RACE: 12 Hours at the Point replay. part II

Kumho Tires 12 Hours at the Point: Hour-by-Hour reconstruction Part 2 of 2 4PM to 5PM: By this time, the track was extremely wet and standing water was almost everywhere. The rain started to let up halfway through the hour and by the close of...

Kumho Tires 12 Hours at the Point: Hour-by-Hour reconstruction

Part 2 of 2

4PM to 5PM: By this time, the track was extremely wet and standing water was almost everywhere. The rain started to let up halfway through the hour and by the close of the hour, the precipitation had diminished to a light sprinkle. On the back of the rain, however, came the lightening and literally as the hour was closing, there were several nearby cloud-to-ground strikes.

With 182 laps completed, the OG Racing Porsche still was in the lead. One lap down, second overall and in ITE, was the Craftsman Auto Mazda. One lap back from them was the Trane ITA Honda. Despite the rain, the Arrested Adolescents Honda of Peterson/Peterson/Roth was running a tremendous pace. With five hours completed, the team had 180 laps down and still was on a pace to challenge their distance-covered record!

ITS cars sat in fourth through sixth overall and each was a lap down on the car leading them. As 5PM hit, the ITS order was the Motorsport Auto Datsun, the American Engineering & Testing Mazda and the Legg Mason Funds BMW.

Six laps back from the race leader, the RC Imports Mercedes held seventh overall, third in ITE, but they were being challenged by a duo of SpecMiatas that only wanted the Mercedes to either break-away or fall back from the SpecMiata battle.

The running order in SpecMiata as the hour ended was the Kroger Supermarkets Miata and the RP Performance Miata. One lap back, the Hohn Motorsports Miata of Hohn/Whitney/Martin had cracked the class top three and the overall top ten.

In SRX7, with a one-lap lead, the class leader still was the Ferrari of Charles Town RX7. The Sgt. Pepper's Racing RX7 of Austin/McCartney/Kommit/Bussink had moved into second.

At the end of the fifth hour, the score stood Summit Point Raceway: 4, Racecars: 50.

5PM to 6PM.

Lightening forced a race stoppage shortly after the start of the sixth hour and kept the track shut down for most of the hour. The black-flag all went out shortly after the start of the hour and it came none to soon for the Hohn Motorsports Miata that planted itself into the turn 1 gravel. The Miata lost a lap in the gravel and three positions in class.

At the end of the sixth hour, the score stood Summit Point Raceway: 4, Racecars: 50.

6PM to 7PM: The track was still wet when racing resumed, but at least the rain had stopped as twilight approached. Up-front, the OG Racing Porsche continued to lead and had circumnavigated the course 218 times. The team had added another lap to their lead over the ITE Craftsman Miata holding second place.

Last hour's third place car, the Trane/American Standard Honda of Arrested Adolescents Racing, however, was nowhere in the top ten. As the hour was closing, the Honda took an off-course excursion going down The Chute and rolled. The driver was OK and the team still held an eleven-lap lead in ITA over the Speeds Indoor Racing RX7. The Arrested Adolescents Racing team was frantically trying to repair the damage from the crash and the Speeds Indoor Racing RX7 was making the most of the lengthy repair. Benefiting from the crash was the ITS-leading Motorsport Auto Datsun that held a narrow 10-second lead over the ITS American Engineering & Testing Miata.

The next four positions, none of whom were within easy striking distance were held by the ITS Legg Mason Funds BMW, the Kroger Supermarkets SpecMiata, the ITE RC Imports Mercedes, the RP Performance SpecMiata.

Ninth and tenth overall were involved in a terrific fight for, not only the overall positions, but also third/fourth in Spec Miata. As the hour closed, the Sweeny & Sons SpecMiata held a less than one-second lead over the Driven Performance Miata.

The SSC battle had narrowed and the Forward Motion Neon now held a narrow fifteen-second lead over the Kumho Neon.

In SRX7, the Sgt. Peppers Racing RX7 had moved past the Ferrari of Charles Town RX7. Sitting well behind the leaders was the RP Performance RX7.

At the end of the seventh hour, the score stood Summit Point Raceway: 7, Racecars: 47.

7PM to 8PM: As the final hour of twilight closed, the top four positions remained unchanged. The RC Imports Mercedes, however, had gained two overall positions and was sitting in fifth. Two laps behind the Mercedes sat the SpecMiata-leading Kroger Supermarkets Miata and fourteen seconds behind the Miata, the Legg Mason BMW was trying to makeup time on the second place ITS car. Rounding out the top ten we had -- the RP Performance SpecMiata, the Driven Performance SpecMiata and a very hard charging Hohn Motorsports Spec Miata.

In SSC, the Kumho Neon had moved into the lead and put a lap on the second place Forward Motion Neon. The four-time SSC winner 3J's-Wild Child Nissan had moved into third place.

In ITA, the Speeds Indoor Racing RX7 had moved into the lead of the class, and Car 41 had also moved passed the damaged Trane Honda. The Trane Honda had completed repairs and was rapidly making up for lost time Rejoining the field, after pitting early in the second hour of the race was the S&S Motorsports Firebird. The team was last, more than 200 laps down on the leaders and nearly 100 laps down on the next car running, but they were back on the track and moving fast. One way or another, they were going to see the checkered flag.

