Sunday, September 2, 2012

NASA MidAtlantic Summer Breeze Recap

GTS racers descended on Summit Point for NASA Mid-Atlantic's Summer
Breeze event.  Weather was perfect this year with some really close
racing in GTS, specifically GTS1 and GTS2.  On Saturday, DJ
Fitzpatrick would go into qualifying telling everyone he only had old
tires and not to expect much.  Was it just some pre-qualifying
strategy to catch his competition off guard?  Perhaps that was the
case, but in a spectacularly rare event, he would qualify with an
identical laptime down to the thousandths with Michael Dayton.  In
cases such as this, the pole goes to the second fastest lap, which was
held by Fitzpatrick.

The race shaped up to be a good one, with very tight battling in the
early laps.  Dayton hounded Fitzpatrick for the top spot and
unfortunately for Fitzpatrick a bobble in T10 provided some
spectacular sideways showmanship for the crowd and the competition
behind.  Paul Alexadre who normally races Spec986, joined GTS2 this
weekend provided the best quote, " is this E36 M3s at Hypefest? That
is a lot of angle!".  Dayton would have to go four off to avoid
contact which slowed him considerably allowing Jim Khoury to take
advantage.  Fitzpatrick would have to retire early as the incident
would result in some nice cords showing on his tires.  Dayton would
challenge Khoury up until the checkered flag but Khoury held off for
the win.  Jeff Emanuelson rounded out the podium in third place.

On Sunday, the T10 activities continued.  In GTS3, Eric Wong led Josh
Smith for a few laps until a C4 Corvette spun in T10.  Nearly coming
to a stop to avoid contact, Wong would cede the top position to Smith.
 Jeff Curtis, who would finish third joked, "I obviously didn't pay
the vette guy enough".  Forty minutes of hard racing kept the two
close.  The gap would widen and shorten depending on traffic which
proves you should never give up.  A fortunate last minute traffic
incident would enable Wong to overtake Smith in the second to last
corner of the last lap and taking the win by 0.129 seconds in a near
photo finish.

In GTS1, the drivers were turning near identical fast lap times with
Matt Marks taking the win.  Big Joe Boschulte was unable to challenge
the win as he decided to do some heavy lifting by having a power
steering failure.  He could only man handle the car for a lap before
his arms tired out.  At least that was the story conveyed from fellow
competitor Dave Gibson when he recalled after the race, "Joe blew a
power steering belt on Sunday which with 275 meat up front even "Big
Joe" couldn't muscle it around."  Gibson would battle hard with Max
Fischer in a rented Bent Splitter Racing GTS1 BMW.  Gibson would
emerge ahead of Fischer and after the race had some thoughts on why,
"Max came up to me after our epic battle saying what a blast it was to
race GTS-1!  He said he is used to GTS-4 hard breaking and gobs of
horsepower and in 1 its easy on the brakes and carrying speed...which
he said is a little scary!"  Fischer would end up finishing fourth
with Rob Carpenter taking the last podium spot.

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