June 21, 2011

ROAR region 2 electric on-road paved regionals


This past weekend’s electric on-road paved regional in region 2 brought racers to Jackson R/C, site of the upcoming electric paved on-road nationals at the end of July. Mother Nature cooperated nicely with a warm, breezy day and the event finished under the lights when the track is fastest. In 17.5 TC, it was Jerry Perez who took TQ honours. The past IIC amateur champion nipped a field of hot shoes for the top qualifying spot and put it to good use avoiding the A-main’s first turn melee. Unfortunately, his cushion was erased by a mechanical failure causing his car to spin in front of Jeff Cuffs. The two collided and Cuffs showed great courtesy by waiting for Perez to get going again. Perez got away just as the main pack swarmed over Cuffs causing a massive accident which kept producing more accidents as the field steadily clocked in their first timed lap. At the beginning of lap two there was another massive, field consuming accident that ironically spit Cuffs back out into the second running position with Perez still limping around in first. Perez eventually had to retire and Cuffs never looked back, taking the win with a 6 second margin of safety. Scooby Horton finished second, the only other driver on the lead lap. Mike Herald Sr. survived a slew of door banging incidents back in the pack to claim a well deserved third.


The sportsman racers met the pros in 13.5 and great racing ensued, just not for first place. Kevin Hebert came all the way down from the North Pole to compete in the regional and made the most of his time at Jackson by TQ’ing and winning the 13.5 class. Mike Haynes tried valiantly to keep Hebert honest and over the 6 minute run managed to stay within two corners, finishing in second. The battle for third became the best race on the track by the halfway mark. Steve Sohl was safely in 3rd from the beginning after qualifying 8th and dicing his way through the field on the first lap. His quiet race was slowly being threatened by the stampeding efforts of Mike Hanulec who had qualified 2nd, suffered a body tuck in the first lap carnage, and then charged back through the field to within 1 second of Sohl’s back bumper. The last minute of the race was all shouts and hollers from the spectators cheering their buddies on. Sohl was staying clean and running tight lines while Hanulec was putting down qualifying laps, one after another. Down to the last lap, Hebert had caught this battle for 3rd and thought better of trying to get in between them. Cruising to victory, Hebert had front row seats to see Sohl hang on for third as Hanulec ran out of time to make the pass. The final finishing order was Keven Hebert in first, Mike Haynes in second, and Steve Sohl in third.


Modified Touring car was almost a mirror image of 13.5, but with a few small exceptions. First off, the cars were much faster off the corners and down the straights, but the results were much the same. Hebert once again won from the pole position with Haynes in hot pursuit for a second place finish. While the battle for third was once again monumental, it was the combatants names that changed. Vincent Jackson put the nitro fuel away this weekend and spent the day wrangling his modified touring car into shape for a shot at the podium, but Sam Issacs stood in his way. Issac’s earlier club racing at this track certainly helped his cause, but Vincent Jackson is a prior ROAR National Champion and pulled no punches. Lap after lap they battled and when Issac’s rear fender got tucked, Jackson was a courteous sportsman and waited with him until it was fixed to the applause of the spectators. Just as the 13.5 main had transpired, Hebert caught this ferocious battle for third, but this time the seas parted and let him through without any disastrous effects. As Hebert headed off for victory, Issacs thanked his lucky stars for Jackson’s courteousness and held on to a 1 second gap to cross the line in third place. Again, Hebert took the win with Haynes in second, but it was Issacs who shared the podium with them. If this is any indication of the action to come at this years electric on-road paved nationals, we are in for some entertaining races.

Thanks to Greg Sharpe for the report


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