The National Auto Sport Association (NASA) eighth annual NASA Championships presented by Toyo Tires closed out their Championships by crowning Sunday’s race winners.
Group F German Touring Series GTS2, GTS3, GTS4, GTS5
Early morning rain over the Miller Motorsports Park 3.048 miles long 15 corner Outer Course greeted the competitors for the warm-up. Group F opened the final day of the NASA Championships. At the start Tony Colicchio in his No. 331 BMW GTS3 entry took over the lead from his eleventh place qualifying position.
Colicchio was pursued closely by Michael McAleenan (GTS4) BMW M3 in the early going. On lap four McAleenan took over as the overall leader of Group F. Steven Streimer was the early leader his No. 02 Porsche 997, but was passed on lap six by the overall pole sitter Peter Spencer in his No. 89 Porsche 997 Cup car. Spencer kept his charge going and passed McAleenan on lap 16 to take the overall Group F win.
Peter Spencer, No. 89 Porsche 997 GTS5 and overall class winner, “I was on pole. At the start of the race in the drying conditions, it was like driving on grease. We were on brand new slick tires. We set the chassis up for rain, but kept the slicks on it. The first few turns and laps I couldn’t turn, I couldn’t accelerate or brake. The BMW guys were bullying me a little. As it dried out I started to get some grip and was able to pass all of them back. It was a good clean race.”
GTS4 winner Michael McAleennan, “it was a little tricky at the beginning with the track still drying. Every session we have gone faster and we peaked at the right time in the final race. The car handled like a dream, turned-in perfectly and was really well balanced. My crew worked tirelessly on the car all week. On Wednesday we had to rebuild the whole front of the car, on Thursday we lost the transmission, and we put a new differential in it yesterday to finish out the weekend.”
Tony Colicchio won GTS3 in his No. 331 BMW 325, “I think we changed tires in our mind about a thousand times before the race. We finally made the decision to go to slick tires on the pre-grid. It was a little slippery on the start. I have pretty good car control, so I was able to get through the first few laps. The car was great, we did some suspension tweaks for the changing weather and it worked out awesome.”
In GTS2, Dick Hunter took the win his No. 58 BMW, “we practiced in the rain with wet tires. But for the race we decided to go on slicks. We took loosened up the shocks with the compression all the around which turned out to be a really good set-up. The first lap I did a tank-slapper in the last turn. That got my attention. After that I settled in and everything was fine.”
Group G PTB, PTC, PTD, PTE, PTF, Spec Z
David Dirks led the Spec Z field to the green in his No. 76 Nissan 350Z. In PTB David Schotz in his No. 34 Pontiac Formula was the class pole sitter. In PTC Dennis Holloway in the No. 5 Mazda RX8 was the fast car all week. In PTD James Rowen was the early leader in his No. 9 Honda Civic, on lap six, Sonny Watanasirisuk took over in his No. 18 Mazda Miata. Both would be beaten by the No. 117 of John Matthews. In PTE Timothy Reger paced the field in his No.19 Mazda Miata and was in a battle with the No. 71 Miata of Andrew Kidd. In the waning laps Jason Kohler, No. 848 Miata took over the lead of PTE and drove to the win. On lap 17 David Schotz passed Dirks to take the overall class win.
David Schotz, PTB and overall winner in his No. 34 Pontiac Formula, “My Hoosier Tires and CarboTech brakes were the secret today. I was fast and just kept putting down consistent times. We got blessed with great weather and the car held together for 45 minutes. The car was great all week. I was here in 2009 and the competition had 7 mph on me down the straight. It was nice to have the speed on them today.”
David Dirks, No. 76 Nissan 350Z, Spec Z winner, “I want to thank my wife Michelle, my kids Erin and Matthew and my Dad. It was a nice ride. I was fortunate to break away early. I just focused on being consistent to maintain the gap. We have been racing 944s here for a long time so we know our way around this place. I am absolutely thrilled to take the win today.”
Dennis Holloway, No.5 Mazda RX8 PTC winner, “I was lucky. Normally I don’t get this lucky. I have been chasing a Championship win for a number of years. My car was really good in the corners. I didn’t have a lot of torque coming out of the turns. I had a good day and was able to win.”
No. 848 Jason Kohler won PTE in his Mazda Miata,” it was an amazing race. I started back in fourth and had some amazing battles with Andrew Kidd and Tim Reger. I got by them and I thought I was in second, but it ended up I was in first. I had a good car in the infield and I was able to get a good draft down the long front straight to keep my speed up.”
John Matthews won PTD in his No. 117 BMW, “I’ve had a lot of races and I have never worked so hard in my life. There was great competition and I had a photo finish with No. 2 Josh Allen to take the class win. I had a little bit more horsepower down the straight, he had a little better car in the infield. He caught me on the last lap and we took it to the last foot, a great race.”