Friday, June 22, 2012
NARRA Championships Wide Open
All class championships in both the Whelen USTTC and USGTC are still up for grabs, even for those yet to compete. © ColorTechSouth.com
With half the season now done and dusted for NARRA's two national series, the US GT Championship and Whelen US TimeTrial Championship, it would be easy to assume the class championships might already be decided. Nothing could be further from the truth. With three normal events still to run consisting of two rounds each and the Finals Weekend at Watkins Glen, enough points are available for anyone to win.
Class championships in both series are determined by a driver's best six rounds of the season, plus the double points season finale on Saturday at The Glen.
Even if you haven't turned a wheel in either series yet, you have as much chance as anyone to win one of the six class championships by attending the last four events of 2012, starting with VIR (July 6-8) and followed by Monticello (Aug 24-26), Texas World (Sept 21-23) and Watkins Glen (Oct 19-21).
Of course, for those already having done a number of rounds this year, there is the advantage of having multiple rounds to choose their best six from, and the ten bonus points they receive for every extra round done above the minimum.
Bonus points are also awarded for displaying series decals, as well as those from contingency sponsors Cool Shirt, GoPro, Hoosier, Moton, Sunoco and TeamTech.
So while it's anyone's race, given this is the midway point of the season we thought we'd do the math to see how the class points are stacking up at this stage.
US GT Championship
Three perfect scores helps place Ron Farmer on top of the GT-3 table, but New Jersey newcomers David Greenman, David Ricci and Mario Boccongelli each have multiple podiums to build upon in the season's second half.
GT-2 is being led by the Vipers of 2011 runner up Kathy Stout and 2011 champion Steve Loudin. Kathy has 290 points in her favor, but that's less points than for a single race win. They'll both have to look out for the Porsche of Barry Davison, who has two wins to build on, and the Corvette of double New Jersey podium winner Peter McIntosh.
As it stands, triple round winner Nathan Stokey is leading the GT-1 points followed closely by another with three wins to his name, Frank Lussier, and Dave Moore.
The battle is even closer in the no-holds-barred Unlimited class, allowing the fastest cars in the country to compete. With four wins this season, Jim Booth is 42.5 points ahead of 2011 GT-1 champ Jim Stout, who has three wins to his name. It's very conceivable both Viper drivers will head into the final's weekend with an almost identical points score. Of course you can't discount the Corvette of George Whelen, who won at Road Atlanta, or a number of others who've had strong campaigns so far such as Michael Hartley.
Whelen US TimeTrial Championship
Friends and fellow Vette drivers, Mark Nunnally and Ben Lesnak are tied on top of the TT-3 table, while Porsche pilot David Gronke and Mitsubishi man Jeremy Deitzel are tied for second. Amazingly the top ten is only separated by 120 points, proving the championships truly are anyone's at this stage.
The consistency of continual podiums has Tanya Mazyck leading the points in TT-2, closely pursued by 2011 champ Tim Jelle. With top time-attack drivers, such as Michael Oromaner and Sharif Abdelaset, as well as NASA star Peter McIntosh in pursuit anything can happen.
Two wins and a string of podiums puts Richard Startare in a prime position in TT-1, but George MacDonald also has a win and podiums to his name. A pair of perfect scores for Troy Messer and former NFL player Dez White, can easily be built on too.
With only one win this season, Jeff Bawden leads the Unlimited class points. Given Mark Alger, Keith Anderson, Jim Booth and Kurt Hissong also have wins, nothing is certain in this class either.