At the end of the eighth hour, the score stood Summit Point Raceway: 6, Racecars: 48.

8PM to 9PM: With overcast skies blocking any light from the night skies, darkness fell on Summit Point and teams were starting to fight with electrical systems that just were not up to the task of lighting the nighttime. Up-front, the OG Racing Porsche had 284 laps recorded and had opened up a four-lap lead over the second place, ITS-leading American Engineering & Testing Miata. The ITE Craftsman Auto Miata had given up the ghost during the hour and the car would not be seen again during this year's race.

Third overall, forty-one seconds back, stood last hour's ITS-leading Motorsport Auto Datsun. The Datsun held a four-lap lead over the ITS Legg Mason Funds BMW. Nineteen seconds behind the BMW sat the RC Imports Mercedes.

Rounding-out the top-ten was the Army of SpecMiatas. During the hour, the RP Performance SpecMiata had moved past, and put down one lap, the Kroger Supermarkets Miata. The Driven Performance Miata sat two laps back from the class leader. One lap behind them, the Sweeney & Sons Miata was keeping a one-lap lead over the York Automotive Miata of Bad Al Bell/Sharp/Cage/Sharp.

In ITB, trouble had hit the Auto Centre Racing VW and the team fell to second in class behind the C&G Performance BMW. The cars were separated by less than one second and neither team was ready to surrender the class victory.

In SSC, Forward Motion had regained the lead over the Kumho Neon. In SRX7, Ferrari of Charles Town had moved back into the lead over Sgt. Peppers Racing.

At the end of the ninth hour, the score stood Summit Point Raceway: 8, Racecars: 46.

9PM to 10PM: With true darkness now in full force, the OG Racing Porsche remained in the lead with 324 laps completed and five laps over second place. The Motorsport Auto Datsun had regained the ITS lead, but the American Engineering & Testing Miata was only thirteen seconds behind. Any stumble by the Datsun was going to cost it the lead in class.

Trouble had hit the fourth place Legg Mason Funds BMW during the hour and the team was not going to see the checkered flag. The RC Imports Mercedes had gained the position and was the last ITE car still running. Three laps back were the SpecMiatas of RP Performance, Kroger Supermarkets and Driven Performance. Four laps behind was yet another Miata, the Hohn Motorsports Miata. Three seconds behind them, the ITS York Automotive BMW had moved back into the top ten and the top three in ITS. The Sweeny and Sons Miata and the York Automotive Miata rounded out the top ten. In ITB, the Auto Centre VW had recovered from their earlier stumble and opened up a two-lap lead over the C&G BMW. Twenty-two laps back, the Autoy Inc. BMW held a four-lap lead over the Manassas Motorwerkes BMW of Vikkila/Willis/Willis.

In SRX7, the Ferrari of Charles Town SRX7 fell to third in class due to a length pit stop and, at the hour mark, was not running. The Sgt. Pepper's Racing SRX7 held a comfortable eleven-lap lead over the second place RP Performance RX7.

At the end of the tenth hour, the score stood Summit Point Raceway: 11, Racecars: 43.

10PM to 11PM: During the darkness, the American Engineering & Testing Miata moved passed the Motorsport Auto Datsun and had opened a two-lap gap. The ITE RC Imports Mercedes still held fourth, seven laps down from the race leaders and one lap down on the Datsun.

SpecMiatas held the next five spots. Fifth overall, the Kroger Supermarkets Miata had moved past the RP Performance Miata, but both cars were still on the same lap. One lap down sat the Driven Performance Miata who held a two-lap lead over the Sweeny & Sons car. Sweeny in turn held a two-lap lead over the Hohn Motorsports Miata. The leaders in the class were treating the 12 Hours at the Point like a twelve-hour sprint race and if anyone made a mistake, it was going to cost them positions. Tenth overall, and third in ITS, sat the York Automotive BMW.

In the back of the field, the S&S Motorsports Firebird had worked its way into fifty-first position and it seemed that there would be a very good chance that the team would see the checker.

At the end of hour eleven, the score stood Summit Point Raceway: 14, Racecars: 40.

11PM to Midnight: When the checkered fell, the first seven positions remained unchanged from the previous hour. Dragging the muffler in spark-filled final laps, the ITS York Automotive BMW had picked up two positions overall and finished eighth overall. The Hohn Motorsports SpecMiata moved past the Sweeny & Sons SpecMiata to claim ninth-overall. Only a few seconds behind the Sweeny Miata, in eleventh overall, sat the York Automotive SpecMiata.

When the checkered flag fell, the score stood Summit Point Raceway:12, Racecars:42.

The field for the 5th Annual Kumho Tires 12 Hours at the Point was the largest yet to start the race and, due to SCCA rules and pit constraints, cannot get much larger. It also was the most competitive field we have yet seen. The quality and preparation of the teams has increased each year of the event and this year showed that, to win, you must come prepared to run a hard pace for the entire twelve hours. The number of dual-license -SCCAPro and Club -- was higher this year than in any previous year, and is only going to increase as the event continues to gain prestige.

Congratulations and thanks to everyone who participated in the 5th Annual Kumho Tires 12 Hours at the Point. We hope you had a good time and that you will come back next year.

Part I

-dc region/jj-

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