Race Recap NOVEMBER 2016

The November race weekend was truly spectacular. This was the first weekend we ran races on Friday and Saturday with open track on Sunday and the response was great. Drivers had the opportunity to test their skills on the Fittipaldi A course, which included three of Spring Mountain’s longest straights. Fittipaldi also features two of the best corners on the entire property, “Slice” and “Catapult”. “Slice” is a fast, blind left-hand corner that tests a drivers timing and commitment. “Catapult” is the corner immediately after “Slice” and while not a blind corner, it tests a driver’s commitment and confidence.

We were excited to see members Todd Slusher and Chip Romer driving IMSA Lites and John Falb driving a Stohr; the addition of these cars made for some great racing that kept everyone on the edge of their seats.

Friday Miata Race

On this beautiful Friday afternoon our pole sitter, Lee Mixon, paced the 12-car field of Miata racers to the first race start of the weekend. When the green flag dropped, Craig Kember wasted no time and charged from 3rd to 1st position. The opening lap saw a flurry of position changes and Randale Sechrest going off track prior to “Ego Check” then unfortunately retiring his car for the rest of the race.

At the end of lap two, Mixon was in the lead followed closely by C. Kember as other drivers jockeyed for position. Doug Ramirez was the second retirement of this race. After going off track and getting back on with no yellow flag in sight to give him a competitive advantage, Doug chose to retire from the race early.

As the race progressed, we saw many great battles including Teddy Landau working Gregg Gorski from “Radical Bend” to “Kenny’s Corner” with Gorski managing to hold off the challenger. The leader, Mixon, lost 1st to C. Kember, but he managed to regain it by getting a great run down the straight. Bruce Kember and Dennis Russell had a tough fight for P7 from “Kenny’s Corner” to the “Carousel”, and contact between the two racers resulted in an off-track excursion for B. Kember who ultimately lost 2 places.

In the last lap, 4th positioned Gorski pushed hard to close on Balestrieri. In the end, Balestrieri was able to hold his position, securing him a spot on podium. The final podium was Lee Mixion in 1st, Craig Kember in 2nd and Jim Balestrieri in 3rd.

Saturday Miata Race

Lee Mixon once again started on pole on the cool Saturday morning. Mixon had a terrific start and led the field through the first two corners followed closely by Jim Balestrieri. In the next three positions, Craig Kember, Teddy Landau and Gregg Gorski all scrapped for position by going 3-wide through “Pahrump 1” and “Pahrump 2”! Landau ultimately came out on top followed by C. Kember and Gorski.

Gorski pushed hard to pass both Landau and C. Kember for 3rd, but unfortunately the victory was short lived. Gorski and Landau made contact in the “Back Straight”, which resulted in an off-track excursion for Landau. Landau ultimately retired the car and Gorski was disqualified, while C. Kember inherited 3rd position.

Further back, Dennis Russell and Dennis Kane closed in on Michael Lorenz, with Kane ultimately gaining a position over Lorenz. Meanwhile, Mark Saroyan put his head down and drove to an impressive 4th position.

Mixon and Balestrieri continued battling for 1st position throughout the race, but Mixon always held 1st after the straights. Final podium results were Lee Mixion in 1st, Jim Balestrieri in 2nd and Craig Kember in 3rd.

Lee Mixon 1st, Jim Balestrieri 2nd and Craig Kember 3rd

Friday Light Sport Race

We were pleased to welcome members Todd Slusher and Chip Romer again with their IMSA Lite cars. The diverse grid featured Ron Eckhardt’s GB08SM in P1, Todd Slusher’s IMSA Light in P2, Jeffrey Cheng with his new Wolf Turbo in P3 and Denis O’Leary in P4 in his Radical SR8

When the green flag fell, Eckhardt led the field into “Pahrump 1”. The clean start had the field in order through the first few corners. During the warm-up lap, Keith Gostlin pulled off the track but was ultimately able to rejoin the race after the grid passed.

Large gaps emerged between Eckhardt, Slusher and Cheng in the top three positions, but the battles behind continued to rage. Romer charged through the grid moving from 8th to 4th by passing O’Leary in “Catapult”, but O’Leary fought back and quickly regained the position in “Ego Check”. In the following laps, Romer and O’Leary traded positions with Romer ultimately taking 4th overall with O’Leary 5th overall.

In the LSR Rookie class, Greg Gorski and David McConnell battled intensely for position with Gorski ultimately coming out on top.

Later in the race, Kelvin Bloom went off the track in "Carousel". Bloom’s quick reactions and skilled driving fortunately resulted in no lost positions. Meanwhile in the front of the pack, Cheng managed to close in on and pass Slusher for 2nd overall, while securing 1st in the LSR1 class.

In the “Move of the Day”, Miller flew past O’Leary at “Cataplult” on the last corner of the last lap!

When the checkered flag fell, the podium positions were:

  • LSR1: Cheng (fastest lap), Slusher, Romer
  • LSR2: Eckhardt, Jones
  • LSR3: Miller, Bishop, Bloom
  • LSRR: Gorski, McConnell, Shear
LSRR: Gregg Gorski 1st, David McConnell 2nd and Gerry Shear 3rd
LSR1: Jeffrey Cheng 1st, Todd Slusher 2nd and Chip Romer 3rd
LSR2: Ron Eckhardt 1st and Bruce Jones 2nd
LSR3: Indy Al Miller 1st, Mitch Bishop 2nd and Kelvin Bloom 3rd

Saturday Light Sport Race

Saturday’s race featured a starting grid of 10 Light Sport Racers. Keith Gostlin once again had trouble on the warm-up lap, but track support got him going and he was able to line up at the back of the grid before the race start.

Todd Slusher’s qualifying time put him firmly in P1. He led the grid to a clean start followed by Ron Eckhardt and Indy Al Miller. In the first lap, Kelvin Bloom squeezed past Greg Gorski for 4th position.

Lap 2 had its highs and lows with Slusher driving the fastest lap of the race (2:12) and the retirement of Gostlin. 2nd positioned Ron Eckhardt continued to push intently to catch Slusher with Jeffrey Cheng pushing the same to pass Miller for 4th.

On lap 4, Eckhardt had a spectacular (and scary) spin at the exit of “Catapult”, but managed to recover quickly and maintain his position! Later, Gorski experienced a similar event at “Ego Check” without losing a position.

During the final laps, Cheng managed to slip by Denis O’Leary in “Radical Bend”, securing 3rd overall. Final results are:

  • LSR1: Slusher (fastest lap), Cheng, O’Leary
  • LSR2: Eckhardt
  • LSR3: Miller, Bloom, Bishop
  • LSRR: Gorski, McConnell
LSRR: Gregg Gorski 1st and David McConnell 2nd
LSR1: Todd Slusher 1st, Jeffrey Cheng 2nd and Denis O'Leary 3rd
LSR2: Ron Eckhardt 1st
LSR3: Indy Al Miller 1st, Kelvin Bloom 2nd and Mitch Bishop 3rd

Next Race Weekend

We give a big “Thank You” to all our members who participated over the weekend. We look forward to seeing all of you out for the final race weekend of the season, where we will be running the Mansell A 3.4-mile course. Make sure your calendars are set of December 8th-11th!

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