Story by Matthew Overton, Images by Jerry Chen
April 4th, 2022 – Tuesday night saw the MNRL at Road Atlanta for a pair of sprint races in the Datsun 510s. Winner of R1 was Pedro Gomez with Jason Whited and Gilles Lalonde rounding out the podium. R2 saw Whited move up one place to take the win, with Matthew Overton patiently advancing from a P7 start to grab second place over an unlucky Lalonde late in the race.
In the seniors category, Steve Carman and Overton traded P1 and P2 in the two races, with Bob Roberson picking up a consistent P3 for both races.
Overall, it’s Jason Whited and Eduardo Beninca tied at 204 for the top of the standings, with Gilles Lalonde holding down third at 187 as Joe Miller and Steve Carman look to stay within striking distance of him. The Seniors standings are led by by Steve Carman at 126, followed by Jerry Hamilton at 105 and Bob Roberson at 96 points.
On Saturday, 41 drivers, split evenly between Hypercars and GTs, took the green at Long Beach this week for the fourth round of the VWSC. With infamous features such as the Fountain and the Hairpin leading to the long, long front straight as well as walls everywhere, Long Beach was sure to provide plenty of racing action.
It was Jon Uyan in his CMS PRO Aston Martin Valkyrie and Ahmed Abdallah, racing in his privateer Audi R8 LMS that dominated the HY and GT fields respectively from qualifying through to the checkered flag. Each faced constant challenges from within their fields, but also in navigating the tight course as HY and GT cars fought for space while lapping or being lapped.
Almost a quarter of the field retired from accident damage with may cars, including race favourites, succumbing to damage that put them well off pace even though they finished. Keeping a cool head were smooth driving were Jerry Chen and Matt Buice, who overcame the challenges and took the Hypercar AM and GT AM wins respectively.
Buoyed by their wins, both Jon Uyan and Jerry Chen jumped into the lead of the HY and HY AM championships respectively. Cameron Barker muscled his way to the top of the GT standings over George Angelidis, 62 points to 61, with Ahmed Abdallah close behind at 60 points. A poor race for Tom Lane sees him still atop the standings, but now sharing the lead with race winner Matt Buice
In the team standings, CMS PRO lengthened their lead to over 30 points ahead of Storm Rider Racing in HY, while Flying Kiwi Racing has almost the same gap over Storm Rider Noon in HY AM, both teams having leapfrogged over a Mistral Ecurie team that struggled at Long Beach. In GT, at 94 points, HPD lengthened their lead to SMR Corkscrew Motorsports at 67, while Trash Panda pulled away from Manta Squid GT who had a race to forget that saw their rivals stamp out a 38 point gap at 124 points.
With a spate of technical difficulties just before race start, the NARS suffered another delayed race in the VMSC. This however, has set up 3 consecutive VMSC race weeks for April with visits to Sebring, Spa and then Long Beach to close out the month.
One rF2 race is scheduled for this week and it will be the finale of the SC2018X series in the NARS as the field returns to Daytona, this time the stock car road circuit. Both the PRO and AM podiums have yet to be settled, so expectation is high for a large field and some great racing to close out the series!