SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW, NOT SO MUCH BLUE AT SPEED WEEK
WILEY FORD, WV – Three days of ultra-competitive autocrossing on a trio of flowing fast courses wrapped up the 2010 edition of National Road Autosport’s annual ten-day long Speed Week celebration.
DEVIL’S DUEL SHOOT OUT
On Friday night, Devil’s Duel V - promoted this year as a blue “Top Gun” icon on industrial strength orange shirts issued to volunteers and racers - featured a group of competitors from the vaunted Capital Area Cobra Club Racing Team against a hand picked rogues gallery of rapid ringers. The fastest of these Airport All Stars - Mike Moran, Brian Karwan, Jason Becker, Jeff Duncan, Jim Harris, Gary Hughes, Ron Dotts and Danny Kao were on their game and covered the CACC Elite Eight to retain their crystal bowl Devil’s Duel trophy.
Racing in the NCAA-style eliminator brackets continued to evolve format in 2010. Organizers ran the brackets “dark” with no timing lights or announce to decrease the advantage of going second in the match races, the choice going to the racer who was faster in the round before. Cobra qualifiers Casey, Kelley, Chamberlain, Doug Smith, Knotts, Phillips, Lambiotte and Schmidt were all gone by the semi’s save for Fast Freddie Kelley who seemed poised to shake his Top Gun albatross and add a King of the Hill trophy to his growing collection of racing laurels.
T’was not to be, though. Brian Karwan’s knack for driving his national-caliber SCCA SMF class Civic consistently in the low 43-second range pushed him past his business associate and Frederick area friend in the final round - 43.123 to 43.141. By a scant .018 second, the four-year Cobra claim on King Of The Hill became history.
SATURDAY TOP FIVE
Turns out, the fun had just begun. Speed Week Saturday somehow ran at an accelerated pace all day. With many of the new generation airport volunteers stepping into operating roles usually reserved for NRA greybeards (fading under the pace or off racing elsewhere), the day’s competition ran like a clock. Jason Becker’s M-Coupe set the early bar at 42.437 on another popular Boggs “minimalist course”. Through the third group, Becker’s time withstood solid runs from Larry Casey at 42.450 and Fred Kelley at 42.520, but fell at the end to Greg Honeycutt’s smokin’ 42.249.
The stage was set for a familiar script that everyone knew would one day turn out differently. Conditions were good and Mike Moran’s amazing Subaru was ready - new lightweight wide body wheel/tire combo, perfectly cycled – sun shining – Mike on his game. On his last run of the day, Moran broke through. Framed by a great call from announcer Joe Oxenham, the popular Pennsylvania driver claimed a well-deserved FTD with a seemingly perfect 42.199 pass.
SUNDAY TOP FIVE
Speed Week was finally down to Speed Day. With some of the usual suspects already trailered down the road to catch a WDCR points event at Fed Ex Field, the upper slots in a field of 63 were up for grabs.
Matt Felten’s Reynard at 40.974, All Star Gary Hughes at 42.382 and Wade Chamberlain at 42.702 were the top three at the end of the third group, with Saturday first and second place Moran and Honeycutt still to run in the fourth. But on this day conditions did not favor their position. As the morning cloud cover burned off, Mother Nature over-corrected and things were sizzling and greasy by early afternoon. Moran mustered only fourth best and Honeycutt ended .825 short of Felten for second overall. Mark Boggs fourth group stand-in drive in the Team Felten Reynard was also of note, good for 7th overall at 43.212.
Two-day winners in contested classes included Gary Miller (SS Z06), Geoff Craig (BS Porsche), Jeff Fields (GS Genesis), Dick Wallace (HS Mazda), Paul Przyborski (FSP BMW), Mike Moran (XP Subaru), Gary Hughes (EM Stalker) and Karl Loper (SM Camaro).
Single day local winners in contested classes included Greg Honeycutt (BM Saturday), Matt Felten (BM Sunday), Doug Macy (DSP Saturday), Steve Wade (BSP Sunday), Bill Smith IV (AM Saturday), Chris Fritz (BSP Sunday), and Jeffrey Geiger (FS, Sunday).
Other local drivers in the Saturday Top 25 included John Felten 8th, Tink Phillips (XP Daytona) 13th, Loper 14th, Ken Bane (SM Mustang) 18th, Miller 20th, Pete Harrison (BS Honda) 23rd.
Other local driver in the Sunday Top 25 included Boggs 7th, Phillips 8th, Loper 14th, Miller 15th, Fritz 16th, Harrison 19th, Bane 20th and Steve Lutz (DP Porsche) 21st.
Saturday Overall PDF
Saturday Class PDF
Saturday PAX PDF
Sunday Overall PDF
Sunday Class PDF
Sunday PAX PDF