The 2017 race series began with lots of rain, but it could not dampen the spirits of our racers. Those with rain tires braved the rare opportunity to test their skills in the challenging conditions. Given the weather, race stewards opted to postpone Friday’s race to Saturday. Saturday’s schedule was modified to accommodate morning practice, qualifying and two races for Light Sport and Miata as well as a Lotus bracket race. The schedule would test SM crew and drivers.
Friday’s rain gave way to a clear, crisp Saturday morning, perfect weather to take on the challenging Fittipaldi (A) 3.67-mile course. Despite the compressed schedule, SM crew and drivers all performed brilliantly! Below are some highlights seen throughout each race:
Light Sport Racer
- CSM welcomed back Gerhard Watzinger #32 and Jesse Menczer #11, neither having competed during the 2016 season.
- Sixteen participants: five competing in each of the LSR1, LSR2 and LSR3 divisions, and one competing in the LSRR class.
- Erik Davis #007 (LSR1) and Ron Eckhardt #93 (LSR2) had a great battle. Both drivers challenged and passed each other. Ultimately, Eckhardt came out ahead. It was a great display of multiclass racing.
- Brandon Rambo, who started 7th, worked his way through the grid to successfully take 2nd overall.
- Jesse Menczer exited the track on the first lap. He reentered the race on lap 10. On his third lap at speed, he earned the fastest lap of the race with a time of 2:15.218!
- LSR1 division: Brandon Rambo 1st, Erik Davis 2nd and Gerhard Watzinger 3rd
- LSR2 division: Ron Eckhardt 1st, Nick Kelly 2nd and Bruce Jones 3rd
- LSR3 division: Ron Fletcher 1st, Mitch Bishop 2nd and Gregg Gorski 3rd
- LSRR division: Greg Boehme 1st
- Multiple passes under the yellow flag caused the stewards to re-grid the racers for the restart.
- Greg Boehme #6 and House made contact in Ego Check, causing both cars to spin. Both drivers were able to continue, though Boehme later retired on lap 7.
- LSR1 division: Jesse Menczer 1st, Gerhard Watzinger 2nd and Erik Davis 3rd
- LSR2 division: Ron Eckhardt 1st, Nick Kelly 2nd and Mark Rohrwasser 3rd
- LSR3 division: Indy Al Miller 1st, Ron Fletcher 2nd and Mitch Bishop 3rd
- LSRR division: Greg Boehme 1st
- Eight participants: five competing in the Miata class and three competing in the MX5 class.
- On lap 5, Ron Fletcher #19 spun at the exit of Catapult but skillfully recovered and continued.
- Gregg Gorski #G24 and Jim Balestrieri #197, though in different divisions, fought hard for position.
- Jim Balestrieri snatched fastest lap (2:46.174) from race winner Teddy Landau by a mere .007 seconds!
- Miata division: Gregg Gorski 1st, Ryan Pond 2nd and Dennis Kane 3rd
- MX5 division: Teddy Landau 1st, Jim Balestrieri 2nd and Ron Fletcher 3rd
- Seven participants.
- Gorski and Balestrieri #197 battled throughout the race. While attempting a pass in the Bowl, Gorski spun, which created a gap he was not able to close.
- Kane and Menczer traded places several times during the race. However, Kane managed slip past Michael Lorenz #14 to take second, leaving Lorenz in 3rd and Menczer in 4th.
- Six participants.
- During the Lotus Race, Jack Fried achieved the fastest lap of the race 2:35.742, but ultimately broke out of his bracket on the last lap.
- Terry Carlson, #707 and Monica Carlson #313 also broke out of their brackets.