HPD Blog

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Great Weather And Close Racing Greeted The Spec:RaceAtom Series For Races #9 and #10

Perfect fall weather greeted the racers for race #9 and #10 of the Spec:RaceAtom series presented by Honda Racing/HPD as they gathered at the beautiful Virginia International Raceway over the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend. Clear weather was a positive thing because the drivers would be focused on learning a new track configuration Saturday morning. The task at hand was the 4.1 mile Grand course…all 31 turns of it!

Qualifying for race #9 was a great battle between the top 5 competitors. David Chen held the top spot for entire session until there was less than one minute remaining in the session. Aaron Elsner put together a great lap in the closing seconds of the session to take the top spot. The top 5 spots went to Aaron Elsner, David Chen, Tyson Bytzek, Jim Taggart, and Ben Sinnott.

Race action proved to be very exciting with multiple position changes as soon as the green flag dropped. Pole sitter Elsner got to work quickly putting fast laps immediately…eventually bettering the qualifying times. After 20 minutes of racing the checkered flag fell for Elsner, Bytzek, and a new face to the podium – Christian Shield. Ben Sinnott and Jim Taggart rounded out the top 5.

Race #10 was held under equally great weather conditions – this time however the racers were back on the familiar territory of the VIR Full Course. The paddock was a flurry of activity prior to the qualifying session for the final race of the year with many racers making final suspension and tire pressure adjustments to make the most of the session. This strategy paid off for #09 Tyson Bytzek who edged Aaron Elsner for the top qualifying spot by a mere .180 of a second. Top 5 spots went to Tyson Bytzek, Aaron Elsner, Jim Taggart, Ben Sinnott, and David Chen.

Early in the race saw an intense battle for the top 5 positions with Bytzek jumping out to an early lead. Front row starter Elsner was slow at the start and entered turn one in 4th position. Racing was close throughout the entire field – one of the most spirited battles of the day was for 8th position between Justin-Barry Jerome and Steve Gugenheim. Jerome and Gugenheim battled to the checkered flag with Jerome coming out on top. At the front of the field Elsner was putting in one of the best drives of the season; He regained the lead from Bytzek and never looked back. At the checkered flag the top 5 were Elsner, Bytzek, Taggart, Chen, and Sinnott.



Grand Course Fastest Lap = 2:53.222 Aaron Elsner
Full Course Fastest Lap = 2:05.925 Aaron Elsner

The series is gearing up for another fantastic season of SRA racing in 2012 – stay tuned for more exciting details and the 2012 race schedule.

For more information contact:
Mark Swain – TMI AutoTech, Inc.
mswain@arielatom.con 434.822.9130 x303

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