Going Out With a Bang by Matt Skibisky
Feels like just yesterday it was April….getting those new tires on…..first autocross of the year. Now it’s late October and we have reached the end of our 2012 season at C.A.R.T. It has been an eventful and great season. We raced at Mohegan for the first time, got to hit crazy speeds on some awesome courses in Thompson, had 2 track days, one at Lime Rock, one at Pocono, both were DRY! For the last event of the year, we wanted to give you guys plenty of track time, so we double up on laps at LAZ, making for one of the longest courses (along with the fastest) we have ever had at LAZ. We decided not to do bumps for our last event.
2012 was the most competitive year D Stock has ever seen. The Mazdaspeed3 of Andrew Grigg, the Mustang V6 of Sam Derjue, and the Mini of John Westermann have all been battling for wins all year, and each event has been extremely close; Sunday was no different. Grigg had the lead for most of the day in his Mazda. Being more of a power course, the Mazda and Mustang had the slight edge over the Mini at the start. On Westermann’s fourth run, he picked up a full second, giving him the lead over Derjue and Grigg. With Derjue sitting in third and having one run left on the day, he needed to pick up nearly a second for the win, and about 7 tenths to bump Grigg into third. Derjue gained enough for second place, but not the win, and John Westermann walked away with a huge win with a 55.934, with Derjue finishing with a 56.319, and Grigg a 56.362.
B Street Prepared has also been a very tight class all year. With Jim Matons being absent coming off 3 FTD’s, it was all Corvettes Sunday. Yaro Taeger took the lead early on in his M3, but was quickly caught by the co-owned vette of Brian Elzin, Jason Musante, and John Jankura. However, taking the lead on his second run was Chris Rivera’s 350z, who was hundredths away from an FTD a few months ago at Thompson. Rivera held off Elzin to take third place on the day. The battle for the lead was between the Vettes’ of Joe Solury and John Jankura. Jankura laid down a class leading time of 54.404 on his fourth run, and Solury had one more run to pick up 3 tenths. Solury just barely missed out on catching Jankura as Jankura led Solury by 8 hundredths of a second at the end of the day.
Taking the D Street Prepared win in a huge way was the VW GTI of Matt Cummings. Cummings has been getting faster and faster, and now so is his car. Cummings took the lead over Paul Gasper’s Civic early on, and never looked back. Matt won with a 54.531.
E Street Prepared was won by Daniel Hornik, but it was the battle for second place which was where all the action was. The Leether duo, The Johnson duo, and Mark Eastwood were going back and forth all day. On his fourth run, John Leether jumped from 5th place to 2nd, with only a tenth lead over Mark Eastwood. Cole couldn’t quite catch his Dad Sunday, as he finished fourth, and finishing fifth over his son, was Bob Johnson. John, Mark, Cole and Bob were all within about tenth of each other.
STR has also been a close class all year. Matt Skibisky, coming off a disappointing second place finish last event, was looking for a big win over Jim Jaffe. Jaffe had the lead over Skibisky by about 4 tenths going into the last run of the day. With 1 run left to go on the day, Skibisky brought Jaffe’s lead to within 5 hundredths of a second…not good enough. Jim added insult to injury: on his last run, he picked up almost a full second, sealing the deal with a very fast 54.477.
With rain in the forecast, the FWD Civic of Greg Pocock was looking like a sure win in STX. As the course stayed dry, it gave the RWD RX8 of William Denvir some grip in attempts of catching the nimble Civic. However, Pocock held off Denvir with a 57.487.
SMF was full of VTEC Sunday. The battling Honda’s of Brian Bennett and Colby Norwood were screaming all day. Norwood gave Bennett a run in the end though, as Colby walked away with a 56.512 win.
F Prepared has been absolutely dominated all year by the new looking Fiero of Bob Doiron. Doiron has been untouchable whether it is a nimble LAZ course, or a powerful Thompson course. However, Sunday, things got interesting as Doiron, for the first time in over a year, walked away with second place. Winning F Prepared and nearly taking FTD was the Porsche of Paul Omichinski with a 53.299.
You have heard many “Almost FTDs”, but now we get to the fastest class of the day: XP. Jay Bode had FTD in his Fiero off the start: a 53.813 on his second run. What looked like an untouchable FTD was taken by the Cobra of John Santos on his fourth run. Santos took the XP win and FTD with a 53.260.
XN: Conor Mackinson with a 61.259 in a Fiat 500.
YN: Brian Dumais with a 59.981 in a Fiero.
ZN: Mike Duffy with a 60.837 in an S4 Audi.
Congratulations to all winners. Reminder: All winning novices are no longer to race in Novice classes.
Thank you everyone for a great year. We still have the Christmas Party and Annual C.A.R.T. Awards Banquet right around the corner, so make sure you CHECK THE WEBSITE for updates! See you soon!
“I’ve always needed to go fast.”
– John Fitch