|Wade Unplugs, Felten Off-The-Hook Fast At 2010 Cumberland Autocross Lid Lifter.
WILEY FORD, WV – Blue skies and mild temperatures greeted a field of 163 entries at the 2010 Miller Lite Cumberland Airport Autocross Series Icebreaker – opening round of National Road Autosports’ eighth season of sports car competition on the legendary Cumberland Regional Airport tarmac.
Virginia Cobra pilot Wade Chamberlain returned from his dominant performance at last year’s season closing Pumpkin Carve event with an entirely new set-up under his XP class Factory Five racer, ditching his familiar supercharged, fat-tired formula for fuel injection and a lighter narrower wheel/tire combination.
On Saturday, newly nicknamed “Mr. Natural” turned out to be as strong as ever. Running in the middle of the third group, Chamberlain assaulted Matt Felten’s second run group time of 50.665 seconds, eventually nipping the Cumberland B Mod Reynard racer’s time by .104 second to gain yet another Cumberland FTD. The rising fortunes of Leesburg Virginia based Smith Racing also continued from last season, as Doug Smith scored his best-to-date Cumberland finish in third, .831 seconds back. Multi-time FTD Jeff Duncan’s Ultralite was another two-tenths back, barely squeezing out Mike Moran’s Hagerstown-based Subaru for fourth.
With weather cooperating for a second straight day (rare among recent Cumberland competition weekends), Felten went off the hook on Mark Boggs’ opened-up Sunday course and posted the day’s only time in the 48-second range – leaving everyone in the third and fourth groups playing Catch Me If You Can. Greg Honeycutt, Duncan and Doug Smith all got under 50 seconds but ended up no closer than .772 behind Felten. This set the stage for Mike Moran to make yet another go at his overdue picture on the wall of the Runway Café. Running early in the fourth, Moran served notice that he had a shot. Driving deep as he dared (and then some) Moran ended up second overall – secure in the knowledge that he left nothing on the table in Moran Racing’s outrageously developed Impreza sedan – but still looking for that day when everything falls into place for a Cumberland FTD.
With Jim Harris moving to ASP, the Icebreaker SS battle went down to the wire both days. Pittsburgh’s Randy Pearson in a ZO6 squeezed by the Lotus Elise team of Chris and Loretta More in his last run, late in the fourth heat. On Sunday, Cumberland driver Gary Miller’s Z06 appeared to have the class locked when Central PA SCCA driver Don Wilson nosed under his time to win SS in his last run, also late in the fourth.
B Stock was a split decision with Porsche winning Saturday in the hands of Kenny Sorenson. On Sunday, Ron Dotts gained revenge with a killer lap in this Corvette Gran Sport pushing Sorenson to second. F Stock was a wild weekend fight among Pittsburgh area drivers with Jeff Schliffka’s Camaro winning Saturday on his last run in fourth. On Sunday Mustang driver Robert Killmer’s second group pass held up for the win.
Double winners in contested classes included Rob Robeson (CS Mazda), Meg Ellis (ES Mazda), Bill Nyga (BSP Corvette), Doug Macy (DSP Audi), Joe Oxenham (ESP Mustang), Paul Przyborski (FSP BMW), Matt Felten (BM Reynard), Jonathan Claypool (STU Mitsubishi) and Karl Loper (SM Camaro).
Other local drivers in the Saturday Top 25 included Honeycutt 6th, John Felten (BM Reynard) 8th, Barry Knotts (XP Cobra) 17th, Miller 19th, Tink Phillips (XP Daytona) 23rd and Loper 24th. Other Sunday Top 25 drivers included Knotts 12th, John Felten 16th, Phillips 17th, Miller 18th, Pete Harrison (BS Honda) 20th, and Loper 21st.