ICEBREAKER OPENS SEASON WITH CLASS BATTLES AT FULL BOIL
WILEY FORD, WV - The ninth edition of Cumberland Airport’s Miller Lite Autocross Series opened under threatening skies with a bevy of good friends and ended with familiar faces at the top of the overall standings.
The heat for the overcast opening weekend, however, came from wild and wooly battles waged among new drivers and new cars in the Stock classes and amazing performances by no fewer than 10 entrants in widely varied cars in BSP. A class usually dominated in Cumberland by Corvettes saw the first four Saturday places go to Nissan, Porsche, Subaru and BMW.
Despite threatening forecasts and a morning drizzle, all of Saturday’s six runs were packed in without new precipitation. Perennial FTD favorite Matt Felten covered defending Cobra Cup champ Wade Chamberlain by .563 to grab another Fast Time of the Day title, running in the third heat. Fred Kelley’s precise Cobra drive in the third was good enough for fourth overall. In the fourth, Mike Moran’s Subaru Science Experiment got within 1.075 of the younger Felten’s Reynard to grab third overall and John “The Father” Felten snagged the last slot in the Top 5, completing a family 1-2 in B Mod.
The fourth heat also capped off a mad scramble for BSP bragging rights as Frederick-based Mike Lane squired his outrageous Nissan 350Z to the class win and 9th place overall. Porsche ace Dan Dazzo and Subaru rocket man Chris Fritz settled for second and third in class – but had 11th and 13th slots in the overall standings to show for their toils in the third heat. Charles Leighty (BMW M3) and Steve Hotchkiss (L98 Corvette) also placed in the Top 20 from BSP!
Other strong Saturday runs came from B Stock winner Eldersburg’s Justin Howard (BMW M3), local C-Stock winner Ken Bane (Mazda) and Virginian Harry Newman (Subaru) in G Stock.
Even the band at Doc’s Saturday night picnic dodged the rain!
Sunday’s weather was less obliging – raining harder just after sunrise, and finally thwarting organizers creative efforts to complete the weekend’s festivities in the dry. National Road Autopsort condensed the light field into just two run groups to try and get it all in. The plan worked perfectly until a 1 PM cloudburst cleaved the rhythm of the second ground halfway through their rotation, sending most of the open cockpit drivers back to the paddock and ultimately sending many home.
Local B Mod Reynard standout Greg Honeycutt held the fastest time in the dry and that 46.750 pass stood for Sunday FTD. Matt Felten was .254 seconds back when the rains came. Mike Moran was third again, grabbing XP Sunday honors. Jake Moran continued the amazing weekend for BSP cars, finishing fourth overall in the Fritz Subaru. Fast Freddie Kelley was the fastest Cobra, fifth overall.
Strong class drives also surfaced on Sunday, including Joe Oxenham’s upset in C Stock, Odenton’s Paul Przyborski (Subaru WRX) with an 8th overall D Stock win and Doug Macy’s (Audi Quattro) 21st overall DSP winning performance.
Double contested class winners included Gary Miller (ZO6) SS, Justin Howard (BMW) BS, Meg Ellis (Mazda) ES, Doug Macy (Audi) DSP and Karl Loper (Camaro) SM.
Local single day contested class winners included Ken Bane (Mazda) Saturday CS, Joe Oxenham (Mazda) Sunday CS, Mall Felten (Reynard) Saturday BM, Greg Honeycutt (Reynard) Sunday BM.
Other local drivers in the Saturday Top 25 included Honeycutt 6th, Tink Phillips (Daytona) 10th, Fritz 13th, Miller 17th, Hotchkiss 18th, Barry Knotts (Cobra) 20th, Ken Bane 21st, Loper 22nd, and Bill Nyga (Corvette) 25th.
Other local drivers in the Sunday Top 25 included Phillips 5th, Loper 10th, Oxenham 11th, Fritz 12th, Bill Smith IV (Locost) 15th, Hotchkiss 17th, Steve Wilson (Porsche) 20th, Macy 21st, Nyga 22nd, and Ken Bane 23rd.