Week ending 10/7/2021

By Dane Simpson
Premier Series
“For a quick lap at the Nürburgring, you’ve probably experienced more in seven minutes…than most people have experienced in all their life in the way of fear, in the way of tension, in the way of animosity towards machinery and to a racetrack.” – Jackie Stewart.
Sunday night the Core Premier Racing League went head to head with the winding blind corners and long straightaways of the Nürburgring. Known for its lack of runoffs the track would undoubtedly be a challenge for even the best drivers. Nick Nickerson #2 would qualify in the top spot to start the race, but a mistake on the unforgiving track would see him end up 16th. Only half of the 16 car field would complete all 8 laps of the 1 hour race with Mason Smith #6 leading 7 of them and John Nobinger leading the other 1. Smith would take the win followed closely by Chris Hamilton #64 with Nobinger #44 rounding out the top 3.

Smith survives “Hell” with the victory


GT3 Road to Rio Challenge
Sprint Race
Bathurst can be a tricky place to pass with only a limited number of places that one would consider “safe” to do so as many of the sections are tight, winding and unforgiving. Nick Nickerson #2 would Qualify P1 and never looked back, Mason Smith #6 and Chris Hamilton #64 would keep him close, but would have to settle for 2nd and 3rd. Big shakeups in the race would see Carl Handwerk #18 and Paul Butler #77 crash out early in the race, while Nick Devos #39 would charge from 16th to 10th.
Endurance Race
Carl Handwerk #18 would turn his misfortune in the Sprint race to an opportunity in the Endurance, leading all but his pit lap. Kevin Foster #8 and Paul Butler #77 had speed in their setup as foster would prove finishing 3rd. Butler unfortunately would become a cautionary tale of how devastating even a fraction of a tire on the grass can be. Mark Thomas #50 and Jimmy Covert #14 would find themselves struggling landing in 13th and 16th respectively. Abhi Visuvasam #08 and Dane Simpson #96 would continue their battle from the sprint race before a drive through penalty for Visuvasam would seal his fate, finishing 8th and 9th respectively. With only 3 stops left on the season Mason Smith #6 sits atop the points by a margin of 123 points over Nick Nickerson #2. Elsewhere in the points the battle for 10th-15th is separated by only 119 points.
Developmental Series
Dare I say the most exciting points race in Core, the up and coming drivers of the Core Developmental Series put their skills to the test for the second last race of the season. Marc Gonzales #7 would put his Dallara DW12 on the pole for the 1 hour race from the road course of Daytona, but a mishap with fuel on his stop would dash his dreams of victory. Marc LaPierre #08 and Thaddeus Marshall #89 would secure those ever so important bonus points for clean driving, each scoring 16 bonus points for only 2x. The top 4 drivers Marshall, Abhi Visuvasam #08, Todd Caudle #30 and Ricky Gonzales #7 would finish within less than 2 seconds of one another. “This final D-series race is going to be about whose willing to risk it all for a championship with top 4 guys being separated by 17pts” Marshall.

Marshall keep his title hopes alive with another win


TNT Late Model Series
150 laps from Southern National would be an impressive battle between Brandon Mettle #15 and David Gargaro Jr #042, leading 58 and 59 laps each and finishing 1st and 2nd respectively. The race was incredibly clean with 6 of the 8 drivers scoring 0x throughout the race. Collin Murphy #09 and Eric Andrews #9 would also get a chance to take the lead before falling back to 3rd and 4th. With only two nights of racing left before seasons end, Gargaro Jr leads Mettler by only 35 points while 3rd place is tied by Adam Jones #46 and Kevin Foster#8 59 points back. Next week the league heads to Thompson Speedway for a double header.