Road Atlanta Racer Magazine 100 Battles Wintery Blast

Posted by bbaytos on 3/13/2017 to News
Road Atlanta Racer Magazine 100 Battles Wintery Blast
    Road Atlanta Racer Magazine 100 Battles Wintery Blast

For Immediate Release:                        

        From Pawleys Island, SC. Mar 13, 2017 -The GPfour Racer Magazine 100 was challenged by a late wintery burst of weather at Road Atlanta for Rounds five and six of The GPfour South Series. The conditions for the big event were not what you would call favorable at Road Atlanta in early March. It was 70 degrees all week long until Saturday the first day of Competition. The drivers were very challenged by extremely cold temps from start to finish. In race 1 on
Saturday Elliot Finlayson rolled on the track in his new red and white livery with blistering speed. We all new he would be a force after watching his
performance at the last race of 2016 at Road Atlanta. He was all of that and more as be grabbed the lead and looked to be walking away with his first
victory in the GPfour South Series. Flinn Lazier was running about 1.5 seconds behind but at that point in the race it looked as if Lazier really had nothing for
Finlayson until a late full course caution came out. On the restart Elloit had no radio communication so he was not alerted of the green flag restart as several cars blasted by him. Flynn Lazier had now taken over the lead with Justin Gordon in 2nd and points leader Paul Schneider in 3rd. Lazier had apparently spun off the track and caused another full course caution which put Kerry Jacobsen as the winner as the cars came around. The result was a bit chaotic and  were challenged as the field shuffled once more with the final running order remained Lazier,Gordon and Schneider. Gpfour series will post final
running order of race 1 as soon as Atlanta region results are posted.
       Race 2 of the weekend was The feature race . This race was not challenged by official's obstacles but the weather was a real factor. The temperature was in the high 30's on Sun  morning with light rain falling along with windy miserable conditions. When the cars lined up for the race at around 12:30 the track had a dry line with running water through some of the most challenging turns at Road Atlanta.  The cars were flying through turn one at a hundred plus mph and would twitch sideways through the middle of the turn. While this was a spectacle to watch probably not so fun for the drivers. The temps were so low all weekend the American Racer tires could not reach any where near optimal tire temperatures. The Green flag waved and Elliot Finlayson grabbed the lead with Flynn Lazier running 2nd and Kerry Jacobsen in 3rd ,Paul Schneider 4th ,Quinton Nelson 5th. Drivers were feeling out the conditions on the first lap so the lead was probably not the best place to be as Finlayson made a high speed exit off the track and was not able to continue. Lazier had now taken over the lead and Sebring race winner Alliance Autosport driver Quinton Nelson was close behind in 2nd. The two drivers had separated themselves from the rest of the field and were putting on a clinic of driving abilities. These two have such raw talent and for the average person viewing this race it was quite something to watch as each of them went completely sideways through turn 1 , catching it by the exit continuing up the hill. Meanwhile another driver who seems to come alive during the races is Primus Racing Parts entry Justin Gordon. He had a problem with seat belts on the pre grid and the team franticly worked to fix the issues but the car had to start at the back of the grid. It only took Gordon a few laps and he had made is way past all these cars to 3rd position.
      The half way point  battle at the front was really heating up between Nelson and Lazier. Nelson seemed to have a slight advantage but Lazier was giving everything he had to keep his car out front. The conditions finally got the best of him as Flinn flew off the track damaging the suspension and
ending his chances for back to back victories. The result of Lazier's exit from the race left Quinton Nelson with a very large lead but this did not slow the  talented driver a bit. He continued to go sideways every lap in turn one and you wondered how many times he could managed such maneuvers. Quinton is a great story for the series and he continues to each race as long as the champion driver and team boss Scott Rettich can allow him to drive the car versus his normal job as race mechanic. The whole Alliance team are very supportive of this kid so we hope he gets the nod to drive at the next event at VIR in April. 
     Although the leader was well ahead of the rest of the field battles continued behind him with Gordon in 2nd, Jacobsen in 3rd Schneider in 4th and Thomas Green in a very fine performance rounding out the top 5. Behind this group was a very intense train of five cars with the very popular Eric Cruz leading the train back to John Mcaleer a local driver trying to make his way to the front of this train. Passing was so difficult as you would hit running water in the middle of several of the turns.  Towards the end of the race Kerry Jacobsen lost the position to Schneider. Each position is so important to a tightly packed points championship between these top five drivers. Unfortunately Jacobsen hit a slower moving car on the track towards the end of the race eliminating himself . Jacobsen came into the weekend 3rd in points only a few back from leader Schneider. The top five finishers ended up with Quinton Nelson 1st, Justin Gordon 2nd, Paul Schneider 3rd, Tom Green 4th and Eric Cruz 5th.  It was a great weekend of racing unfortunately we had a three late cancelations from the original 17 cars on the pre entry but still very appreciative of the drivers that braved the weather for the weekend. The results and new points totals will be posted as soon as official results become available ,but hope to see everyone at the next event at VIR in April.

Brad Baytos:President
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