September 22 Coverage by Matt Skibisky
While the weather is cooling down, the CART competition is just heating up. The end of the season is coming up, with only 3 races remaining, and points battles couldn’t be closer. Many championships will likely be decided on the final event!
Sunday had a wet forecast, but mother nature decided to let us play and the course stayed dry all day, making for some fast times. 48 drivers registered at LAZ in Hartford.
On to the results..
D Stock, which has been dominated all year by the Mini of John Westermann, saw new podium finishers as Westermann was absent. Finishing in second and making a return after slight hiatus was the V6 Mustang of Sam Derjue. Derjue couldn’t quite put the grip down that the Mini Cooper S of Brad Snow did. Snow maneuvered his Mini to a first place with a 67.200, 5 tenths ahead of Derjue.
STREET PREPARED CLASSES
A Street Prepared was ruled by the bumped C Street Prepared Porsche of Paul Omichinski. Paul was cone-happy all morning until his fourth run when he laid down a clean lap of a 63.730 which was good enough for a 2 second win. D Street Prepared sees fierce competition this year, as Bill Denvir currently has his RX8 ahead in points, but with only a few races remaining, Matt Cummings is charging with full force. Cummings put a big dent in the points this weekend as he had DSP covered by over 4 seconds, winning with a 63.608. Although Denvir still has the points lead, Cummings could very well take it away. The current ESP point’s leader has his car in pieces which gave the rest of the class a bit of a breather. However, the difference between Mark Eastwood’s GT and Thomas Moore’s 90 ‘Stang was a mere .082. Eastwood’s fastest lap was his first, which was good enough for a win with a 64.915.
PREPARED AND MOD CLASSES
The class that everyone was talking about all day was D Prepared. Coming into the event, Rob Johnson and Matt Skibisky were tied at 229 points a piece for Driver of The Year. With Rob’s Mustang out of commission, his father Bob was kind enough to lend his DP Miata to Rob. To stay tied with Matt, he needed to finish the same position has him. Rob couldn’t seem to avoid the cones all day, and on his fourth run, he took the lead over his dad by .002! Bob was working the trailer while Rob took his final run, and Rob sliced another half second of his time. Bob was now behind by almost a full second with still 2 runs remaining. On Bob’s fourth run, he did everything flawlessly, hitting every braking point and every apex, taking the lead away from Rob and giving the points lead to Matt on the year. Bob finished .092 ahead of Rob with a 63.142.
X Prepared was a 5 car class, with the top 2 cars putting very fast times down: The Fiero of Jay Bode, and the Miata of Joe Visciglia. Bode took the win however, with a 2nd raw overall time of 62.525.
Will a little less drama going into F Prepared, Bob Doiron took a comfy lead early on Bob Nogiec, and stayed there all day. Bob D finished with a 63.545, good enough for a top 10 overall.
A Mod was a one car class, and that must be the secret to getting FTD’s, because Sean Colson is sure getting good at those. Colson walked away Sunday with his third consecutive FTD with an untouchable 60.673.
Coming into the day tied with Rob Johnson and a broken car was Matt Skibisky. Matt only made three runs but was able to take the STR win and 2nd PAX overall with a 64.078, and thanks to Bob Johnson, the Driver of the Year points lead. (Thanks Bob!)
Winning STF and taking top PAX for the day was the Mazda3 of Matt Delila. Delila took 2 seconds of his best run on his fourth to bring it down to a 64.981. Winning STS in his mighty Miata was Robert Smigiel. Robert had his Miata leaning all over the place but managed to pedal it to a win with a 68.123.
Also racking up the points this season is the Civic Si of Greg Pocock. Pocock walked away with another huge STX win with a 67.140.
STREET MOD CLASSES
When the drama seems like its going to stop, we move to SSM. Chris Faircloth walks in Sunday with a slight lead over Jim Jaffe in SSM, and Jaffe was gunnin’ Sunday, but couldn’t quite keep the cones in the boxes. Faircloth ended the day in front of Jaffe by 7 tenths and still a slight lead on him for the year.
Z Novice was won by Frank LaBarbera in his WRX with a 67.586.
Y Novice was won by Steven Milligan in his VW CC with a 71.371.
X Novice was won by Jason Zike in his Elise with a 69.395.
A Big thank you goes out to all who volunteered at the end of the day to work so we can have fun runs, and of course everyone who helped in every way: Chalking cones, picking up at the end of the day, fixing timing issues, etc. Without volunteers, we don’t play! Our next event is a SATURDAY at LAZ on October 5th. It’s sure to be a shootout till the end of the year, so don’t miss it! See ya soon.