RISING TIDE LIFTS ALL BOATS AT HOTLY CONTESTED HISTORICS
WILEY FORD, WV – It wouldn’t be June in the Potomac Highlands without National Road Autosport’s Cumberland Airport Historics and the Saturday “Long Course” – an annual tribute to the sports car pioneers who raced at the airport half a century ago. Continuing a pattern set in at the season opener, the 2011 Historics featured an increasing level of intensity for both overall supremacy and class wins.
As Saturday morning mist burned away, the normal six-run rhythm of Cumberland changed into an extended exercise in three-run concentration. Laps as long as 90 seconds were the order of the day in early running. In the second group, Matt Felten’s B Mod Reynard laid down an early pass in the 67.4 sec range that stood for FTD. Greg Honeycutt whittled his way down into the 67’s but came up .27 sec short and finished second overall. Wade Chamberlain continued his Cumberland magic in the third, running day’s fastest raw time of 67.077 with cones, but settled for 67.9 clean third place. Gary Hughes celebrated his return to CBE with a fourth best 68.752 (after a 67.6 dirty run). John Felten the Elder grabbed the final Top Five spot with the low 69 second pass, also in the third heat.
Like the season opening Icebreaker, the Historics battle was joined with gusto in Street Prepared. SP cars finished an astounding 8th through 12th overall, led by Jim Harris’ 3rd-place pax finishing ASP ZO6. Then, in order Mike Moran (Subaru), Mike Lane (Nissan), and Dan Dazzo (Porsche) comprised the podium in BSP. Brian Hair’s ASP BWM 03 was twelfth overall.
Pausing overnight long enough to raise $3,300 for the Allegany County Animal Shelter Foundation, racers awoke to a still longish but more familiar Mark Boggs course on Sunday.
The FTD chase pattern was the same, with the younger Felten establishing the mark for third heat drivers to chase. This time, running in the third, Greg Honeycutt and Gary Hughes methodically ran Felten down, with Hughes leading after the fifth pass, sitting on FTD despite faster raw runs from still-cone-cursed Chamberlain. On their last pass, Honeycutt nosed down into the 52.4’s and Hughes drove away from the stop box looking at a time in the 51-second range only to hear a late cone call come ringing over the PA, handing the FTD title to Honeycutt. The Top 3 were separated by mere .177 seconds. XP winner Mike Moran was fourth and Fred Kelley – his third Top 5 in four events this season.
Sunday also featured some big class wins as local driver Gary Miller edged DC SCCA driver Phil Dame and Central PA’s Don Wilson in a battle of Super Stock ZO6’s. Paul Przyborski edged experienced driver Jim Shebest in D Stock and local driver Chris Fritz bested the beastly BSP hoard for his first Cumberland class win of the season.
Two-day winners in contested classes included Gary Miller (SS ZO6), Ron Dotts (BS Corvette), Rob Robeson (CS RX8), Paul Przyborski (DS WRX), Jeffrey Geiger (FS Camaro), Alex Redding (HS MGB-GT), Jim Harris (ASP ZO6), and Dan Henning (ST Honda).
Local drivers with single wins in contested classes included Meg Ellis (Saturday ES Miata), Joe Oxenham (Sunday ES Miata), Ted Haines (Sunday GS Mustang), Chris Fritz (Sunday BSP WRX), Matt Felten (Saturday BM Reynard), Greg Honeycutt (Sunday BM Reynard) and Karl Loper (Sunday SM Camaro).
Other local drivers in the Saturday Top 25 included Chris Fritz 16th, Barry Knotts 21st, Bill Smith IV 23rd and Steve Hotchkiss 25th.
Other local drivers in the Sunday Top 25 included Tink Phillips 11th, Fritz 12th, John Felten 13th, Knotts 14th, Gary Miller 19th, Bill Smith IV 21st, Mark Boggs 23rd, and Karl Loper 25th.