Driver Champion Jeff Wasilko showing off his 08 reindeer
What a roller coaster ride it has been this season! The first two events at NHMS and Palmer were both impacted by rain. The summer drought kept things hot and dry for the next four events. The rain would return to wash out NHMS2 and partially impact Palmer2. Our final event of 2016 at Palmer was a chilly one. It was the latest COM season finale since 2010. Everyone loved the horsepower-making air temps but the cold and damp conditions made it difficult to get the tires warmed up appropriately at times. Despite the very high level of competition in many classes this year there were only a couple battles that went down to the wire. These classes ran early before rain began to fall. Here is what went down at the last time trial along with the final season results:
Super Unlimited – Mark Stellato had the weapon of choice with his Ariel Atom. He laid down a very brisk 1:42.345 separating himself from the two Lotus Exiges. Bruce Allen won the class for the year with three wins, 17 points ahead of Dan D’Arcy.
Super A – Bill McMahon just barely grabbed the second place trophy edging out class champion Tom Greer by only 0.043 seconds! Butch King roared to victory in his truck with a 1:44.120. Tom Greer finished the year with four class wins and his first ever class championship with COM.
Super B – Super B had the closest class championship battle heading into the final event of the season. Only two points separated Bob Brooks and Dan Preston. Bob Brooks found FIVE extra seconds over his best practice time but still fell a second and a half shy of Dan Preston for second place. It was Jake Wile in his M3 monster however who took the win. This was his fourth win of the season, showing just what a Super B build is capable of with a blistering 1:41.510. This was also good for FTD. Dan Preston had two first place finishes on the season and secures his second consecutive Super B class championship.
Super C – Will Martins’ lap time 1:48.999 got his heart rate monitor pumping and took second place in Super C. It was once again Chris Parsons who took the win with an impressive 1:46.821 also good for fastest Miata of the day. Chris finished the year with six wins in a row to cap off an impressive class championship. This was Chris’s third COM class championship and first since 2013.
Super D – Super D was another one of the few tight races still remaining. After getting a taste of T60 in his new M3 at NHMS2, Greg Hosselbarth did the points math and realized he was going to have to show up to play in SD at Palmer2. Rebecca Harvey in her Spec Miata just barely edged out Carl Fossum for third place. Despite co-driving the class-winning car Mark Swinehart couldn’t get used to a Miata with a roof and managed a 1:54.710 good for second place. Greg brought his A-game and laid down a 1:50.842 to take the win and the class championship.
T100 – Bob Cairns was too busy grooming his handlebars for Movember to make it to Palmer. Dan Baldwin grabbed second place with a 1:46.453 in his LS-powered RX-7. It was Donald Piette making only his second appearance of the year who took the win with a speedy 1:43.290. Bob Cairns took home the T100 class championship with four wins at the five events he ran.
T90- Stephen Tise ran his fourth event of the year in T90. He ran unopposed and took home first place points with a 1:43.982. Jon Harris had previously secured the class championship with four wins on the year. This is Jon’s first COM class championship.
T80 – T80 was one of the classes that had to run in very wet conditions. Mike Fenn in his M3 edged out Victor Larin in his M3 for second placed with a time of 2:01.189. Mario Fallas was the only T80 entrant to break the two minute mark before the rain really started to pour. His 1:57.323 was good for first place. Victor Larin is the T80 class champion. Victor had one class win at Mosport.
T70 – T70 had the unenviable task of time trialing just as the rain began to fall. This was evidenced by the 14+ second spread in times. Jon Cowen was within striking distance but the rain drops prevented him from breaking the 1:50 barrier before pitting in on his third lap. Nelson Barros buoyed by his good fortune at NHMS2 ran a spectacular time for the conditions with a 1:47.327. Nelson secured second place for the season with two consecutive wins to the finish the year. Nico Rosberg… I mean Jon Cowen managed to hang on despite the late season struggles to secure the class championship. Jon had four class wins and podiumed at seven of the eight time trials.
