alpinestars products. The point was to educate the HPDE participants on why they should be prepared in case of fire since though we do not plan on it, it can and does happen on occasion.
Now to the action on track. After qualifying under sunny skies, the racing commenced in the afternoon with the Thunder group getting down to business first. The ST2 Corvette of Brad Neff and the ST3 M3 of D.J. Fitzpatrick lead the field to the green flag. Neff led the way with Fitzpatrick giving chase and they finished the race 1-2, both turning sub 1:20 laps. In the growing Spec E46 class, Rob Gagliardo took the win with Bobby Watson and Jeff Hall rounding out the podium. Matt Wasilewski took the win in a field of six GTS2 cars while Wes Dearing took the win in American Iron with Bill Greene winning American Iron Xtreme, and Russ Carter in Camaro-Mustang Challenge.
Just over an hour later, The Lightning Race took place. Lightning group is usually made up of the PT, Spec Miata, Spec E30, Spec 3, and GTS-1. The two great battles that I watched intently were in Spec 3 and Spec E30. The top four Spec 3 cars ran closely together the entire race. The lead changed hands multiple times with Rob Talastas and Jon McAvoy swapping positions multiple times throughout the race, with McAvoy taking a hard fought win. Over in Spec E30, Robert Grace and Jason Griscavage ran 1-2 the whole race, while a tight battle took place behind them for 3rd place. Former Spec E30 National Champion Chris Cobetto was locked in a serious scrap with Chris Allen and TJ Joyce. In the end it was TJ Joyce claiming his first Spec E30 podium after driving a great race. While all this was going on, Tyler Kicera took the win in a field of 17 Spec Miatas over Mark Cefalo and Adam Molaver.
There was an abundance of good close racing in both races and all the drivers put on a good show for the spectators. This week, I am off to NJMP to visit NASA NE, then down to VIR for the PCA Rumble at the Oak Tree club race. See you at the track!