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Thread: NARS Season 2 - Tight Championships with 3 Races To Go!

  1. #1
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    TimCollier is offline Senior Community Leader
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    Default NARS Season 2 - Tight Championships with 3 Races To Go!

    After 6 of 9 races, the North American Racing Series has several tight points battles as we head to Laguna Seca this week.

    Following up on the recap posted after Race 4, the next two races had changes on the podiums in all 3 classes that also had a big impact on the points. Let's take a quick look at these.

    Round 5 - Virginia International Raceway

    The race may have been a 60-minute event, but it felt like 2 hours for everyone who competed. With it's tricky layout of tight turns, elevation changes, and three long straights, complicated by the fact that any time you run off the track there's nothing to slow you down, mistakes cost dearly and consistency prevails. Qualifying went without a problem for most, and in the GTC class Fahn Thomas continued his pole position streak taking the top spot, with Don Fryman in second and Eric Elliott in third followed by Ray Nelson, the only other GTC car entered in the race. The Prototype class found JT Tami, who was able to make an appearance in qualifying for the first time this season, take the pole position over new-comer Kyle House and Colin Moore in 3rd out of a total of 9 cars that started the race. In GTE, Matt Horst would beat out Norm Graf for the top spot on the grid, with Jon Uyan starting in third, with a total of 8 GTE cars starting the race.

    The start proved very critical in Prototype, and JT Tami was able to get away early and focus on pace throughout the race without any pressure from behind. In GTE, a racing incident in Turn 1 put Norm Graf in the rear of the GTE field, while Matt Horst and Jon Uyan would battle hard for the lead, with GTC having a similar battle between the 3 cars early until they spread out over time. Traffic was tricky for all classes, and while the IMSA series only runs GT cars at this venue, and it was obvious why whenever a prototype would patiently wait to pass GT traffic...and GT traffic would get separated by other classes. But being a group that's worked well together all season, incidents were few and far between.

    In the end, JT Tami would finish as the overall winner with Angelo dos Santos coming from 4th to finish 2nd as Colin Moore would run out of fuel on the final lap falling to 4th place. Chris Hamilton in a limited appearance this season would take the 3rd step on the prototype podium.

    The GTE battle was won by Jon Uyan, who ran a consistent clean pace to take his first win of the season over Matt Horst who has been on a roll the past few races. Norm Graf made an incredible recovery from his early spin, pitting for new tires and working his way back up to 3rd at the checkers.

    In GTC, Fahn Thomas would pull away from the rest of the field, winning his 2nd race of the season, with Don Fryman finishing in second to continue his stranglehold on the GTC points lead. Eric Elliott finished in 3rd, keeping the pressure on Fryman as they head to Sebring.

    Attrition was heavy at VIR, with only 16 of the 21 cars that started the race seeing the checkered flag. The teams packed up, and drove south for the next race in the series at Sebring.


    Round 6 - Sebring International Raceway

    Home to one of the greatest endurance races in the world, this night would put a 90-minute enduro in front of a 24 car field, and see where it all shakes out in the end. With 9 GTEs, 7 GTCs and 8 Prototypes taking the green, traffic would be a factor all race long.

    Qualifying had familiar names at the top of the board, with Matt Horst taking the pole position in GTE over Norm Graf and Sebastian Rodriguez, Fahn Thomas leading Eric Elliott and newcomer Spencer Battersby in GTC, and Kyle House taking the top spot over Steve Davis and Alex Coutie. But as we all know, it's not where you start, it's where you finish, and the race would have plenty of battles throughout.

    The first half of the race saw one car retire, and Kyle House would pull away with extreme pace to get away from the rest of the prototype field, and Fahn Thomas trying to do the same in GTC but Eric Elliott would stay stuck to his bumper for the majority of the night. The tightest battles for the lead were in GTE, where pit strategies and consistent driving had Graf and Horst pull away from the rest of the field, but after pit stops the order would get shuffled. Just past halfway, Graf would suffer an engine failure, taking the GTE points leader from the top to the bottom of the race standings.

    As the race wore on, a few retirements and several off-tracks would shuffle the running order in places, but by the end of the race some familiar names would appear on the podiums.

