• CMS NARS Season 2 - The Championship Battle after 4 Races



    With four very tough races behind them, the drivers competing in Season 2 of the 2017 North American Racing Series head to Virginia International Raceway for what is sure to be a decisive race in the battle for this year's class Championships. Let's do a quick recap of the season so far!

    Round 1 - Watkins Glen International

    The season started with an endurance length event, 90 minutes, at the famed blue-railed purpose built circuit of New York. With 31 drivers taking the green flag, and the three class field very diverse and some new to the racing at CMS there was sure to be some excitement before the night was over. The pole sitters in both P2 and GTE experienced problems early, and at the end of the day it was Angelo dos Santos taking the overall win over Colin Moore, the only other car on the lead lap, putting himself on top of the points standings, with Alex Coutie rounding out the Top 3 in the P2 class. In the GTE class, a late pass by Norm Graf put him on the top step of the podium for the win by mere seconds over Greg Hall, with Jon Uyan not far behind. Don Fryman, showing exceptional speed and control, won the GTC class just ahead of Chad Bartrum and Eric Elliott. In the end, 23 drivers saw the checkers proving that this season will be difficult, and mistakes costly.

    Round 2 - Canadian Tire Motorsports Park

    For the second race of the season, a 60-minute event, it was a return to an old friend on the North side of the border. Formerly known as Mosport, the blind turns and many elevation changes would push each class to the limit. Once again, the overall pole sitter would have trouble early and Steve Davis would lead a large majority of the race, but race strategy would come into play as Davis pitted for tires and Angelo dos Santos would pass and hold the top spot till the checkers. Davis would finish second with a great run throughout the night, and Jerry Hamilton taking 3rd in P2. The GTE class podium was nearly identical to Watkins Glen, with the exception that Jon Uyan would beat out Greg Hall for second in class, both trailing class winner Norm Graf. The GTC class race had the most bizarre of outcomes, when class leader Don Fryman would run out of the gas on the White Flag lap, and after the clock had run out Marc Cohn, not knowing Fryman's fate, would enter pit road to take the checkered flag winning the GTC class. Frank Speer had a great drive to take the third step in a race where once again, Mosport took it's toll with only 19 of the 27 drivers finishing the race.



    Round 3 - Circuit of the Americas

    Heading down to South Texas, the air was warm and the clouds were few, and with a 60-minute race distance the big question would be, once again, tires and pitting. The GTC class saw a new entrant in Fahn Thomas, who set both a blistering pace in qualifying and went on the take the class win ahead of Don Fryman in 2nd and Chad Bartrum in 3rd and the GTC points battle began to tighten up. In GTE, once again Norm Graf took both the pole and the win showing a mastery of both COTA and tire management, with Matt Horst finishing a very close second place hounding Graf all night, and Jon Uyan not far behind them both. The prototype class was quite the battle, particularly late in the race, when drivers Angelo dos Santos and Colin Moore swap the lead 4 times over the last 10 laps, with dos Santos taking the victory. Moore would finish second and Jerry McComas finished 3rd after a hard fought battle with Jerry Hamilton. To further demonstrate the character of the drivers in this series, all but one driver would finish this event at one of the most demanding circuits on the schedule!

    Round 4 - Road America

    When you think about road courses in North America, Elkhart Lake will often come up as one of the greatest places to race due to it's long straights and technical third sector, and of course the flat-out kink. With the field having become more familiar with each other, and once again another 75-minute endurance length event, it would come down to execution and lack of mistakes. The prototype class had 7 drivers take the start, with Alex Coutie taking the pole position and leading the field. Starting at the rear of the field were some who missed qualifications and worked hard to catch up to the front running prototypes. Late in the race, JT Tami using strategy and a string of fast laps, took the lead from Alex Coutie with 7 laps to go, and while they swapped positions twice, Tami would hold on for the win. Coutie would finish in second, and Angelo dos Santos in third continuing his string of podium finishes this season. In the GTE class, several drivers had shown incredible speed leading up to qualifying and Matt Horst would take the pole position just ahead of Christopher Snow, with Norm Graf having to serve a no qualifying penalty and starting at the rear of the field. But after the green flag fell, it didn't take Graf long to put himself at the front of the GTE field. But when Graf and some others pitted for tires, a few others had opted to run without stopping, with Matt Horst one of those to make that call. Horst would take the GTE class win, with Graf finishing in second place, and Tim Collier in 3rd. The GTC class saw Fahn Thomas continue his pole position streak edging out Don Fryman for the top spot on the grid. But misfortune would strike Thomas early, and Fryman would take advantage of this and run a blistering pace to take the class win. Behind Fryman, Tom DiLibero finished in second position and Eric Elliott in third, with Thomas who would eventually DNF but still grab valuable 4th place points. Of the 22 starters, 17 saw the checkers, which once again proves that it's determination and participation that wins Championships, but there's still a ways to go.

    Speaking of the Championship, let's see how things stack up in each class:

    GTC

    1. Don Fryman - 94
    2. Tom DiLibero - 76
    3. Frank Speer - 68
    4. Eric Elliott - 55
    5. Fahn Thomas - 43
    6. Chad Bartrum - 42
    7. Doug Atkinson - 30
    8. Marc Cohn - 25
    9. Ray Nelson - 15


    GTE

    1. Norm Graf - 97
    2. Matt Horst - 79
    3. Jon Uyan - 78
    4. Greg Hall - 60
    5. Don Baumbach - 59
    6. Tom Nasella - 54
    7. Sebastian Rodriguez - 52
    8. Tim Collier - 51
    9. Matthew Overton - 38
    10. John Nelson - 26
    11. Brette Brooks - 12
    12. Christopher Snow - 12
    13. Paul Nadeau - 11
    13. Scott Beck - 11
    15. Aaron Warz - 9


    P2

    1. Angelo dos Santos - 95
    2. Jerry McComas - 68
    3. Colin Moore - 62
    4. Alex Coutie - 60
    5. Jerry Hamilton - 54
    6. Tom Mountjoy - 47
    7. Steve Davis - 36
    8. Eric Klister - 30
    9. JT Tami - 25



    With 5 races left, 25 points to the class winner, and no guaranteed points for starting a race....this Championship battle still has a long way to go!!

    If you're looking for excitement....it's right here, on Thursday nights!





    -
    mightyturtle and XAVI77 like this.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: NARS Season 2 - The Championship Battle after 4 Races started by TimCollier View original post