HPD Blog

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Double Points Race Proves Exciting – Spec:RaceAtom Series presented by Honda Racing/HPD battles changing track conditions


Mother Nature was in no mood to cooperate as the Spec:RaceAtom drivers gathered for Race #3 of the championship season at the 3.27 mile VIR full course.  Practice sessions were all that were able to run on this day, as the event day was cut short due to heavy rain and lightning. This forced the corner workers off course for safety reasons,  Race #3 of the season was canceled. 

In an effort to make up the missing race session, a decision was made to promote Race #4 on Sunday as a double-points feature race.  This double-points race added excitement to the Sunday event, with many drivers working frantically on their vehicle set-ups to try and achieve their best possible results.

A 25-minute qualifying session would set the field, with the top five positions being taken by Aaron Elsner, Tyson Bytzek, Ben Sinnott, Justin-Barry Jerome, and Christian Shield.

Sunny, hot, and humid conditions greeted the racers as they began to grid for the 20-minute race. Cars rolled on track with the green flag flying at 1:49 p.m. 

As the racers hustled toward Turn One, it became very exciting as Justin-Barry Jerome worked hard to improve on his fourth-place starting position by going three-wide into the turn.  Bytzek was briefly shuffled back to the fourth position, while Sinnott held steady in the middle of the action in third place.

Lap 4 brought a complete change of position, as the weather had quickly changed, but only on the south section of the long VIR full course.  Heavy rain was falling on the course between Turns 10 and 12, but the rest of the course was dry.  These conditions caught a few drivers by surprise and shuffled the running order significantly.

Notable drivers who made excellent use of the changing conditions were Steve Gugenheim, who drove from his ninth-place starting position to fifth, and Peter Heffring, who drove from sixth at the start to a brief third, prior to settling back to fourth at the finish.

As the checkered flag was thrown, it was Aaron Elsner (Summersfield, NC), Ben Sinnott (Fairfield, CT), and Tyson Bytzek (King City, ON) taking the podium positions, respectively.

The action heats up again in August, with the Spec:RaceAtom presented by Honda Racing/HPD series moving to the technical, and twisty, VIR North Course for Races 5 and 6 on August 18-19.

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