After missing rounds 5 & 6 of the North American F1000 Championship in Pittsburgh, Waterfall/Area 81 Racing was back in action for rounds 7 & 8 at the Watkins Glen Hoosier Super Tour event over the weekend. Tim Pierce and the Car 18 crew escaped the heat of the south in favor of cool summer racing in upstate New York. The 13 hour trek paid dividends in the form of two 4th place finishes in the series.
The Willwood Brakes Tough Brake Award is given to the 4th place driver, but the tough brakes began much earlier in the week. The crew experienced an air conditioner failure in the tow vehicle in Washington D.C. traffic on Wednesday. Just north of Baltimore they had a tire blowout resulting in a two hour delay. The drama continued after the crew reached the track, as the recurring clogged fuel injector issue popped up again during test session 2 on Thursday. It would take the rest of the day to resolve, resulting in the loss of valuable opportunities to learn the track. The afternoon qualifying session of Friday was plagued by heavy rain leaving many competitors to watch from the paddock.
Patience and determination were rewarded on Saturday when Tim gained over seven seconds in the morning qualifying session, which placed him 6th on the starting grid for Race 1. He passed four cars at the green flag and was in 3rd place for much of the race. His tires deteriorated around lap 8 as he fell to 4th. A full course caution came for the remainder of the race, robbing him the opportunity to push for the podium. Another opportunity was lost during Race 2 on Sunday afternoon, as he was held up for several laps by a competitor in another class. With only a few laps remaining Tim put together several fast laps in pursuit of the podium, shaving 3 seconds from his personal best lap, but it was too late.
Tim Pierce, Car 18 – “We were plagued by mechanical issues before we even arrived at the track and it continued throughout the test day. However they were no match for lead mechanic, Denis Schembri. He also served as crew chief this weekend and gave me confidence we could overcome anything the car tossed our way. I missed three sessions due to the rain and mechanical issues, which put me behind the learning curve. Everything finally came together in Race 2 and I felt comfortable and fast. It’s too bad there isn’t another race here tomorrow. This was my first time racing at Watkins Glen and it was an honor to compete at such a beautiful historic track. I’m thankful that I can cross this one off my bucket list. The weather was great for most of the weekend and the view from the track was gorgeous.”
Special thanks to our Area 81 Racing sponsors Waterfall Security Solutions, The Franklin Insurance Agency, and Briky Coolers. The next race on the SCCA U.S. Majors Tour is the Bud Merrrill Memorial at Roebling Road Raceway in Bloomingdale, GA. Stay tuned to www.Area81Racing.com and our FaceBook Page → https://www.facebook.com/Area-81-Racing-Team-173745692673454/ for highlights.