Tim had nearly an entire season to settle into is Firman RFR-1000 # 18, and he was determined to improve on the 2nd place finish in the 2011 SARRC Southeast Division Championship. Richard unveiled a brand new Stohr F1000 # 81 in 2012 and also began the season with high aspirations. The team secured valuable sponsorships with Waterfall Security Solutions, CITSCORP and Briky and began preparing for a full racing calendar. Their extensive travels would take the team to 16 SCCA races at 7 different tracks in Eastern USA & Canada. Four of the circuits were brand new to the team. As a testament to their dedication, race preparation, hard work & support, Area 81 Racing team finished every race they entered in 2012. This is a rarity in Auto Racing at any level of competition.
Both Drivers competed in SCCA National level races while earning 3 podiums & finishing in the top 4 in each race. The National SCCA participation met the requirements for SCCA Pro Competition licensing and the team garnered solid results in the short-lived Formula 1000 Championship Pro Series. The team finished in the top 10 at Mosport, Canada and New Jersey Motorsports Park. A 2nd place podium finish at New Jersey was a major highlight of the year.
The 2012 SARRC Southeast Division Championship became the focus after the demise of the Formula 1000 Pro Series. Both drivers were in the mix for the Championship by posting 8 SARRC Race Wins (4 wins each), four 2nds and two 3rd place finishes, for a Total 15 Podiums! Car 81 also won the season-ending SARRC Invitational Challenge Race. Once the final points were tallied, Area 81 Racing placed 2nd and 4th in the 2012 SARRC Southeast Division SCCA Points Championship.
Although Area 81 Racing enjoyed increasing success in 2012, the team also overcame a great deal of adversity. Richard struggled to get comfortable in the cockpit of his Stohr and it took a few races to acclimate to the intense acceleration, handling & braking characteristics of the F1000. Tim’s Firman RFR-1000 was challenged with a suspension failure early at New Jersey, and the team worked hard to repair it so he could make the race. Later in the season, Tim suffered a blown engine at the start of the SARRC Invitational Challenge weekend. The entire Area 81 team pitched in and worked throughout the weekend to insure he made the race. Tim took the green flag and finished in 4th position.
Area 81 Racing earned valuable exposure for their Sponsors while being featured in local broadcasts of WWAY News Channel 3, News 14 Carolina TV and internet interviews on TheSouthernDriver.com and eFormulaCarNews.com. Throughout 2012, the team’s website www.Area81Racing.com received over 11,588 views. With help from our Crew Chief – Hawk Hibbs; The team now enjoys a large following on the Area 81 Racing Facebook page. In addition, over 2100 individuals watched the team’s exciting YouTube in-car videos. The Area 81 cars & drivers were the talk-of-the-town during appearances at Hooters – Whitby, Canada, Wilmington Cub Scout Regional Pinewood Derby Race and ElecMech/Briky’s Annual BBQ.
The team is in the planning stages of next year’s racing calendar and 2013 promises to be just as exciting. Look for the Area 81 Racing 2013 Calendar to be published soon. The calendar is expected to include SCCA races at Watkins Glen, New York; New Jersey Motorsports Park – Millville, NJ; VIR – Alton, Virginia; CMS – Charlotte, North Carolina; CMP -Kershaw, South Carolina; Roebling Road – Savannah, Georgia and the Circuit of America’s (COTA) Formula 1 track in Austin, TX. The team is also considering racing at Barber Motorsports Park – Birmingham, Alabama.
Lastly, our successes would not be possible without the support of Waterfall Security Solutions, CITSCORP, Briky, the whole Area 81 Racing Crew, and our families. We want to THANK YOU for your support as we look forward to a great 2013!
Richard Franklin – Team Principal
Tim Pierce – Team Principal