SOMETHING BORROWED. SOMETHING BLUE. AND SOMETHING NEW TOO.
Last weekend saw Cumberland Airport Autocross reach an impressive milestone, as the group kicked off its tenth year of racing. First up on the schedule for the tenth anniversary season was the Icebreaker, as new drivers and longtime regulars made their way out to the airport to enjoy two days of autocrossing. Drivers familiar with Cumberland were in for a surprise—organizers decided to mix things up a bit, and asked Mike Moran and Larry Casey take a crack at designing the courses for the weekend.
70 Cars ran in 3 heats on Saturday. Heat one started in the sunshine, and ended mostly cloudy. Jonathan Claypool laid down a 51.093 run in his street tire STU Mitsubishi Evo that would hold up all day as the fastest street tire class run, 10th in Raw Time and 3rd in Pax. Brian Karwan finished second in heat 1, a scant .566 seconds behind the fast Evo in his STR Honda S2000.
The second heat was highlighted by blistering runs led by Mike Lane (BSP Nissan), and closely followed Randy Pearson (SS Corvette Z06) and Matt Felten (BM Reynard).
Heat three started out partly cloudy, with Wade Chamberlain (XP Cobra), Fred Kelley (BM Van-Diemen), Gary Hughes (EM Lotus-Stalker), and local favorite Tink Phillips (XP Cobra Daytona Coupe) muscling their way quickly onto the leaderboard in 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 9th places in raw time. But after four timed runs, the skies opened with a quick but hard rain shower that washed away any chance of knocking Mike Lane off the top step of the podium. Chamberlain finished 0.465 behind Lane, and Kelley wound up third.
Third heat drivers could only wonder what they could have done with two more dry runs, as Saturday’s runs were cut short when most of the drivers ran for shelter.
The top three local finishers on Saturday were Matt Felten in 5th, Tink Phillips in 9th, and Gary Miller in 13th.
Day Two of the Icebreaker dawned to a lightly overcast Sunday, but conditions would warm over the course of the morning. Many close contests of speed were to be found throughout the day, with some new dark horses coming into their own. In total, 55 entries answered the call.
In B-Modified, the wings’n’things were fighting it out with class newcomer Fred Kelly, who was doing his best to take the class—despite disadvantageous gear ratios. But in the end, Kelly could not overcome his very tall first gear and would have to play second fiddle to reigning class leader, Matt Felten.
X-Prepared had its own tight race, which took on a bridal theme. Three “old” hands at CBE—Mike Moran, Larry Casey, and Wade Chamberlain—ran Mike and Larry’s “new” course in Wade’s “borrowed” Cobra—which is also blue, for good measure. Wade agreed to loan out his car on the condition that they run the Cobra on Larry’s tires. The three would-be blushing brides battled for XP dominance, with Moran in the first heat, Casey in the second, and Chamberlain finishing the day in the third heat. In the end Moran squeaked out a victory by 0.373 seconds, not only securing an XP victory, but FTD as well. Chamberlain finished fourth behind Matt Felten in second, and Fred Kelley third in his new-to-him Van Damian.
B-Stock action saw a new class winner, Jeffery Geiger, who took home the victory by a margin of 0.27 seconds to second place Pete Harrison. In Super-Stock action, the dueling Z06 Corvettes of Randy Pearson and Gary Miller duked it out, with Pearson winning by a margin of 0.384 seconds.
Local drivers joining Matt Felten (2nd) in the top 20 were Gary Miller 8th, Tink Phillips 10th, Barry Knotts 12th, John Felten 13th, Karl Loper 14th, Jeffry Geiger 17th, Bill Smith IV 19th, and Pete Harrison 20th.
Two day winners were: Randy Pearson, Pittsburgh, SS; Ken Bane, Keyser, CS; Shaun Rockwell, Fairmont, DS; Ted Haines, Cumberland, GS; Steve Wade, Cumberland, DSP; Herb Smith, Leesburg, VA, ESP; Joe Oxenham, Gaithersburg, STS; Jonathan Claypool, Huntingdon, PA, STU; Steve Wilson, Frostburg, EP; Karl Loper, Rawlings, SM; Gary Hughes, Fairfax Station, VA, E Mod.
Next month we’ll see how the competitors take to the Historics Long Course on Saturday, June 9th. Remember to reserve early on MyAutoEvents.com as the field will be limited to 75 entries!