Race Report: Double SARRC at Moroso Motorsports Park
The Double SARRC at Moroso after Christmas is always a must do on 5x Racing's list. The fair weather, double points race format, and affordable race weekend are attractive to any racer. The 5x Racing Teams luck was about to change this race, as John and Rick were looking for redemption from the October SARRC race at Sebring that left the #25 5xR Spec Miata in need of repair. At the shop, the #25 5xR Spec Miata received new wheels and tires, a new intake system from SP Inductions, and we hammered out all of the dents and straitened the body out under the headlights to restore the car to race ready condition for this race.
Since this race was a double race weekend, the format was Qualifying 1 & Race 1 on Saturday, and Q2 & R2 on Sunday with each race being worth separate points. With no practice time, John and Rick set up the car with a mix of setups we used from our last race at Moroso and our successful run at the SIC at Roebling Road in September. The setup seemed to work well with the new tires and John secured pole position for SARRC Race 1, our first pole since the SCCA Drivers School race.
SARRC Race 1
Starting 1st in Spec Miata is always good, as you are clear of the mayhem that usually ensues mid pack into the first corner. When the green flag dropped we got a jolt in the rear from Jamie Tucker, a competitor starting 3rd which held back and planned a run before the flag flew. This was a good thing as it pushed John in front of 2nd place and into the clear track. Tucker got a draft off of John and made a pass into turn one taking the lead, John patiently followed for most of the race until an opportunity arose. About 3/4 of the way into the race Tuckers tires started to go away, especially coming onto the drag strip as John witnessed some impressive tire smoking drifts following. John took advantage of the speed robbing drifts and made a pass, Tuckers car was fast though as he did not fall behind too far. Eventually towards the end of the race, Koni Challenge driver Ricky Diaz joined the battle for the lead from 3rd place and made it a 3 car fight to the checkered flag. All 3 cars traded places lap after lap and on the 2nd to last lap John secured 1st place and took it to the finish, marking the first competitive Spec Miata victory for the 5x Racing Team!
Sunday brought some additional competitors to the race, adding to the challenge. John secured a worthy 3rd place starting position behind Central Florida veteran Joe Evans and Speed World Challenge racer Mary Katherine. This would be a tough spot to start from, as you are practically locked in behind pole position and are forced to match their pace.
SARRC Race 2
Race 2 would be tough, especially starting from 3rd, but none-the-less the next best position going into turn 1. When the green flag dropped John got a massive push from both Jamie Tucker and Ricky Diaz, as the best three from day one were hungry. John made it out of turn 1 in second place, followed by Tucker and Diaz. Evans quickly made a gap between 1st and 2nd, 3rd, 4th as a long battle ensued for most of the race. In the thick of the battle, John was pushing hard to stay in front of Tucker and Diaz, in the meantime working his tires too hard. Before long John was passed by both Tucker and Diaz in the draft falling to 4th, after rethinking his strategy, John started regaining ground on 2nd place Tucker and 3rd place Diaz, but it was too late as the end of the race was nearing. When the checkered flag dropped, it was Evans 1st followed by Diaz 2nd (who made a last lap pass for 2nd), Tucker 3rd, and John in 4th. Not bad for a two race weekend, a lot of points were gained in the SARRC Championship standings. The most important part of the weekend is that the #25 5xR Spec Miata went home without a scratch, and a 2008 SARRC Winner plaque! The 5x Racing Team is taking a couple month break for a few reasons: John is getting married March 28th, resources are being pooled to complete the build of Rick's Spec Miata racecar, and gas prices are just too damn expensive! Follow us to our next race at Roebling Road Raceway on May 15-16 as 5x Racing tries it's luck in the NASA Spec Miata Series.
[Sorry, no Mylaps results were submitted by the Florida region SCCA][ SARRC Points]