    In GTC, Thomas managed to get a gap on Elliott and bring his Porsche home for another class win, Elliott finishing second, and Battersby in third in his first race at CMS.

    The prototype class was dominated by the pace of House, also getting his first win at CMS, with Coutie working up to second place past Steve Davis who slipped back to 3rd by the end.

    The GTE class, as stated earlier, had quite the battle late between Jon Uyan, who started on Mediums, and Horst, who took tires on his stop, but the win would eventually go to Horst, his 2nd win of the season, with Uyan taking second. In third, a hard battle between Rodriguez and Tim Collier, another medium vs soft tire matchup, would go on for the last 5 laps with Collier edging out Rodriguez at the line.

    The NARS series now heads to Laguna Seca for the 7th race of the season, so let's take a look at the points standings for each class:



    Prototype:

    Pos Driver Points Behind
    1 Angelo dos Santos 133
    2 Colin Moore 98 35
    3 Alex Coutie 98 35
    4 Jerry McComas 96 37
    5 Jerry Hamilton 82 51
    6 Eric Klister 58 75
    7 Steve Davis 56 77
    8 JT Tami 50 83
    9 Tom Mountjo 47 86
    10 Kyle House 37 96
    11 Chris Hamilton 20 113


    GTE:

    Pos Driver Points Behind
    1 Norm Graf 130
    2 Matt Horst 126 4
    3 Jon Uyan 125 5
    4 Don Baumbach 93 37
    5 Sebastian Rodriguez 85 45
    6 Tom Nasella 82 48
    7 Tim Collier 71 59
    8 Greg Hall 60 70
    9 John Nelson 40 90
    10 Matthew Overton 38 92
    11 Christopher Snow 27 103
    12 Brette Brooks 12 118
    13 Paul Nadeau 11 119
    14 Scott Beck 11 119
    15 Aaron Warz 9 121


    GTC:

    Pos Driver Points Behind
    1 Don Fryman 134
    2 Eric Elliott 97 37
    3 Fahn Thomas 93 41
    4 Tom DiLbero 92 42
    5 Frank Speer 68 66
    6 Chad Bertrum 57 77
    7 Ray Nelson 33 101
    8 Doug Atkinson 30 104
    9 Marc Cohn 25 109
    10 Spencer Battersby 20 114


    With 25 points awarded to the class winner, and no guaranteed points until you reach halfway, the points battles in every class are still very much wide open. As we move to the final two races of the season, I will post updates with information on who still has a mathematical shot at the Championship podium in each class.

    But it all starts this week at Laguna Seca, good luck to everyone and can't wait to see you there!!
    Last edited by TimCollier; 09-24-2017 at 01:34 PM.
    Tim Collier


    It's not how fast you can go, but how long you can go fast!


    | CPU: i7-4790k @ 4Ghz | GPU: EVGA 980 Ti Superclocked 6GB | MOBO: Gigabyte Z97X-UD5H | RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3 1600 | SSD: Samsung 850 EVO 1TB
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  2. #2
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    mightyturtle is offline Eric Klister
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    Aaaaaand some of us *ahem* will be using the remaining races as extended test sessions for next season.
    TimCollier likes this.
    Eric Klister
    Crawling Gecko Motorsports

  3. #3
    TimCollier's Avatar
    TimCollier is offline Senior Community Leader
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    My goal this season was to finish in the Top 5 in GTE Points, and surprisingly I still have a shot at it, even after two early retirements with no points. I try not to think where I'd be if it had gone differently.

    But in reality, if you're less than 75 points out of the class lead, you mathematically have a shot at the title!
    Tim Collier


    It's not how fast you can go, but how long you can go fast!


    | CPU: i7-4790k @ 4Ghz | GPU: EVGA 980 Ti Superclocked 6GB | MOBO: Gigabyte Z97X-UD5H | RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3 1600 | SSD: Samsung 850 EVO 1TB
    | PSU: Silverstone ST1000-P 1000W | OS: Windows 10 Pro | Wheel: Fanatec CSL Base/Formula Wheel | Pedals: Fanatec V2 Clubsport | Monitor: DELL S2716DG 27" G-Sync Monitor @2560x1440 144Hz

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