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Memorial Weekend at CMP

I hadn’t planning on running CCR’s annual Double SARRC weekend at Carolina Motorsports Park even before rearranging the LF suspension at VIR earlier this month, but with eight GTA cars signed up I decided to make a day trip (the track is about five hours for me) just to check things out. I left the house at 3:30 Saturday morning and returned at 10:00 PM that evening, and it was a worthwhile trip.

Joe Hartsell didn’t show (I still haven’t seen that car but hope to soon) and Hall Robertson wasn’t able to get his car repaired in time, so we ended up with six GTA cars for the weekend. After Saturday morning qualifying we had the following in seventh thru twelfth overall of the eighteen car field:

No.

Name

Chassis

Engine

Time

48

Dave Price

ASA

Traditional

1.43.014

35

BJ Holley

LMS

Traditional

1.43.016

34

“Little” Preston Fowler

ASA

Traditional

1.47.871

95

Chris Matheson

ASA

Base LS-1

1.48.278

10

Mark Tcherkezian

ASA

Traditional

1.48.872

12

Bill Porter

LMS

Traditional

1.49.212

 

Bill spun at least twice during qualifying (after running the same set of tires for the March Double at CMP AND the April Double at Roebling – the two most tire intensive tracks we run in SEDiv) and looked to be moving up quickly after getting a new set of Hoosiers at lunch, plus BJ found an air bubble in his RF caliper that was causing “erratic” braking. Regardless, it was a good-looking group of GTA cars on the grid and there would be some fine racing going on.

There was a bit of confusion when Wayne Cabaniss (yellow #75 SPO Corvette) spun on the pace lap, but everything got sorted out before the green (Wayne correctly did not try to regain his original spot). BJ took advantage of the open spot in front of him and led the field into the first corner. Bill also started working his way up and by the end of lap 1 it was BJ closely pursued by Dave, Preston, Bill, Mark, and Chris. Bill got by Preston on lap two, then closed on Dave while BJ gradually pulled away from both of them. Bill got a good run out of Turn 14 as the finished lap 5 and got inside Dave in Turn 1, so the order at the end of lap 6 was BJ, Bill, Dave, Preston, Mark, and Chris. Dave’s tires were going away so he was not able to mount a charge and the order stayed the same until lap 13 (of 14). Bill spun in Turn 1 and, because his clutch had gone out earlier in the race, was unable to re-start. Then on the last turn (Turn 14) of the last lap Mark got into the sharp right-hander a bit hot and spun, which allowed Chris to sneak by before the flag. At the end it was BJ followed by Dave, then Preston, Chris, and Mark while Bill watched the proceedings from side of the track in Turn 1. The official order with best times was:

 

No.

Name

Time

35

BJ Holley

1.42.288

48

Dave Price

1.44.221

34

“Little” Preston Fowler

1.47.434

95

Chris Matheson

1.49.035

10

Mark Tcherkezian

1.49.921

12

Bill Porter

1.43.796

 

I didn’t stay for Sunday’s race, but the qualifying order was BJ (1.42.4), Dave (1.42.5), Bill (1.44.2), Chris’ dad Jim (1.46.8), Mark (1.46.9) and Preston (1.50.9). BJ led most of the race but Dave got by in Turn 14 at the end of lap 12 to take the class win (and second overall) followed by BJ, Preston, Mark, Bill and Jim (all on the lead lap). Regardless of where you were in the field this weekend, you had somebody to race with.

Finally, I’ve had a number of people let me know they have GTA cars for sale “in case anyone is looking for one” (Kurt Roehrig, BJ Holley, Lee Arnold, Ron Reid, John Finger, Rick Dittman, Mike Kincheloe, and Bob Stretch are the ones I can think of immediately that all have good cars for sale). My standard answer to them is the best way to advertise a car is to actually put it on the track and race it to demonstrate what it can do. In the past month both Kurt Roehrig and BJ Holley have done that and have brought home wins in competitive fields. Kurt’s car is probably the best-engineered GTA car I’ve seen and is advertised for $30,000. BJ’s car is a SARRC winner/pole-sitter and is available for less than $20,000. If you’re interested in getting into GTA, either car would be a good choice.

See y’all at the track…