Last Chance Majors
The August 18-19 Majors event at Thompson Speedway was the last chance for those drivers looking to qualify for this year’s Runoffs. With six groups of national classes, 122 drivers showed up at TSMP to compete. For some, it gave them that final race finish to meeting the qualifying criteria, a few DNFs ended the season early for drivers hoping to go to the Runoffs, and others used the weekend to tune and prep before heading to VIR.
Unfortunately, the summer 2023 weather struck again. Lighting Friday morning resulted in a delayed start with qualifying sessions not beginning until 10am. Once that storm passed, the rest of the day went smoothly alternating between clear and sunny, with slight intermittent showers. Saturday was a beautiful sunny day.
Group 1 was the small open wheel FV, FF and one F6. 11 cars started and finished both races. Congrats to the clean driving by this group! Roger Siebenaler took the win on Fri in FV, with Gerard Owen Callaghan taking Saturday’s win. Raymond Boyer took Fri in FF and Edward Callo took Sat in FF. And Robert Gray was the sole F6 driver, but still managed to set a new track record even being out there on his own.
Group 2 was the largest of the weekend with 35 cars. The drivers opted to split their start with the SM going first, then the B-Specs hanging back for their own race. Familiar cars for both classes were on the poles and taking the checkers – Christian Sarnecki in SM and Steve Introne in B-Spec. The B-Spec class continues to grow with 9 cars here for the weekend.
Group 3 was our wings and things. They had the honor of losing half the entire race group in turn 1 on lap 1 of race 1! 3 of the 7 cars never made it past the first turn with 6 of the 7 having to evade, slow and go off in some way during that lap 1 incident. Congrats to Matt Gendron on his new P1 track record.
Group 4 was the ground pounders, and they saw a fair amount of attrition as well with 7 of the 26 cars not making the entire weekend. John Branscombe Glenn Kurkjian, Murat Mark Ketenci, , Mike Frost, Michal Kuna took 1st on Friday. Douglas Valley and Scott Simpson had Saturday wins. And Travis Washay, Thomas West, Mike Frost, and Michal Kuna won their classes both days.
Group 5 brought out the SRF3 group with 13 cars. Lincoln Young and Ethan Goulart alternated wins each day, with Steven Sammut taking the bronze behind them both times.
Group 6 was the final one, and the second largest, with the production and small touring cars. Peter Tonelli II finished out front in a close FP/T4 race between Raymond Blethen, Nick Leverone, and Laurent Fumex on Friday. Then on Saturday, Greg Amy placed himself in the middle of that back with his EP. Unfortunately, the last race of the weekend ended up being quite messy with 4 vehicles DNFing and 3 more having to retire early.
The next NERRC race will be the Pig Roast at Palmer Motorsports Park September 9-10. Then be sure and watch our NER drivers at the Runoffs down at Virginia International Raceway September 24 – October 1. Then join us for the NERRC Championship weekend to close out the 2023 season at TSMP October 13-14.