11 racers started the previous race; 11 racers started round 3, showing how popular this event is within the club. Extremely tight racing matched with dream cars makes for a good turnout. It also helped that the biting cold, so recently holding Austin (and our track building) in its grip, had wandered away, making tire choice an easy decision. F30’s were out in force.
Heat 1 kicked off with David setting the early pace to beat, rounding the track 74 times in the 5 minute period. Steve and Alejandro had a blistering race until Steve’s crown gear chewed itself to nubbins and the car began exiting corners like a dinosaur caught in a tar pit. Luckily, Steve wasn’t racing in heat 2, so he was able to repair the gear and continue later.
Heat 2 saw the return of Randy to the track after undergoing hip surgery, and his Toyota set some excellent laps to pace the Group B field. Any thought that David’s heat 1 pace was a fluke was destroyed in heat 2 as he posted 77 laps during the session. It was plain that the winner was going to be not only the fastest racer, but also the one who was the most error-free.
As David sat down, scheduled to finish his assault on the win in the final round, Ary was the first of the Group A racers to make a serious attempt to dig into David’s lead – and with two great heats had tied for the lead. A final 76 lap heat 5 had Ary sitting atop the leader board.
While that drama was unfolding, John was fighting a strong battle with Russell, eventually taking the Group B win over Erik by 4 laps.
With 3 heats to go, the pressure was building for David to run a perfect final heat. All he could do was watch as Marty piloted his Porsche to a strong 76.75-lap 9th heat followed by a crushing 77-lap 10th heat. Coming into heat 11, the win could go to Ary, Marty or David…depending on how the latter two completed the final session. As the heat wound down and the laps mounted, all eyes watched the clock and tried to calculate if Marty or David could make enough laps to take the win. When the power switched off, Marty and his Porsche proved to be supremely fast, and with another 77 lap heat, took the win. Ary held on for 2nd place, a mere two-tenths of a lap ahead of David.
So while Marty retains the championship lead in Group A, he has no option but to keep posting fast sessions because the competition is viciously nipping at his heels. In Group B, John continued his great run, winning his third event on the trot and capturing the fast lap for all three sessions as well.