NASA 944Spec Road Racing: Winter in July at Barber Motorsports 2018

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Barber Motorsports Park

Barber Motorsports Park should be on every driver’s checklist. It is a world class facility and is always one of the highlight events of the season. This year was no exception with a lightning field consisting of double digit entries for 944 Spec, Spec E30 and Spec Miata. With a 3 stage start, out of class racing was minimized with lots of very close in class battles. And unlike the last race at Road Atlanta, there were 40 minutes of green flag racing both Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday

Saturday was frustrating for several drivers in 944Spec. During warmup one driver found the wall after turn 4 resulting in a bent frame. Then in qualifying Michael Morris in the 573 lost an alternator bolt which managed to shred his timing belt. And during the race 1 my frustration set in.

I started Race 1 in fifth place. Drove very well the first half of the race working my way to P3. During a pass for P2 at turn 14 I went in a little too hot and spun. I was able to get the car pointed in the right direction again but not before losing several positions. At this point the car and driver were still running strong so I recommitted to a podium finish and made contact with the field after another lap. I was about to make a pass to reclaim P4 when my car abruptly died on the front straight. Luckily I was able to coast the car out of the way and watch the rest of the race go by. And when looking at how the race played out, I more than likely would have been P1/P2 had my car not died. Instead I ended the day with a DNF. (Just a little frustrating…)

Once the 521 was back in the pits it took about 30 minutes to find the issue. Turns out the tiny screw that holds the rotor to the camshaft behind the distributor cap backed out causing my car to lose it’s spark reference. Borrowed a replacement bolt and some Loctite and it fired right up. Then I set to work on the front bumper that was pulled out during the flat tow to grid. (A little insult to injury.)


Podium: 1) John Perkins, 2) Manny Moody, 3) Jeremy Pohlman

Video Highlights:

  • 2:45 – Contact – Someone claims to have been checking gauges.
  • 6:46 – Contact – Hmmm?
  • 11:27 – Pass
  • 13:06 – Spin – I should have been more patient.
  • 15:17 – DNF – No spark, no race.
Sunday

Race 2 start was going to be a dog fight with less than 1/10th of a second separating P2 from P5. I started P4 and although I had a good start I was somewhat boxed in by turn 1 and had to yield the position. Then spent the next 2 laps driving a little defensive until the pecking order was established. Having settled firmly into P5 I began making progress up to P3. At one point an incident brought the EV out on track and I caught it at the corkscrew which added several seconds to that lap. That very well may have made the difference between a P3 and P2 finish. But I can’t complain as that is how it shakes out sometimes with racing. Worry about the things that are in your control is the way I like to view it.


Podium: 1) John Perkins, 2) Jeremy Pohlman, 3) Chris Simmons

By Chris Simmons

Chris Simmons is a race car driver, instructor, business owner and all around gearhead. His passion for motorsport started in the drifting community over 10 years ago and progressed into wheel to wheel racing of all kinds. When off track Chris can be found training and working on a myriad of projects. After a hiatus from writing, he is back to share his passion, knowledge and experience in regard to motorsports on and off the track.

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