PUMPKIN CARVE ENDS 2007 SEASON WITH HIGH DRAMA
Since 2003, the autocross faithful have been making an annual pilgrimage to the Cumberland Airports hallowed runways to celebrate Halloween around the bonfire, mark the end of the Mid Atlantic season and enjoy one last blast of adrenaline before long winter nights frost through the Potomac headwaters.
This years sold-out 2007 Pumpkin Carve field was light on purpose built race cars but heavy with familiar names to the Cumberland autocross world like Stoner, Gyger, Whiteman and Harris. This years Carve also hosted French speaking Francoise Bru, Keystone State flyers Dan Foley, Drew Ellis, Ethan Connor, Tim Murphy and Dan Ireland and the thunderous Capital Area Cobra Club juggernaut, intent on crowning a Cumberland season champion in their home away from home.
The weekend started wet but no rain fell after 6 AM Saturday, encouraging racers to line up early for registration and grab advantageous heat assignments in Cumberlands first come, first served system. Most chose the third heat until it filled, with a few betting that the fourth would yield the most grip.
Middletown Marylands Fred Kelley used momentum from his first Cumberland Top Five in July to lead the Cumberland Cobra Cup standings from mid-season on, but now needed to win the XP class twice at the Pumpkin Carve to hold off 2006 champ Wade Chamberlain. The two Factory-Five pilots took their personal battle to front of the field and captured the top two overall times on Saturday. Larry Casey, barely out of Cup contention but still in position to be the spoiler, made it an all-Cobra podium, capturing third fastest time. Fast Dan Foley flew silently under the radar into fourth overall in a stunningly low slung SM2 Nissan 350Z. 2007 Steel Town Corvette Club Yenko Cup champ Jim Harris, consistently the fastest Corvette at Cumberland in 2007, claimed fifth overall in typical smooth fashion.
Dawn Sunday was breezy and cooler. No grip this day, but that was of little note to the Cobra crew. Casey, self propelled from nowhere to contender in single season, served notice that he would be more than a spoiler in the future and earned his first ever Cumberland FTD, manhandling his unpainted black gel coat Cobra to a 42.884 second pass. Foleys Nissan followed only two-tenths in arrears. Chamberlain ran fastest but dirty in his effort to clinch the Cobra Cup, finishing third. Kelley fell to fourth and into a dead tie for the Cup. Francoise Bru clapped wildly down the length of the grid to celebrate a dazzling 43.520 pass in his BSP WRX, earning fifth overall to back up his Saturday PAX win.
Pittsburghs Jeff Schliffka, in his clean FS Camaro, barely edged Scott Blairs STU M3 for the Sunday PAX title.
After a quick pow-wow at timing and scoring, it was agreed to have Kelley and Chamberlain take one more run to determine a Cobra Cub winner mano-a-mano. Without announce or scoreboards to distract them, first Kelley, then Chamberlain nailed visibly equal and super quick clean laps. The pause was broken with a remarkable photo finish report. Chamberlain, running the fastest clean lap of the day at 42.855, edged Kelly by .039 in their season-long battle to be the fastest Cobra at Cumberland!
Double weekend winner in contested classes included Jim Harris (SS ZO6), Ethan Connor (BS BMW M3), Shawn Roberts (DS Mazdaspeed Protégé), Rich Biancone (ES Datsun), Rob Robeson (HS Stratus), Alex Kelley (CSP Mazda), Dan Ireland (ESP Mustang) and Dan Foley (SM2 Nissan).
Local single day winners in contested classes included Pete Harrison (Saturday AS S2000), Steve Hotchkiss (Sunday AS Corvette), John Waugaman (Saturday CS Mazda), Darrel Imhoff (Saturday GS Acura), Ed Richards (Sunday GS Jetta), Steve Wilson (Saturday ASP Porsche), Mark Boggs (Saturday DP Porsche), Joe Oxenham (Saturday STX Mustang) and Karl Loper (Sunday SM Camaro).
Local drivers in the Saturday Top 25 included Tink Phillips 7th (XP Daytona), Loper 8th, Ken Bane 12th (SM Mustang), Mike McCagh 14th (SM2 Farm Use Corvette), Harrison 15th, Gary Miller 16th (SS ZO6) and Hotchkiss 22nd.
Local drivers in the Sunday Top 25 included Hotchkiss 11th, Miller 13th, Harrison 18th, Bane 19th and Phillips 22nd.
Saturday Overall PDF
Saturday Overall HTM
Saturday Class PDF
Saturday Class HTM
Saturday PAX PDF
Saturday PAX HTM
Sunday Overall PDF
Sunday Overall HTM
Sunday Class PDF
Sunday Class HTM
Sunday PAX PDF
Sunday PAX HTM
|SPOOKY OLDS Saturday results were posted on a floating Oldsmobile station wagon at the annual Carve bonfire and brat roast.
||YOU WANT ME TO REMOVE WHAT? Doctor Mike ponders hard at the drivers meeting, sporting his alma maters hat. Photo by Ethan Connor