As the summer was slowly coming to a close, NASA AZ made its final trip down south to the beautiful Inde Motorsports Ranch for another weekend full of friends, great memories, and most important of all, great Racing. With a little over a three-hour drive from the Phoenix area, it was great to see another positive turnout of competitors looking to better their times on a relatively new track to NASA-AZ. Travel time aside, drivers came in full force ready to enjoy the track and cool weather offered in Wilcox, Arizona.
Race rubber was not the only thing heating up the track during this weekend. On October 1st, 2011, Joshua Ray and Megan Parent stood in front of family and friends to take each other’s hand in marriage. For anyone who missed it, Josh proposed to Megan just months ago at our last event at Inde Motorsports Ranch. After Megan excitedly accepted, the two decided what better location to seal the deal. If you did not get a chance to congratulate them over the weekend, have no fear, Josh and Megan are continuous supporters and staff at NASA-AZ events so be sure to look for them at the next event and give them your best wishes. On behalf of NASA-AZ and all its competitors, we wish Joshua and Megan Ray the best of luck in their future together and thank them for sharing their beautiful day with all of us.
With a combined class sprint race on Saturday, racers were on edge to qualify with the best position possible. As we all know, traffic can often be a deciding factor in a race. That being said, the racers drove hard leading to Bryan McCormick, Mark Alger and CV Wells qualifying in the top three spots overall mixing ST-2 in with SU. Matt McIntyre followed close behind qualifying 1st in PT-B with Brian Turner qualifying 1st in PT-A.
Saturday’s race was filled with battles for class and overall leads. Having not qualified, Paul Lynch of Team ArizonaPain.com had his work cut out for him starting at the back of the back. The green flag soon dropped and the long straight away at IMR roared to life. As expected, Paul Lynch quickly worked his way to the front of the pack with a best lap of 1:52.825, stealing the show. Mark Alger and Bryan McCormick refused to be left out, showing some great exhibits of car control going back and forth for second overall. Not only was Mark fighting for his position, massive ABS failures had him doing everything he could to keep from locking up into each corner. After 9 laps and a flat tire, unable to finish, Mark Alger pulled off leaving Bryan McCormick to grab a well-deserved second place overall finish and 1st place in ST-2. CV Wells followed taking 2nd in ST-2 and a respectable 3rd place overall finish. Matt McIntyre and Jeremy Renshaw fought hard in PT-B but in the end, it was another 1st place finish for McIntyre with Renshaw close behind. No race is complete without the Porsches’ of Brian Turner and John Dowling. Flying around the track, these racers put on a great show for both competitors and Racers alike. In the end Brian Turner took the win for PT-A with John Dowling actually turning the fastest PT-A lap of the race with a 2:02.008, bringing home a 2nd place class finish. The 944 Spec racers came to play on Saturday. Jeff Wojnar took home the class win with Dave Hauck and Steve Marlow falling in just behind him.
Sunday once again saw split qualifying followed by a combined class sprint race. After the intense race Saturday, racers were eager to qualify on top. Small Bore set out first in a qualifying race. Just one lap into the race, spectators were able to see racers flying by three cars wide through start finish, keeping just enough rubber on the track to hold traction. A last minute change had big bore set out in a normal qualifying session. Mark Alger qualified in 1st position with a time of 1:53.971. Bryan McCormick followed in a very close 2nd place posting a time of 1:54.028, with CV Wells qualifying 3rd overall.
The green flag dropped late in the afternoon and as expected, Bryan McCormick and Mark Alger were off to a quick lead with CV Wells sticking right with them. CV Wells great start put him on the inside position heading into turn 3. A slight distraction due to traffic found CV Wells taking an off track excursion after misjudging his braking zone leaving the door open for Bryan McCormick. CV and Bryan went into this race with one of the tightest point’s battles NASA-AZ has seen in years. Because of this, CV Wells fought hard all race to regain his position but fell short. Mark Alger’s weekend was filled with mechanical failure, leaving him only able to complete some fast laps and finally retire from the race after only 4 laps, allowing Bryan McCormick to run away with the show. Brian worked every lap to gap the rest of the pack eventually turning a fast time of 1:54.848, almost 6 seconds faster than any other finishing competitor. Just to keep things interesting, Leroy Moore up classed his PTC car to the faster ST-2 class. Leroy in the little green machine followed CV Wells closely the entire race and finished just seconds behind. Jeremy Renshaw and Matt McIntyre heard the call for an encore from Saturday and put on another great fight. Despite turning a 2:00.802 during the race, Jeremy Renshaw couldn’t hold off the blue fury of Matt McIntyre who eventually took the PT-B win. Because Saturday was not enough, John Dowling and Brian Turner came out again on Sunday with all cylinders firing. They had a great race for PT-A, however this time it was John Dowling coming across the finish line with the win. Brian Turner did not let off one time as he finished less than 0.5 seconds behind. The 944 Spec racers formed a train early in the race and stayed consistent for the entire session. Sunday was a repeat of Saturday with Jeff Wojnar, Dave Hauck, and Steve Marlow finishing 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Just to keep things interesting, Ford Spec Racer Elliott Friereich stuck right with the 944 Spec drivers and Jeff Bawden, who was competing in his first race with NASA-AZ. Elliott and Jeff saw quite an “epic” battle, racing nose-to- tail all session. Elliott finally made his pass on Jeff only to miss his braking and turn in point in high speed T3 leaving Jeff to regain his position.
