By: Mark Seiler
KERSHAW, S.C. (Feb. 20, 2007) - February’s weather in Kershaw, South Carolina can be a bit of a gamble but, for those willing to place their bet at this year’s Central Carolinas Region (CCR) President’s Cup, they hit the jackpot!
Mid-to-upper 60’s with a few clouds was the first reward. The newly configured Carolina Motorsports Park was the second and for class winners, new track records made it a trifecta. CMP has reworked Turns 12, 13 & 14. Instead of three tight, technical turns you have an increasing radius right-hand sweeper to a turn onto the front straight that had 10’ added to the inside. Some like the new configuration because it made for better testing, others liked the flowing nature, but all agreed it was an improvement. Lap times also dropped five to six seconds. Repaved corners on the rest of the track made grip a commodity that was found in abundance.
Spec Miata saw, as winner Chip Van Vurst put it, “a knock-down, drag-out fight”. Van Vurst swapped the lead with his friend and rookie National driver Cliff Brown. There were times when each driver was in a vulnerable position that the other could have exploited, however each trusted the other to not make a move that would be costly for both drivers.
“It was the best racing I’ve had in ten years,” Van Vurst said.
Dale Rader has been competing at the National level in Formula Vee for four years. It took his third trip from Reading, Pa., down to CMP for him to get his first National win. Changes over the winter for Rader included a new suspension set-up, but perhaps more important, speed via weight loss. Rader dropped thirty pounds since last season and as a result didn’t suffer the fatigue he’s always had in the past. FV drivers in the Northeast should consider themselves warned.
GT-1 National Champion Tony Ave continued his winning ways by dominating the last race of the weekend and lapping nearly the entire field. This was despite the fact that he felt some of the changes they tried over the winter hadn’t provided the improvement he was seeking. He also welcomed the new surface in the old corners. The only thing he wants now at the President’s Cup is more competition.
No less than 15 new Club records were reset at the improved Carolina Motorsports Park, including:
EP Omer Norton 1:41.838
FP Thomas Lyman 1:42.441
HP Tom Pitts 1:50.351
T1 Tim Hund 1:42.876
T2 Charles Guest 146.219
T3 Chris Dryden 1:52.396
SSB Michael Scornavacchi 1:49.486
SSC Ian Stewart 1:54.539
AS Lynn Broglin 1:47.570
FE Steven Coates 1:33.622
FC Chuck Moran 1:33.242
FA David Grant 1:25.366
CSR Jacek Mucha 1:30.910
DSR Jean-Luc Liverato 1:25.665
FV Dale Rader 1:46.924
The next Southeast Division National is just around the corner. The Buccaneer Region will host the Tom Nehl National at Roebling Road March 1 – 2. For more information visit the Southeast Division Web site at www.sedivracing.org.