HPD Blog

Friday, July 22, 2011

Spec: RaceAtom Presented By Honda Racing/HPD Heats Up With Close On-Track Action


Rounds 3 and 4 of the Spec: RaceAtom Presented by Honda Racing/HPD series took place on July 16-17 on the very challenging, and fast, full course at Virginia International Raceway.

Fifteen drivers were on hand for the Saturday event which provided three practice sessions before getting down to business in the qualifying session. A quick lap time in a Spec Race Atom racecar comes down to driver skill and the ability to find clear track, as all the cars are identical.

At the end of qualifying, the top three grid positions were set with Aaron Elsner, Jim Lewis, and Jim Taggart, respectively. The close qualifying times throughout the entire field showed that it was going to be a great race.

The race would prove to be action-packed from the drop of the green flag. All the cars made it cleanly through Turn One and jockeyed for position heading into the climbing esses. Car #45 of Jim Lewis had a brief off-track excursion at the famous Oak Tree turn dropping him back to 10th from second. Lewis worked consistently throughout the 20-minute race to charge back to a solid fourth-place finish.

At the checkered flag, it was Elsner, Taggart, and Tyson Bytzek taking the podium positions, with Lewis and Christian Shield rounding out the top five.

Sunday brought another complete schedule of racing, with three practices, qualifying, and a race session. Many competitors were working hard throughout the practice sessions to find additional speed. Only minor changes such as to tire pressure and alignment settings, are legal within the series rules.

Sunday’s race action was not limited to the front end of the grid. There were intense battles happening in all grid positions, with one of the closest being for 11th position between series newcomer Kent Lewis and Mark Hyman. After 10 laps of nose-to-tail racing, it was Kent Lewis who took the 11th position.

Aaron Elsner crossed the line for his fourth victory of the season; however, he was chased very closely by Tyson Bytzek in second position. Jim Lewis drove a smart race to make his first appearance on the Spec: RaceAtom podium, in third position.

The Spec: RaceAtom series continues to provide great racing excitement for the drivers, while at the same time providing a race car with exceptional reliability and speed. Throughout the weekend, there were no mechanical DNFs.

*Fastest Spec: RaceAtom Lap of the weekend: Aaron Elsner #51, 2:06.519, full course
Races 5 and 6 will take place August 20-21 on the North Course at Virginia International Raceway.

For more information on the series please contact:
Mark Swain - TMI AutoTech, Inc.
mswain@arielatom.com
434.822.9130 x303

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