Waterfall/Area 81 Racing teammates Tim Pierce & Richard Franklin braved the heat of fierce competition to finished 4th and 6th respectively at NJMP. With a number of Waterfall Security Solution guests in attendance, the team once again put on a thrilling show of talent and perseverance. Their performance was somewhat similar on Sunday’s Race 2 as the team battled sunny 98 degree weather for much of the weekend.
Tim took the Friday AM qualifying session to get himself reacquainted with the track. Adjustments and more track time put the Firman 6th, with Richard just behind in 7th. The grid was set for two spectacular races, as 5 – F1000’s were within 1/2 second in lap time.
On Saturday, the 32 car field took the green flag along the front straight, and both Area 81 teammates had great launches and advanced several positions. With a mindset to pull out of striking distance from Car 81, Tim drove to put some distance between the two of them. An incident brought out a full course caution and the edge evaporated as the field assumed formation for the restart. The next few laps showcased the talent & respect of the two Area 81 Racing drivers. They passed one another back & forth along the front straight and in turns 1, 4 and 7. Unfortunately, a few laps later, a large chunk of debris lodged in Richard’s front wing and slowed his progress. A separate turn 7 incident sent Richard into the grass as Tim cautiously made his way through a cloud of dust to finish in 4th. Minus the right hand mirror, Richard dueled with another F1000 competitor, but managed to keep him behind to finish 6th.
Sunday’s Race grid was determined by times from qualifying on Friday afternoon and best lap from Saturday’s race. Tim & Richard were 6th and 7th on the grid. Once again Tim launched Car 18 ahead of several competitors at the start, and passed two F1000’s, to finish just shy of the podium. Richard battled a slightly understeering car to persevere in 7th. He was gaining on 2 – F1000’s when the race was shortened by 5 laps for separate yellow flag incidents as disabled cars blocked the track.
Tim Pierce, Car 18 – “It was so hot, the grid workers wanted to take away my Briky personal cooling blower. I was excited to see the local guys celebrate on the podium because they deserved it, but I was also a little disappointed because I felt like I was closing in on 3rd at the end of both races. Race 2 was stopped several laps ahead of the 22 scheduled because of an accident blocking part of the course. I am thankful to my crew for helping me to have a competitive car and I am proud of my driving effort. The team was able to put on an entertaining performance for our good friends in attendance from PSEG. My George Dean Racing Engine ran flawlessly in abusive heat and after 16 races.
Richard Franklin, Car 81- “Wow, what a weekend. Along with strong competitors, I battled the heat, an overheating engine, an under-steering car, plus main battery power issues. Saturday, a large chunk of fiberglass debris lodged in my front wing and it took a lap to clear, slowing my progress through the field. For Sunday, I think the NJMP track just tightened up, probably due to rubber building up over the weekend. As a result, I found myself with a quicker, but still under-steering car, despite reducing rear wing down-force. The SCCA Majors tour attracts the fiercest competitors and the high level of competition makes our team that much stronger. Tim & I have proved that Area 81 Racing team is knocking on the door for podiums. I’m really looking forward to the big SCCA Major event at Watkins Glen next month.“
See Saturday’s eventful race video from Car 18
The next race on the Area 81 Racing calendar is the SCCA BF Goodrich Super Tour Major at Watkins Glen July 5-7th. Stay tuned to www.Area81Racing.com , and be sure to like us on FaceBook à https://www.facebook.com/pages/Area-81-Racing-Team/173745692673454 or follow us on twitter à https://twitter.com/Area81Racing