With a test day at Canaan and our first competitive event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the books, 2016 is now underway! But before we get to the highlights, you should know that the first event was sold out across the board – if you want a shot at getting into Palmer (Sat/Sun June 4/5), you need to register ASAP: https://www.motorsportreg.com/events/pa … zCEmvkrKUl. I hear that Palmer is cleaner, curbier, and better than last year…with new garages, too.
Puddles and sunshine. The 2016 Time Trial opener saw some of the wackiest weather in memory – event volunteers and competitors alike were trying to make sense of the radar all afternoon. The on-again-off-again day reminded me of this classic scene:
In the end we saw some mixed-up results…check out the highlights below:
Super Unlimited – 2015 SU Champion Dan Darcy and 1989 Driver Champion Bruce Allen went heads-up in their respective Loti in COMSCC’s no rules class. Dan ended up getting stuck in the rain with Bruce laying down a low-1:22 for the win. We look forward to more Lotus v Lotus showdowns this season.
Super A – Tom Greer opened up 2016 with a win over 2015 SA title-winner Dana Johnston (2nd). Geoff Howe (3rd) slid around on slick tires, amazingly keeping his car on-track despite driving in the worst of the downpour.
Super B – Jacob van Gelder earned his first COMSCC TT win, besting Fred Kim in his e30 (2nd) and 2015 SB champ Dan Preston in his 370z (3rd). John French and Bob Brooks must have hit the snooze button too many times because they were nowhere to be found – maybe they’ll get up for Palmer?
Super C – With 2015 SC winner Will Martins rebuilding his motor and Gordon Andrade taking a legitimate sick day (feel better, Gordon), Chris Parsons and Peter Fontana got things started in SC. Chris is back after a long hiatus, swapping his 370z for a turbo Miata. His 1:20 was one of the faster times of the day, but the fastest time (FTD overall) went to Peter Fontana, driving the e36 M3 at SC lap record pace: 1:17.5.
Super D – Greg Hosselbarth was anointed with the Miata Tiara to start the event, signifying his 2015 Miata Cup Award. However, SD newcomer (she swapped to SD at ~11am on Sunday) Rebecca Harvey picked up her first COMSCC TT win.
Touring 100 – Laura Fleming (up from T90 after winning the class back-to-back years) and Bob Cairns were ripping it in practice in their matching C5 vettes, but they both got hosed, figuratively and literally, during the Time Trial. With sticker Hoosier dry tires mounted and both cars/drivers already lined up on the grid, the skies opened up, leading to a slip-and-slide TT. The best is yet to come for T100 in 2016. Donald Piette?
Touring 90 – T90 welcomes 3 new competitors. 2015 T70 Champion Stephen Tise Jr. upgraded the safety and performance of his ride, and Jon Harris and Dan Croteau added go-fast goodies to their C5 and M Coupe, respectively, to move up from T80. The new-look T90 class saw Tise Jr. taking his Mustang a little quicker than Harris’s Corvette to start the year.
Touring 80 – T80 is another class of transplants. Besides Nick Fontana who is staying put in T80, T60 winner Vic Larin plans to run his e46 M3 once ready, Mike Papageorgiou returns to COSMCC Time Trials in a SRT-4,former s2k driver Marc Epstein said “hello” in his new Boss 302, and Dan Durusky has jumped from 70 to 80. However, it was first-ever COMSCC Time Trial competitor Bruno Machado in a Lan-Evo IX getting the win with a 1:22.2.
Touring 70 – After nail-biting battles between Jon Cowen and Stephen Tise Jr. in 2015, the 2016 season-opener saw Erik Harris edging out Nick Derosa’s e36 (2nd) with James Ray III (3rd) rounding out the podium. With a number of returning customers, T70 should be another big and exciting class in 2016.
Touring 60 – Troy Velazquez and Dave Wittmer splashed around in their new class for a 1-2 finish, with Velazquez throwing down a 1:26 for the win and Wittmer edging out T60 regular Howard Roundy in his Elise. T60 had 9 competitors with hardware ranging from Miata to Camaro to Porsche – it should be another interesting season.
Touring 50 – we got to see an awesome T50 showdown in the dry at the end of the day. Matt LeBlanc laid down a respectable 1:22 with Dave Lemoine dipping into the 1:20′s, but 2015 T50 Champion Jeff Wasilko crushed it with a lap record 1:19.7. Even with a couple departures, T50 is still one of the hottest classes to watch.
Touring 40 – Sam Webster was doing the rain dance and got his wish, picking up his 2nd rain win at NHMS in as many events. Rodney Carriere (2nd) traded the 912 for a Miata and earned his first COMSCC TT podium, sliding between Webster and returning T40 competitor Tom Cannon (3rd). 2015 T40 Champion Scott Rosnick scored points but is looking forward to Palmer.
Touring 30 – Peter Perrault is back in T30 (3rd) and David Beningson turned in his 944 for a Miata to join in on the fun. However, with dance partner Mikhael El-Bayeh still piecing together his Civic, Stephen Hosker got his 2016 campaign off to a good start – 1:25.9 and a win. Could Hosker win T30 3 years in a row…?!
Alright, the first event is in the books. On to Palmer.
Full NHMS results: http://www.comscc.org/events/results/vi … 2016-05-08
Updated Lap Records: http://www.comscc.org/events/track-records/
…and again, the registration link for Palmer: https://www.motorsportreg.com/events/pa … zCEmvkrKUl