Race Day Report 6/20/20
A 21-car grid took to the track on Saturday, producing nonstop action at Atlanta Motorsports Park all day long. Drivers raced on the limit – and sometimes over it – as they battled wheel to wheel throughout three sprint races.
The first race featured 14 Spec Miatas, four SE30s, two SE46s, and one Legends car. The two SE46 drivers, Sergio Ramirez and Justin Bombard, started alongside each other on the front row and were evenly matched throughout the twenty-minute race. Ramirez was able to find enough pace to prevent Bombard from attempting an overtake but he was never more than a second behind. As they took the checkered flag this left Bombard an agonizingly close two tenths from the overall and class win.
Further back, in the battle for the lead of the Miata class Jason Bergstrom was able to win from the front. Jose Garcia, who started alongside Bergstrom, failed to finish the race and Keith Williamson swept in and took second place. James Caney made up six positions during the twenty-minute race to complete the podium in third.
In the SE30 class, Jeff Tyrell won the first race followed by Daniel Vallejo, and Jeremy Buckingham. In the lone Legends car, Keegan Hall started dead last and began making up positions as soon as the green flag fell but he pushed his car too hard and overheated the brakes. He flew into turn six and was unable to get the car stopped and he ended up in the barriers, but thankfully car and driver remained unscathed.
The starting order for race two was based on the finishing order from race one so Sergio Ramirez started from pole position again and this time around Bombard wasted no time trying to make a move for the lead. On lap two, as the two BMWs approached turn one Bombard dove down the inside, but was too late on the brakes and had to take to the runoff. For the remainder of the race, he was stuck behind three Spec Miatas which he tried to pass, including an audacious double overtake into turn one, but once again he ended up in the grass on the exit.
Richard Spaeth took advantage of the mayhem caused by Bombard, who eventually retired, to top the Spec Miata class after starting towards the back since he failed to finish race one. In an expanded grid for race two, the SE30 class was topped by again by Jeff Tyrell after Chris Huhn received a penalty following the race.
The third and final race took place in the afternoon with the temperatures soaring up into the 80s. This race saw far fewer participants since it didn’t count towards the podium celebration in the evening but that didn’t mean there wasn’t plenty of entertaining action.
Sergio Ramirez raced uncontested to win his third race of the day but all the attention was on the battle for the lead of the Spec Miata class between Keith Williamson and Jason Bergstrom. The pair had been extremely close pace-wise through races one and two and in race three they put on a show. Bergstrom started ahead of Williamson and they were immediately bumper to bumper down the main straight.
Throughout the 25 minute race, they went back and forth for the lead, pushing each other to the limit and fighting side by side through turn one and the carousel. Williamson made a move stick and survived a last lap attack from Bergstrom who was just two tenths behind as they took the checkered flag.