T60 – Three of the top four T60 drivers were missing from the last event of the year. Paul Giurlando ran a very solid 1:52.758 in his NC Miata for third place. Roe Cole could smell his first victory of the year but his 1:50.596 ended up being 0.603 seconds shy of the big trophy. New-comer Justin Becker turned some heads with a winning lap time of 1:49.993 in his VW GTI. T60 was the second most-attended class of 2016. Roe Cole ran a very strong campaign this year in his 944. He secured a third place finish on the year with four podiums. David Lemoine didn’t settle into T60 until the first Palmer event of the year where rain kept him off the podium. After that however, he proceeded to win the next four events he showed up to in convincing fashion. This gave him more than a twelve point edge over Roe. It wasn’t enough to catch Troy Velazquez however. Troy had a fantastic season winning two events and securing podium spots at six of the seven events he ran. This is Troy’s first COM class championship.
T50 – Long time COM member Chuck Tolley made his first and only appearance of 2016 coming in fourth place in T50. Hugh Wallace who has steadily improved this season beat Chuck by a healthy two and half seconds in his BMW 325 to take third. Jeff Baker came up just short of another “Most Consistent” award. His 1:51.376 was good for second place. Jeff Wasilko couldn’t quite beat his track record but secured first place with a 1:49.462 rip. Jeff Baker finished second on the season, his best season finish with COM. Jeff Wasilko and his six wins repeats as T50 class champion, his fourth class championship overall.
T40 – Matt Leff who has been consistently improving over the last year won the most consistent award with a variance of only 0.143 seconds across all three time trial laps. Robert Smigiel continued his rise up the ranks coming in fourth place with a 1:54.729 in his NB-powered NA Miata. Tom Cannon in his NB-powered NB Miata managed only one lap below the 1:56s but his 1:53.950 was enough to grab the last podium spot. Derek Tangard in his NA-powered NA Miata came with victory on his mind but his 1:53.294 was not enough to catch Scott Rosnick’s 1:52.168 burner in his BMW 318. T40 was the place to be this year as it had the highest average attendance for the year. The event-to-event results were anything but predictable. There were FIVE different T40 event winners at the eight events. Julie Wasilko grabbed third place on the season with one win and three top-two finishes. Tom Cannon really got into a groove this season. He won his first event since 2012 and had six podium finishes tallying enough points to take second place. Despite the roller coaster ride early in the season Scott kept grinding away and his seven podiums and his four wins were more than enough to pull away from the pack of Miatas (and one Nissan).
T30 – Emily Berthier recorded three sub two minute laps in the nicest car to ever time trial in T30 (an NC Miata). Her 1:59.353 was good for third place. Mikhael El-Bayeh brought a Subaru Impreza to a Miata fight. His 1:57.820 was imprezive (do you see what I did there?) but was half a second shy of first place. Stephen Hosker took a literal victory lap both for the event and season in his McMiata. His 1:57.298 was good enough for first place. Mikhael only made it to three events but managed two wins and a second place finish. That was all he needed to edge out Peter Perrault for second place. It was all about that yellow top for the rest of the year though. Stephen Hosker grabbed four wins at the seven events he ran to take his third consecutive T30 class championship. T40 beckons…
The Overall Driver Championship was a close battle all year long. As previously stated it is literally a competition of who blinks first. One “off-day”, pun intended, and you are usually out of the running. Jeff ran strong at every event regardless of who did or did not show up to compete. The only two events he did not win the margin was less than three tenths of a second. Congratulations Jeff!
Jeff Wasilko- 95.38
Chris Parsons- 92.50
Jon Cowen- 86.63
Scott Rosnick- 85.88
John Spain- 14.38
Are you curious to learn more about how the club is run? Come join us for dinner and a few drinks at our next board meeting on Wednesday Decemeber 21st at 6:30pm at Salvatore’s in Andover, MA.
Our Banquet and Awards ceremony will be in late January. Location will be announced soon and karting may or may not be involved. Stay tuned.