Race Highlights January 2017

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.

Rain Day! Kids playing in the puddles... at 100mph!


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

Race #1

  • CSM welcomed back Gerhard Watzinger #32 and Jesse Menczer #11, neither having competed during the 2016 season.
Watzinger and Menczer coming though Radical Bend.
  • 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.
Davis and Eckhardt coming through Pahrump 1.
  • Brandon Rambo, who started 7th, worked his way through the grid to successfully take 2nd overall.
Rambo close behind Davis before he making a pass in the next lap.
  • 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!
Menczer led the pack on track for LSR Race #2 after his fastest lap qualified him for P1 in grid.
  • 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
LSR1 and LSR2 podium pictures do not accurately reflect the final positions.

Race #2

  • CSM welcomed back member Dave House #86, who did not compete during the 2016 season.
House gaining speed on the Clubhouse Straight.
  • Sixteen participants.
  • When the green flag flew, racers attacked the course. Unfortunately, an incident between Ron Fletcher #19 and Indy Al Miller #715 in Pahrump 2 resulted in a full course caution.
Both drivers were able to compete for the rest of the race.
  • 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.
Boehme closely following House through Pahrump 1 before the incident occurred in Ego Check.
  • 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
LSR winners sporting their redesigned 2017 trophies!


Race #1

  • 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!
Landau finished nearly 7 seconds before Balestrieri, but Balestrieri showcased his driving skills by running the fastest lap time of the race.
  • Miata division: Gregg Gorski 1st, Ryan Pond 2nd and Dennis Kane 3rd
  • MX5 division: Teddy Landau 1st, Jim Balestrieri 2nd and Ron Fletcher 3rd
Podium picture above does not accurately reflect the final positions.

Race #2

  • 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.
Gorski maintained pressure on Balestrieri...
...until he spun in the Bowl.
  • 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.
Kane and Menczer ran bumper-to-bumper through Ego Check, Kenny's Corner and Zora's Run.
  • Miata division: Gregg Gorski 1st, Dennis Kane 2nd and Michael Lorenz 3rd
  • MX5 division: Teddy Landau 1st and Jim Balestrieri 2nd
Podium picture above does not accurately reflect final positions.


  • 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.
On podium, Fried playfully claimed he won due to a "6/10ths buffer."
  • Terry Carlson, #707 and Monica Carlson #313 also broke out of their brackets.
The Carlsons showcased great driving skills on-track and exceptional comradery off-track.
  • Podium: Michael Reynolds 1st, Cam Lancaster 2nd and Tom McMillan 3rd
Lotus drivers always finish smiling!

Next Race Weekend

We would like to thank all of our CSM members, friends and family who came out and made our first event of the season a great success. We are looking forward to cooperative weather for our February race weekend, which takes place on the 10th and 11th. We will be running the Mansell (C) 3.4-mile track configuration. Make sure to mark your calendars, and we will see you at the track!

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