Time Trial drivers have been waiting months to return to IMR. Following our first time at the track, drivers were eager to break the original records and better their previous times now with more experience and confidence on this relatively new track. Following the results, it would be easy to say the Time Trial drivers met their goals. Over the course of the weekend five new Time Trial Records were set.
This weekend split the drivers with TT Big bore consisting of TT-A and up, followed by TT-B and down representing small bore. The big bore drivers certainly brought a great showing taking 3 of the 5 new records. TT-R times were seen spanning over 20 seconds. In the end it was Tage Evanson bringing home a new record of 1:47.070 in the Team ArizonaPain.com Radical. This record was a smash of the previous record by over 12 seconds! TT-U was led by Mark Alger turning a fast time of 1:52.630, missing his own previously set track record by less than a tenth of a second. Overall, Mark had a great weekend working through some hiccups to turn a few very competitive times as usual.
Bryan McCormick ran some very fast times all weekend in his #727 BMW E36 M3. The McCormick show managed a new TT-S record Saturday with a 1:54.802, followed by an even faster 1:53.774 on Sunday. Bryan then turned the reins of the gold beast to Tage Evanson, once again, who set out to beat the new TT-S track record during a “Sunday drive” and he did just that. Tage Evanson was able to reset the momentary record in TT-S with a 1:53.583. This is a testament to not only the drivers of this car, but also the work of Flatout Motorsports as this car is consistently fast at each event. Finishing up the Big Bore records was TT-A driver Brian Turner running a 2:00.422 in his UPS Porsche.
Time Trial small bore saw two new records beginning with Matt McIntyre who bettered his previous record with a 1:57.881. Leroy Moore took the win in TT-C and Robert Rose took the win for TT-D. Scott Phillips came out and set a new TT-E record with a 2:05.812. For those who do not know the young 16 year old Scott, this was his first time in TT running his Spec Miata. To come out and smash a new record at this young age makes Scott a driver to keep an eye out for at future events as this was undoubtedly just the start of such new talent.
HPDE drivers were out in full force this weekend proving that a little drive won’t stop any of them from getting their track fix. Conversations were had all weekend on the paddock as the HPDE drivers looked for coaching in an attempt to improve their car control and track experience. It was great to see all the relatively new but returning drivers making it back to NASA-AZ. We love seeing the quick progress these drivers make as they climb through the ranks. Keep your eye out for some moves into not only the higher levels of HPDE, but a select few drivers moving up to stake their claim in Time Trials. Any drivers who are interested in advancing into the next levels of HPDE be sure to hop on the forums and talk with you group leaders before the next event!
UMS Tuning Time Attack Series just keeps growing! With 25 cars registered for this out of town event, it is easy to see this series is here to stay. UMS TA was split up into three run groups, divided by previous run times. Once again, being only the second competition held at this track many new comers were eager to see their lap times and compare against the other competitors.
In TA-C, it was Jerome Silvers bringing home the gold for Snail Performance and a new TA-C track record running a 1:57.731. This was followed by the consistently fast Russ Whelan in 2nd and Travis Barnes of Snail Performance in 3rd.
TA-B was taken by UMS Time Attack new comer Jesse Robles who blasted onto the scene at our last event. He clocked in a fast time of 2:01.916 while dueling with his father, Phil Robles, who came in 2nd and Robert Smithson in 3rd.
TA-A drivers decided to change things up from the usual. Always progressing Stenos Wijaya took his first win in the series running a quick 2:08.884. 2nd was taken by Justin Markiewicz, who is new to TA-A but not the series. 3rd place was David Lutter.
With a tight point’s race in both TA-A and TA-C, this season is going to come right down to the last event of the year. Be sure to check out the UMS Tuning Time Attack at the next event and any HPDE3 drivers and above, come join the fun!
Be sure to sign up for the next NASA-AZ Event at Firebird West on November 5-6.
Enduro Race (Saturday only)
Race Groups (Both days)
Time Trial (Points events both days)
Time Attack (Sunday only)
Registration is open click here to sign up!!
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Written By: Taylor “Dr. Koby D” Wilson
Editing and Pictures By: Travis Barnes
Some Pictures Provided By: Photography by Selina
Wedding Photo Provided By: Adina Evanson